Senior Product Manager/Founding Team, Koan
Rob Sicat is a self-proclaimed “product manager who designs.” Doing everything possible to make products great while ensuring everyone is having a good time is his reason for living. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for leadership shine in everything he does. His coworkers know they can count on him for both nuanced insights into how organizations function and brightening up the office atmosphere with hip-hop deep cuts.
Rob currently is the lead product manager at Koan, a software company whose mission is to help organizations achieve their purpose. Their OKR (Objectives & Key Results) platform is an &yet staple, helping us manage our quarterly goals and set strategic priorities while helping everyone on our team feel connected and valued.
We can appreciate someone who “geeks out about geeking out,” and we are looking forward to seeing what Rob builds while he’s at Lambda School over the next year. In the meantime, you might find him moonlighting as a DJ, checking out pizza ovens, or collecting recipes that never disappoint.
🤓 I geek out about…
It’s very meta, but I geek out on geeking out. That’s to say, I’m curious about everything around me, and I love to reverse engineer how things are made.
It could be literally digging in the crate to find all the samples and interpolations from a particular music record; to learning and researching general management origins (Thank you, Daniel McCallum).
Things I’m geeking out on at the moment:
- Building tools that enhance productivity and wellness
- Video editing
- Pizza ovens
🎒 I collect…
- Words, phrases, and sayings that inspire me.
- Questions that spark conversations and engaging discussions.
- Books. Some I’ve read, and many I still hope to read someday.
- Videos that I can watch with my kids that help us both grow. One of the best resources out there is https://thekidshouldseethis.com/.
- Recipes that never disappoint.
💬 My friends ask my advice about…
- The perfect soundtrack for an event, also “Hey, what’s that song again that goes like [proceeds to hum]?”
- Must have gadgets/apps that save you time/improve your life.
- Practical tips on a career transition into Product Management.
🧰 How my weird obsessions show up in my work…
Story is the one thing that ties all my weird obsessions together. Music, art, cooking, film, books… they all center around great storytelling. As a product person you need to tell stories to succeed. Whether it’s communicating product updates or motivating others to take action.
It always comes back to story.
🌱 What form(s) of growth is/are most important for your company?
Our most important form of growth is word of mouth from individual contributors and small teams. If people care enough to share Koan with colleagues, then we’ve proven ourselves to be the leader at delivering something that a well-defined set of customers cares a whole lot about.
That type of growth is slow and steady, but intentional and sustainable; compounding in the long-term.
💭 I wish more companies would…
Design meetings with intention and full awareness of the message, medium, and environment.
💛 How can companies and industries take better care of people?
Normalize bringing your “Real Self” to work. Incentivize good behaviors and habits. Focus the number of things down to what truly matters—few things matter. If you can successfully tie your employees’ and colleagues’ work to what truly matters, you’re on the path to working with purpose.
❓ A question I love:
Some of my favorites:
- What would you love to find at a yard sale?
- What book dramatically influenced your life?
- What was your first Amazon purchase?
- What’s the best thing you discovered this year?
- What was your favorite band 10 years ago?
You can learn more about Rob at robsicat.com.