In February of 2020, the team at BlastPoint welcomed Steve Estes aboard as its first ever Vice President of Product. It was a critical time in the company’s growth during which the future–and all it could potentially hold–was on everyone’s mind.
We needed a person with a bold vision to help us reimagine what the BlastPoint of tomorrow could become.
When we heard that Steve–fresh off the heels of a career with a NYC firm, performing data intelligence, product design and business development–had signed on, each of us was thrilled. We prepared to have BlastPoint taken to the next level by Steve’s experience and perspective from the moment he joined the team. Little did we know we’d be treated to daily doses of hilarity, and so many tantalizing tidbits about what constitutes a great Scotch.
Unfortunately for Steve, his arrival at BlastPoint coincided with COVID-19-related closures. During his first week, at least, we were able to enjoy in-person togetherness with a company lunch. But shortly thereafter, we shifted to Zoom calls in lieu of office meetings, and remote engagement instead of field visits with BlastPoint’s customers. It must have been difficult for Steve to find grounding in the midst of such uncertainty.
Nevertheless, he explains of those first days on the team, “Onboarding was about as smooth as could be.”
Ever since, he’s been busy designing the roadmap for what will be the next iteration of BlastPoint software.
BlastPoint CEO Alison Alvarez says of Estes, “Steve brings us much-needed cross-industry experience. He’s a great hybrid of technical and business thinking, so we definitely look to him when we need critical answers.”
Many of you have already had the pleasure of meeting Steve, but if you haven’t, read on. He was kind enough to take time between putting his kids down for naps and Zooming in to meetings to share his perspective on some pressing issues as well as give us a peek behind the scenes into his life as a dad, husband and online poker shark. We invite you to enjoy our interview below!
The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Can you describe what you’re working on to take BlastPoint’s software product to the next level?
I’m guiding the roadmap for new, forthcoming improvements to our platform. It’s really exciting because we’re not just designing something new; we’re doing so with the benefit of years of learnings from our work with clients big and small.
A lot of what our platform does today is pretty visible to the user; the “work” is done by the web browser doing calculations. Because of how much more data-intensive our projects have gotten, we’re shifting that to be more like an iceberg: 90% of what we’re putting together is data transformation and modeling under the surface, and the user will get the benefit of that only when they see the end product.
From what you’ve been hearing, what do our business customers want, and how are you guiding BlastPoint as a company to deliver those things?
We’re fortunate that we’ve got a number of enthusiastic customers who are really in our corner, who are thinking about how our platform could grow and what it could do for them.
When I came on board, my first priority was to talk to as many of our users as possible: about their needs, their journey with us, ideas that have occurred to them, poking at little annoyances, things like that. That’s gotten boiled down to a roadmap of top priorities, and a set of ideas that we can focus on whenever we think its time has come. The prioritization of that is a constant dialogue with both Engineering and Customer Success, and my job is to play translator.
What do you do for fun (either during a quarantine or outside of one)?
My sport is Ultimate Frisbee. I play every chance I get, which, right now, is, not at all. But there is something magical about a disc just floating in the air as you sprint down the field to get it, how it hovers there, waiting for you, defying the laws of physics. Plus, a great throw just makes you look and feel cool.
Right now, my Social Distancing activity is regular online poker games with a bunch of my friends, just trading money and jokes back and forth after the kids have gone to bed.
Do you have a favorite quote or author or particular nugget of wisdom you live by?
A quote that’s really stuck with me, professionally, is from The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. It’s three parts:
“1. When you always tell the truth, people trust you.
2. When you do what you say, as promised, people respect you.
3. When you make others feel special, people like you.”
I think those are key reminders for me about what’s important in how to treat people, and also about building and maintaining your reputation, personally and professionally.
Just gotta suspend #1 there for my poker games!
To connect with Steve Estes on LinkedIn, find him here. To learn more about how he’s managed to cope as a parent of two toddlers during the COVID-19 quarantine, check out his slide deck on BlastPoint’s Working From Home interview series. And to learn more about BlastPoint’s software, visit our Solutions page!