I joined The Ken in April 2018. Our product proposition was simple – we publish one original story each day which our subscribers could read on our website and (fledgling) mobile apps.
In the three years since, our product proposition is much more expansive and increasingly…complex.
We now have three premium newsletters, all of which are popular, much-loved and augment the deeply reported feature stories we publish every day. Since going international last March, we now have a Southeast Asia edition — one of our fastest growing products. Earlier this year we also launched a podcast, Unofficial Sources, which is also gaining early traction. There are many more products in the pipeline, some in late stages of development.
Our expanding product portfolio has added complexity to our website and apps. From just annual subscription plans when we started out in 2016, we now have couple subscriptions, multiyear plans, joint edition subscriptions, corporate plans, campus plans and newsletter-only plans. There’s also specialised products like corporate gifting. As a result, our data stack has widened and deepened.
Complexity can be a terrible thing. It can drag you down, make things confusing, and difficult to orchestrate.
But complexity is also an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to figure out how to make all of these parts of the machine work together, mesh together and make the sum greater than the parts.
And that’s why Siddhartha Goutham joins us as the Head of Products.
Siddhartha (or Sid as he likes to be called) joins us from Rupeek, a Fintech-based lending startup where he has been a product manager since Aug 2019. At Rupeek, Sid conceived, built, launched and scaled products based on the company’s gold-based product rails. These included credit line and card products backed by gold. In addition he also managed infrastructural product elements like payouts, repayments, and the loan management system.
Before Rupeek, Sid was a product manager at enterprise SaaS company Boomerang Commerce for a year. And in keeping with our focus on entrepreneurial experience, he also managed to run his own baby apparel startup between 2016 and 2019 by figuring out how to be a successful Amazon seller. Sid is a computer science engineer from Anna University and MBA from IIM Indore.
That’s an impressive resume, but one of the big reasons why Sid is here is because he loves complexity. He loves reading massive fantasy and science-fiction tomes, filled with complex worlds and complicated rules. He claims to have “over 1000 podcasts” on his main feed, and consumes mountains of information every day from a range of publications and newsletters. Including from The Ken, to which he was both an early subscriber as well as a long time one.
Since Sid loves figuring out how to make complex things work well together, he will take charge of all our current and upcoming products; major platform initiatives; and the multi-year strategy for what we should build and how. What do they say about never working a day in your life if you’re doing something you love?
You can say hello to him at siddhartha at the-ken dot com.
Photo by Sirma Krusteva on Unsplash