Back in the Product Saddle Again

Six years ago, I was hired by PhotoShelter to create “PhotoShelter for companies.” Five months later, we launched Libris, which has now overtaken the photographer-oriented part of the company in both growth and revenue. I stayed on for a couple years, and eventually parted with the company, although we have stayed on good terms. I’m proud of my DAM achievement there, and I’m happy to see it doing well.   

And now, I’m back, making web services again: this time at a new company. A few months ago, I signed on as the Chief Product Officer at Tandem Vault, and we’re in the process of creating a brand new version of their software, redesigned from the ground up. 

While Tandem Vault is not the most well-known name in cloud DAM, it’s an extremely capable service. It’s a rare product that allows both self-service startup and scaling to enterprise-level functionality. 

I became acquainted with Tandem Vault when I was working as the Director of Digital Strategy at History Factory, a leading national agency specializing in heritage-based storytelling and institutional archiving. 

We were looking for a service that would allow us to provide increased engagement with the brands we represented. In that search, I looked at a lot of different services, from the venerable old-line DAMs to the high-end cloud services, to buzzy startups. In the end, the decision to go with Tandem was not even close. The capability, value and responsiveness was head and shoulders above the competition. 

When I left History Factory, I kept in touch with the Tandem Vault team, and they hired me to help whiteboard a new version of the product. Many of their features had been added organically over the course of several years, and it was clear that they needed a strong product vision to help build an even better user experience. 

Our whiteboard session was a smashing success. We shared a vision of the challenges and opportunities facing media management in the coming decade. We were also able to solve some complicated problems quickly and with no rancor. I’ve come to value a good working relationship as a requirement for any possible employment, and we really clicked.

In the last several months, we’ve been hard at work rethinking the service from the ground up. We’ve included a number of innovative features that are not found in any DAM service at any price. We believe we will be market leaders in areas like collaboration, mobile functionality, crowdsourcing, machine learning integration and scalability, to name a few. (If you want a more concrete idea of what we’re building, pick up a copy of The DAM Book 3.0 – it’s really a blueprint for modern cloud services. It’s also available at a shelter-in-place discount of 50%.)

We’re almost done with the design and data modeling process. The wireframes are nearly complete, and the dev team has begun to wire it up. It’s coming along nicely, and we will have something to show early in Q3. 

It’s been a real godsend to have something to put all my energy into in this very strange time, and will be an even more important distraction moving forward. I know that new product announcements are not of much interest in the current situation, but I also know that we all need to be able to remind ourselves that the worst of this will be over one day.

I’ll do periodic posts outlining what we’re up to as we get closer to release. If you want to be notified of our progress, you can sign up for updates over at Tandem Vault.

Stay safe everybody, and keep in touch.
Feel free to ask any questions below.