T.J. Berry has been a Product Manager at Handsome since August of this year. His role is to advocate for the needs of the client and the user while working closely with UX, Design, and Engineering. Defining delightful product opportunities and cultivating client growth are his driving goals.
How do you make your role at Handsome uniquely yours?
“Most people think of a Product Manager as a CEO of the product. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this definition misinterpreted to solely account for the design and business requirements of the product. It’s larger than that to me. You have to understand the entire ecosystem around the product from messaging to activation and beyond.
I believe that the products we use could do a much better job of bringing people together. My approach is to stage emotionally compelling experiences that transform ordinary life events (like tax filing) into extraordinary opportunities for social impact.”
Can you tell us a little about your past professional experience?
“Innovation happens at intersections. The theme of my career has been about connecting and combining non-obvious ideas at the intersection of technology, media, business, and design.
I was fortunate enough to cut my professional teeth alongside an extremely talented team at HBO. Motivated to be a more adaptable contributor to society as a whole, I studied engineering, business, and design at Carnegie Mellon University. I earned my master’s degree in Integrated Innovation for Products and Services. Originally from Texas, I received my Bachelor of Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, where I studied Business and Geography. It’s good to be home!”
Fun Fact: “I own a large collection of National Geographic magazines dating all the way back to the moon landing in 1969. Learning about people and how they interact with their environment is fascinating to me. It’s incredible to look through old issues and see how these interactions have changed over time.”
What drew you to Handsome?
“Helping businesses transform in a rapidly changing world isn’t just a job to me. It’s a calling. My passion is for guiding interdisciplinary teams through the creation and distribution of innovative products, services, and experiences that bring people together. I enjoy breaking down silos and taking holistic responsibility for delivering the right solution at the right time. Taming turbulence is my stock-in-trade.”
Now that you’ve been here a few months, what is your favorite part of the job?
“Practicing Handsome’s brand of human-centered innovation back home in Austin is a dream come true. This is an ideal place for a hybrid entrepreneur and product leader like me to thrive. I get excited about the people I work with here, and I have all of the tools I need to do great work.”
What are you currently working on?
“I’m excited to be working with TaxAct on the next generation of mobile tax preparation solutions. We’re transforming tax filing into extraordinary opportunities for personal financial growth.”