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Joe Blecha is the Global Director of Product Development at Stance Socks, whose cause is to to make a product as imaginative, expressive and uncommonly cool as the people who wear it.
Joe comes from over 16 years in the outerwear market, holding many senior positions in companies like Nike, DC, and Burton. He’s worked on projects for the Olympics’ US Snowboard Team, and many clothing collections like the Shaun White collection, Nike SB and Jordan to name a few. Joe’s known by his peers to be a rockstar!
Episode 8: Highlighted Transcript
Stance Socks w/ Global Director Product Development, Joe Blecha and Jordan Bryant on Mobile First
Here are the highlights of our conversation with our guest:
- Getting to know Joe, what keeps him busy, and about his love for surfing, snowboarding, meditation and yoga.
- How his passion for outdoor clothing had budded from his love for individual sports and how these sports, which he started enjoying at a young age, had appealed to him tremendously and made him decide that this is what he wanted to do with his life. Joe also shares how he came to join the industry and his interesting beginnings.
- His journey in product development starting from gaining insights from customer feedback, coming up with ideas to make the product better, looking at possibilities and testing them out, arriving with a product, up until getting it out there for consumer validation.
- Reasons why he made the transition from working in Nike to joining a start-up including the advantages of being hands on with your product, innovation, the wider reach you get from a smaller group and growth.
- As Global Director for Product Development, Joe shares how he makes his impact through technology and creation of new processes.
- Technologies that he sees which enable process changes and which impacts supply chains.
- The attributes that Stance imbibes which allows it to scale; such a having a forward-thinking mentality and the ability to grow supply chains and produce committed supplies.
- What Joe thinks the company should focus more on: consumer experience, modernizing the supply chain by working inside out or focusing on digital products and systems?
- Channels that they have in place to measure how consumers get introduced to Stance; their spending habits; and comparing and contrasting results of various marketing campaigns.
- How they incorporate an approach which is a balance of art and science to come up with fresh ideas to improve customer experience; the timelines in implementing these; and the some of the limiting factors that they encounter during the process.
- Joe shares an internal initiative—the Idea Innovation Hopper – how it’s structured and how it works; and how he sees mobile integrated in this process.
- The future of product development in Joe’s perspective, how mobile plays into it and where Stance is going to make that leap.
Rapid Fire Questions
- Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them and why?
The execution is slightly more important than the idea. Everybody can have a great idea but being able to execute on it is more important. It’s 60 – 40 for me.
- What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
Be passionate in what you do and embrace adversity.
- What is your favorite business book?
Autobiography of Elon Musk
- What is your favorite digital resource?
- What is your favorite app and why?
- What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now that you want everyone to know about?
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