Esteban Contreras

Director of Experience Design at Sprinklr. Previously at Samsung. Author of Social State. Advisor to early stage startups.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON November 23, 2015
Thank Esteban Contreras on Twitter

Discussion

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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
Hi - I'm Esteban Contreras, Director of Experience Design at Sprinklr. I was formerly at Samsung. I wrote a book called Social State. I advise early stage startups on product and marketing. I'm fascinated by the convergence of technology and society. I'm originally from Guatemala City, lived in the US for 10 years and now I'm in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I like the Internet. Happy to be here - ask me anything!
Corley
@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
Does advising other early stage startups help you see things differently in your current role?
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@corleyh Absolutely. Tech startups by definition are trying to grow quickly and they need to be nimble and decisive. I love the environment of an early stage startup and in many ways, that's the kind of environment I'm building within my team at Sprinklr.
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Ben Tossell
@bentossell · Community Lead, Product Hunt
Hey @socialnerdia great to have you here... As I mentioned to you previously I used to work @sprinklr - started working at TBG Digital in Sarah Field's team and then we were acquired by Sprinklr just under year or so later. Since then I moved back to Cardiff and have since joined the Product Hunt team 💃 How has the Sprinklr platform progressed in the last year or so? I know that there was always so much going on, being added and new things happening constantly so curious to see how things have evolved.
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@bentossell Time flies! Congrats again on joining the awesome Product Hunt team. You guys are killing it. Since the TBG Digital acquisition, much has happened at Sprinklr. I believe we've tripled in size (employees), opened up multiple offices (Brazil, Japan), and acquired six new companies into the Sprinklr family. We're as focused on our mission and vision as we ever have and we're excited about the future. We're optimizing and extending our platform in many ways. It's an exciting time at Sprinklr.
Jacqueline von Tesmar
@jacqvon · Community, Product Hunt ✌️😻
What are some of your favorite books?
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@jacqvon Psalms. The World is Flat. Ready Player One. Hackers and Painters. The Screwtape Letters. Accidental Billionaires. Blue Like Jazz. Don't Make Me Think. The Four Steps to the Epiphany. 1984.
Jake Crump
@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
@socialnerdia What are some of the biggest challenges being Director of Experience Design of such a large and complex platform like Sprinklr?
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@jakecrump It's a great time for enterprise software. I believe we are at a tipping point where enterprise SaaS is going to radically change. Consumer expectations are higher than ever and that means everyone working for a major brand expects the tools they use to be as good as consumer apps - or much better! I love working on experience design at Sprinklr because I get to think about the end-to-end experience, not just for our users but also for anyone that interacts with Sprinklr. This includes how we sound, what we look like and how we make people feel. We need to be frictionless, we need to be empathetic, we need to be proactive. The days of enterprise software that isn't user-centric are over. The challenge is in designing high standards and then implementing them across our organization -- and doing so in iterative manner. Moving quickly amidst great change is challenging, but it's also really rewarding. The challenge is what makes it fun.
 
Mike Coutermarsh
@mscccc · Code @ Product Hunt
@socialnerdia how do you think VR will affect the social media landscape and how will that be integrated with sprinklr? 😀
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@mscccc VR already shows great potential and the world's most important tech companies are investing heavily into its future. I believe VR will become commonplace in homes some days, just as PCs and to an extent tablets have. At Sprinklr we focus on serving our clients needs - and their focus is on creating great experiences for their customers. I suspect Facebook, YouTube and others in the social space will continue to offer VR capabilities, and brands/organizations/groups/communities will certainly be part of the equation.
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Kate
@katesegrin · Community @ Product Hunt
What skills did you pick up at Samsung that have helped in your new role at Sprinklr and as an advisor to startups?
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@katesegrin Samsung was an incredible experience for me. I learned to answer the question "Why?" And then answer that question two, three, four, fix, six times. Samsung is one of the largest companies on Earth and I was fortunate to be in the right time at the right place -- and had the opportunity to lead the company's initial social media strategy. In emerging technologies and channels (i.e. social media back then), Samsung is a fast-paced environment where you have to build an infrastructure five years into the future. I learned to think on my feet and think in terms of mass scale. And the coolest part was that I got to be there during some of Samsung's milestone events in recent history (i.e. 3D TV, the rise of the Galaxy S, IoT). It was an amazing time.
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Emily Hodgins
@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Thanks for being here today 🙌 During your career to date, what has been your a) most challenging moment and how did you overcome it? b) proudest moment and why? c) most surprising moment?
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@ems_hodge a) My most challenging moment was after graduating from university. While I had been "working" in tech and marketing since I was about 13 years old (thank you mom and dad for the opportunity!), deciding to pursue a full-time job in the U.S. (I'm from Guatemala and therefore a visa was necessary) was a major milestone in my life. I chose to join Amdocs, an Israeli tech company were I learned a lot about how legacy software is developed and evaluated at major companies like AT&T and DIRECTV. b) My proudest moment is still yet to come but joining Samsung and later on Sprinklr were pivotal moments. c) My most surprising moment had to be an unpaid internship while I was in school a decade ago. It wasn't my favorite job by any means but I learned a lot about what I wanted to do with my life and the importance of having a good work ethic at all times.
Nicki Friis
@nickifriisw · Ideanote
Hey Esteban, do you remember how your pageviews at Sprinklr compares from first to second year? In terms of growth?
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@nickifriisw I cannot share those details but huge growth from year 1 to today.
Alex Carter
@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
What has the strategy been for Sprinklr in acquiring new business - enterprise seems to be the focus, are you not looking to target smaller businesses?
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Esteban Contreras
@socialnerdia · VP of Product at HYP3R
@alexcartaz We've always been very focused on the Enterprise market. This was strategic and I believe an important differentiator for our product and culture. Our foundation was in envisioning and building an infrastructure that would allow the world's biggest brands to manage experiences, starting with social media, across various teams/functions and regions. Over time, we've expanded to serve smaller brands and rapidly growing startups seen many use cases in which smaller brands have great needs to scale (i.e. think of startups with a unique digital presence in each city).