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End-to-end cloud-based e-publishing made easy.
I was the product and design lead of this cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS), end-to-end ebook publishing web application. I authored the product strategy to pivot from publisher to platform, translated business and user needs into the product roadmap and led the product team through launch. Additionally, I supported and mentored a high-performing product and design team of four, introduced Lean Startup and Lean UX practices and established a strong collaboration with the engineering team.
Ebook publishing was and still is, a lot harder than it should be:
Requiring front-end developer skills and despite ePub standards, developing for e-readers can be like coding for the web during the bad old days of the browser wars.
- Adding images, video, web fonts or styling with CSS are all considered advanced skills.
- Distribution can be equally challenging; navigating multiple ebook stores, file formats, requirements and metadata.
The challenge was: to remove all of this complexity and:
- Create a simple-to-use SaaS application that allowed anyone to create ebooks without the need for any development skills
- Distribute their ebooks with the push of a button and track all sales activity from one place
Michael brought strong leadership to both creative and product management at Vook. His thoughtful designs were often recognized for their ease-of-use overcoming the inherent complexities in e-book creation and publishing. Michael was highly respected by the Engineering team because [of] his open, informed, and agile work style. I look forward to when our paths cross again.Rob Guttman, VP of Engineering, Vook
As Product Management and User Experience lead, I collaborated with my fellow leadership team members:
- On a product vision
- Developed a roadmap based on customer research
- Participated in planning and execution of the product launch
- Collaboratively developed a set of core product promises that defined the product vision Led the user experience team using Agile and Lean UX
- Worked closely with the engineering team
Michael is a strong creative force, consistently able to balance heavy workloads with a high-level of personal attention to crucial details. Nothing escapes his comprehensive understanding of process. He can take a big picture strategic objective and walk through and execute the complicated individual pieces—long-range thought and daily execution in one—a crucial advantage, particularly in a startup environment. He‘s also very well versed in the history of design and aesthetics, which means he brings a craftsman‘s eye to his work.Matthew Cavnar, VP of Business Development, Vook
Vook was an end-to-end cloud-based e-publishing solution. With Vook, users could:
- Create and publish ebooks anywhere
- Build and style awesome-looking ebooks without knowing how to code
- Effortlessly incorporate fonts
- Easily add video, images and sound
- Preview their ebooks quickly
- Manage metadata simply
- Conveniently watch sales from multiple channels all in one dashboard
Publishers Weekly has been testing the platform and [Vook] could indeed be a game changer.Craig Morgan Teicher, Publishers Weekly
- Vook launched to a fanfare of positive press
- Built a following of loyal self-publishers and small publishers users
- In 2015, Vook was renamed Pronoun and in 2016, was acquired by Macmillan Publishing
Working with Michael was wonderful for two reasons. First he always demonstrated a deep care for the users and the product. This kept us engineers happy as we were building something that was well thought out. Second, he listened and responded/acted as a team player. We were all very confident of the product we put out because of this wonderful collaboration.Amanuel Tewolde, Senior Software Architect, Vook