Story 2: Imaad on his problem-solving approach and building SpotDraft

In the second edition of Life at SpotDraft, we interviewed and learned about Imaad’s career goals and growth. He is a versatile and passionate Product champion, looking for new challenges and ways to build SpotDraft. 

A squash player and music lover, Imaad Musvee, shares what has worked for him and how his consulting time has significantly shaped his Product Management career.

In story #2 of Employee Spotlight, we dig deeper into how he pivoted into Product, hidden secrets for his continuous success, and what’s unusual about SpotDraft. Read on to find out more.

1. What's your role?

I am part of the Product team, and my designation is Senior Product Manager. Since 2019, I have got an excellent chance to contribute to the growth of SpotDraft. I have seen the company mature from a handful of customers to an enormous customer base and geographies.

2. Describe what you do. 

My primary goal is to drive a seamless and enriching customer experience and build a world-class CLM product. To chase the same, I ensure we make improvements to the Product that ultimately delight our customers. Also, I work with different teams internally, including design, engineering, sales, and marketing. 

3. What changes have you made to the SpotDraft Product in a nutshell? 

Regarding SpotDraft, I have been heavily involved with the development and feature enhancement of contract editor, the first-ever purpose-built editor for lawyers. I enjoy furnishing legal teams with superpowers and helping them get their work done faster. Today, contract editor is used often by many of our customers.

I am excited to have engineered SpotDraft's native e-signature functionality, allowing users to review contracts and sign. More recently, specific projects I have owned include clause library. Also, I've helped the team in expanding SpotDraft's signing capability by allowing users to embed signing within their website. 

“As a kid, I spent most of my time playing Squash. I was a competitive squash player and represented India in many tournaments. My before and after school hours were for Squash. I was also passionate about music and loved listening to and experiencing various musicals.”

4. How much do you rely on data while making decisions?

Yes, it's a great question. While we were functioning at a smaller scale with fewer clients, we weren't actively data-driven. However, now, data is at the forefront of how we work. 

We have come a long way in terms of relying on data. For example, after we launch every feature, we track its usage daily. Then we strategize with customer success, sales, and marketing to drive the adoption of these various features. By analyzing data, we identify the areas of our app that are most frequently used and plan to improve them over time.

5. Are you customer-centric? How do you stay user-focused?

As a company, we always want to delight our customers. We try to engage the customers during the building process. We value our users' likes and opinions by getting appropriate feedback during the prototype phase before it gets built by Engineering. Receiving feedback often and early for every feature release is something we embrace. 

We deeply collaborate with customer success and learn our customer's pain points first-hand. Lastly, we focus on being empathetic. We strive to make our customers' lives easier and give them joy while using our Product.

6. We see you did your Bachelors in Economics from the University of Chicago. Tell us about that experience. 

Apart from being a freezing place, Chicago was an eye-opening experience for me. How the University of Chicago staff taught things was more precious than expected. I carry forward two notable things - emphasis on multiple correct answers and focus on discussion and dialogue. 

And how this has translated into my career is while I work cross-functionally across teams at SpotDraft. I have used my speaking abilities to convince people with new ideas and proposals. It helped me understand how to get people to agree, drive alignment between teams and weigh and give value to their opinion. 

“Effort does matter, and working with a sense of urgency is critical for us to make an impact. SpotDraft prides itself on being outcome-focused, which drives the balance between work and life for me. We have an incredibly flexible working schedule and vacation policy. SpotDraft weighs not the hours you put in but the outcomes you achieve.”

7. What prompted you to take courses in computer science from Stanford? 

In terms of courses from Stanford, I have been interested in Technology for a while. I chose those streams because I wanted to sharpen my analytical thinking abilities and learn what it takes to build a usable software product. 

One thing that fascinated me was the inevitable problem-solving approach in computer science. And here's my learning for a lifetime - take a huge problem and try solving it by focusing on smaller components or aspects methodically. I carry forward this problem-solving mindset while I work at SpotDraft.

8. Describe your journey into Product. How did you choose that career?

After graduating, I spent three years in Consulting. I worked with many Fortune 500 companies on supply chain projects. I enjoyed my consulting time as I interacted with various clients or stakeholders. I have had a wide array of experiences interacting with customers. 

As consultants, we are always interested in making an impact. And what exactly drew me to Product is the excitement around building something meaningful and something that would exist even after I engage with a company.

9. Tell us about the culture and diversity at SpotDraft.

We prioritize appetite for learning and less emphasize experience. Moreover, we count on folks who understand and cherish the problem space SpotDraft is tackling. 

Right from the founders to team members, everyone is excited about learning something new and becoming 1% better every day. This value is center stone of our culture at SpotDraft. It acts as a driver for our continuous growth and success.

10. What advice would you give someone who would like to venture into product management or leadership roles? 

There is no one specific path to becoming a product manager. But, I do think that if you're interested in Product Management, you must try out sample projects, solve interesting problems, and make process improvements. 

Finding small projects and being scrappy in finding a freelancer to build them, ship them, and get users to adopt them. This exercise is a perfect litmus test to test the water and find your niche. Other avenues include online learning platforms that would help you pivot into Product Management.

11. How does your life as a consultant add value to your current role? What learnings do you apply? Do you see any overlap between these two functions?

The customer-obsessed attitude from Consulting is something I hold on to in my current role at SpotDraft. Also, it played a part in building trust with customers and serving as a transformational partner. Further, Consulting helped me with the mindset of being extremely responsive and available to customers anytime. 

The significant part of Consulting is the diverse experience you get as you work across industries, clients, and projects. However, consulting and Product Management are dissimilar because you work towards driving alignment around a specific decision with the former. 

Whereas with the latter, you make daily decisions that shape the product's future. And when making those decisions, it's appropriate to be detail-oriented and have answers to the following questions - why you want to build, what you want to develop, and who will be the end-users? You should also be ready to be challenged by these opinions.

“Top 3 skills to succeed in product management - Communication is critical. Secondly, grit is essential when getting stuck, scaling a start-up, or things don't go your way. Lastly, it's about being optimistic.”

12. What do you love most about working at SpotDraft?

Three things I like the most at SpotDraft - 

  1. The people: I have learned a ton from them daily.
  2. Incredibly ambitious company striving to transform the legal tech space.
  3. How greenfield the space is and numerous opportunities to make a difference.

13. How unique is SpotDraft? What sets it apart from other places you have worked?

Employees are willing to roll up their sleeves and get work done. Another thing is while we work very hard, we also have a great time offline. I have made lifelong friends with whom I will connect even after my days at SpotDraft. The culture, environment and the kind of people SpotDraft hires are critical and unique. 

14. What SpotDraft values resonate with you the most and why? 

It's about being transparent and candid. Working in a business where we need to iterate fast and build world-class experiences, we almost always give and receive feedback daily. That's the beauty of SpotDraft, where feedback is not limited to quarterly cycles. We get input from various teams, including oral, written, or in-person.

In this installment of SpotDraft Champs, we have seen how Imaad has felt a more profound and purposeful connection with Product Management. We have also uncovered how outcome-focused and problem-solving mindsets are helping him in his professional journey.

Until the next dialogue, stay tight! Follow Employee Spotlight 💙 to know more about what's happening at SpotDraft.