What is it that you do at Octopus Choice?
As the product manager for Octopus Choice, I lead a cross-functional team that focuses on building new features and enhancing the existing ones that our investors use.
I split my time between getting us ready to launch new features, and discovering what ones we need to work on next.
What is it that you’re most proud of in your time working at Octopus?
Seeing the positive impact that Octopus Choice is having on the peer-to-peer lending and financial services sector as a whole – it makes me proud of what we’re doing here. The world of financial services is so complex, and I think the role of Octopus Choice is to identify ‘how can we make this simple’?
I also get a buzz from the feedback we get from our investors when we launch something new, about how we’re making their lives easier. It feels great to know we’re going in the right direction.
What are two examples of features you have worked on?
Allowing users to transfer their ISAs into Octopus Choice was a big one for me. For an investor, transferring your ISA is typically quite a confusing and manual process, and our big challenge was identifying how we make it as simple as possible.
Then also the Octopus Choice mobile app. We wanted to make the mobile experience as good as what people experience on the web.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
The main challenge for me is prioritisation. The team has so many ideas, but it’s my job to decide what the team focuses on and when. It can be difficult when there’s so many ways you want to add value for our investors, but you only have so much time!
Sounds tough! So how do you decide what comes next?
It’s mainly determined by customer need. We collect a lot of feedback on a rolling basis, and it means we’re able to track what the most important issues are for our customers.
I am doing a lot of interviews with our investors at the moment, too. We invite our users in to the office, ask them about their experience of Octopus Choice, and see first-hand how they use it. It’s given us some great ideas about how we can quickly add value for investors.
I’m always after new investors to speak to, so please do drop me an email if you’re interested in sharing your thoughts.
So, any sneak-peaks into what’s coming down the line?
Yes, we’ll soon be introducing electronic ISA transfers.
At the moment, if you want to transfer your ISA from any provider to a new one, you’ll usually have to print out an ISA transfer form, post it to your existing provider and chase them up yourselves.
However, we’re working on allowing users to do this electronically, meaning you’ll be able to fill out a few details online and everything will be handled for you.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
Mainly that I work with such amazing, talented people, and it’s so collaborative. I’m lucky that, in my role, I get to work closely with everyone in the team, and across the Octopus Group. It means I learn something new every day.
Where do you look for inspiration or ideas?
Well my name, Esin, actually means ‘inspiration’ in Turkish – so I don’t have to look far!
Esin's recommended reading:
- Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
And finally, you’ve been given a surprise day off. What do you do?
If it’s a nice Autumn day like this I’d probably go to Regents Park to walk, watch the leaves falling and take photos. Then find a cosy coffee shop with a nice view, a flat white and toasted banana bread.
Hopefully I’ll find a friend lucky enough to have the day off, too...