Spotlight with Marina Rogachov
Torii’s Employee Spotlight is dedicated to showcasing our team members who are helping us build the best SaaS management company ever! Read on to learn more about our team, their day to day and life at Torii.
In it’s initial month, we are spotlighting Marina Rogachov, Product Manager. Marina is based in our Israel office and she joined Torii in October 2020.
Thank you Marina for participating in our first spotlight!
Marina, tell us a bit about your career path before Torii. What did you do? What critical moments got you to where you are today?
After completing my MA in cognitive psychology, I started working as a User Experience specialist. It was in early 2000 when almost no one knew what UX was and there were no UX software standards, so it was pretty exciting to watch the discipline grow and to be part of it.
During the 17 years of my career, I worked for both startups and enterprises, however, the most significant milestone was 4 years at Perfecto, an Israeli startup in the area of automated testing for mobile and web apps. I was hired as the first UX lead in the company, building processes and a team from scratch. I also had an exciting opportunity to build a new product from the ground up, with almost ultimate freedom and support from management.
At some point, we had no product managers on-site, and I naturally took upon myself increasingly more PM responsibilities to fill the niche. After stepping into Product Management almost by accident, I fell in love with the discipline and there was no turning back.
What do you do at Torii?
I am a product manager. I do a variety of things, but if I had to define my job in 2 words, I would say that I am a thinker and a maker. I listen to customers and Torii stakeholders, explore competitors, analyze data, come up with ideas about how Torii can achieve its vision, translate these into product solutions and make sure that they are executed in the best way possible.
What are some things that you and your team are responsible for?
At Torii we work in small teams that consist of a product manager and several developers. We do not have product lines yet, so my team builds new features related to all product areas - discovery, IT ops, automation and more. We have just rolled out a big feature called “App comparison” which we worked on for several months. It allows IT managers to compare similar applications that Torii discovers and optimize their SAAS stack based on insights Torii provides.
What brought you to Torii? How did it all start?
I was actively looking for a Product Management position, having several requirements for my future job in mind:
High appreciation for the user experience and direct communication with customers
Close to home! There was COVID out there, but at that time I believed it was temporary
I came across the PM opening post published by our CPO, Uri Nativ. It looked interesting - IT market, small startup, experienced founders. I decided to apply. From my first interview, I was charmed, first by the product and then by the founders. The process was hard, but very well structured and managed professionally, so all that made me believe it was the right fit for me. The recruitment process tells you a lot about company DNA.
What do you think makes Torii unique?
SAAS management is a completely new problem area. We not only build an amazing product, we are also creating the discipline, helping our customers to figure out what SAAS management is and what its best practices should be. Having an opportunity to step into a new problem area, where there are so many dark areas and uncertainties, allows you to make a big impact and innovate.
What advice can you offer to someone looking to take on a role similar to yours?
Being a Product Manager in an early-stage startup is very demanding and challenging, but also extremely interesting and satisfying. To enjoy this role and to be successful, you must have passion. Prior to making a decision, understand what you are looking for. Learn as much about your future company as possible, read about the market, look at the product and its competitors, find out everything you can about the founders. Be honest with yourself and ask whether it excites you. If not - it is not the right place for you.
How do you organize your day to stay productive?
I manage and prioritize my personal tasks list in Notion for long-term tasks. Each morning I also write a short list of tasks that I want to complete for the day on a sticky note and pin it to my monitor (yes, I still prefer pen and paper sometimes!). From a personal point of view, I make sure that I do at least one thing every day that contributes to my personal or professional development - read an article or a book, watch a lecture, listen to a podcast or solve a crossword. I also perform these activities in different languages, to stay on top of the 4 languages I speak.
3 things that people don't know about you
My favorite music genre is gothic rock, preferably in Russian
I have a BA in English and I am a certified highschool teacher.
I love travelling, especially to lesser known places where nature is wild. My last most interesting trips before COVID were to Armenia and the Azores. My current dreams are to complete the Camino de Santiago track trail in Spain, to cross Russia from the East to the Pacific on the Trans Siberian Railway and to fly to Latin America.