Career Path: Gregg Laroche, Director, Product Management at Lookout
What do the career path and day-in-the-life of a Director, Product Management at Lookout look like?
We connected with Gregg Laroche to find out!
Also, Lookout is hiring! Click here to see all of the company’s job openings!
Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I am a New England native who grew up in the suburban town Chelmsford, where my parents still reside today. My parents both met in art school in their college years and both had roles as commercial artists after graduation. My mother was illustrating and producing art for weekly flyers for Filene’s (remember them?) and my father worked as a graphic designer in his two-person design agency with mostly SMB clients based in Boston.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
So how did I get into technology with that background? Having little interest or skills in fine art, I put myself through college working part-time, and attended a school in the UMass system, UMass Lowell, studying management and computer science. At the time, computer science was offered through the Mathematics Department and this was my first exposure to several programming languages and information technology. My first jobs after college were in marketing management at technology companies, which is where I first was exposed to product as part of overall marketing responsibilities. It was also through these early years that I discovered that product was the discipline that I felt the strongest connection with.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
I had worked in Marketing and Product roles for five years when I decided to go back to school for an MBA. It worked out really well for me to have gained some work experience under my belt that I could apply to the MBA curriculum at Bentley University Graduate School of Business. After completing that, I continued to explore technology and chose roles that were increasingly focused on Product management. These roles aligned with my passion for building technology products and solving real customer problems. Over the years I have enjoyed delivering solutions into several different technology sectors including information security, online video, employee wellness, IT tools, and most recently mobile device security. For me, the various Product experiences gained across these markets helped to round out my skills and versatility in a variety of situations.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Director, Product Management at Lookout?
At Lookout, I work as a Director of Product and manage a small team in that role. My area of responsibility includes the Lookout cloud platform as a whole and all the various ways it connects with 3rd party technologies to provide more value to our customers. As part of that role, I get to apply the industry-leading Lookout cloud data to solve emerging problems in the fast-moving mobile security market. This includes creating strategies and joint solutions with Lookout’s major technology partners including Microsoft, Apple, Google, VMWare, IBM, Citrix, Blackberry, and many others.
Any tips for someone considering a career in Product Management?
I think that Product Managers have the best job in technology companies. I get to combine my love of technology and building things with customer interaction and business decision making. Product leaders exist in the space between the customer and R&D, translating business opportunity into technology and product requirements. It may not be for everyone, but for people that have strong tendencies to ‘geek out’ combined with a drive to win and build the business, it may be a good choice.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Quit coffee in my 30’s, now it’s green tea in the AM.
What time do you get into the office?
I commute by train, so it varies between 8:00 and 9:00.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
Getting to build really cool stuff
Hearing customers get excited and deploy our technology
Working with really smart, dedicated people around me
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
Meetings with various cross-functional teams
Documenting requirements, reviewing them with stakeholders
Talking to customers and partners whenever possible
Performing demos and collecting requirements from the field
What time do you head out of the office?
Varies greatly depending on the situation and if I have a hockey game to play.
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
I usually connect via mobile.
Any productivity hacks?
Require agenda and purpose for every meeting
Continuously prioritize, not everything will get cycles
Keep your eye on the goals, helps stay on track
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
I know, boring but PM is all about communication.
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
One startup project I was an early part of as PM went public years later.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
I often run things past colleagues and leaders from past roles as well as peers and leaders at Lookout. I’m a firm believer in the value of mentorship.