Curiosity, collaboration and data: What brings products to life at 5 Austin tech companies

This article appeared in Built In Austin on March 21, 2019.

Built In Austin interviewed 5 local tech companies and Compeat’s SVP of Product Management and her team were thrilled to be included.


Part of the allure of working in product is the development process itself — determining what users want and then figuring out how to get it to them. But what makes for a good product team at one company may not work for another. While collaboration across departments is paramount for any team, what really sets product squads apart at tech companies extends far beyond communication within the office.

“Our customers are engaged in working directly with us to help shape our software.” Kathy Wirt, SVP Product Management  


One of the best ways to build a solution that properly serves your clientele is to develop a team that includes people who have worked in the same industry. At Compeat, that meant hiring product folks with actual restaurant experience. Kathy Wirt, the restaurant management platform’s SVP of product management, told us how that affects their product strategies.

What sets your product team apart from others in the industry?

Our product team has the perfect mix of industry knowledge in the restaurant space and traditional software experience. The team has nearly 40 years of firsthand experience working in a variety of roles in restaurants. This means our product team understands the daily lives of restaurant operators and managers who use our products every day, which is essential to our design process and prioritization of future features.

How does that impact your product development process?

Because we come from the restaurant industry, we understand the challenges our customers have, and can use our software development expertise to meet their needs. We also believe in staying connected with our customers. An important part of our process is to regularly spend time with customers where they work so we can see how they use our software in their daily jobs. Significant product releases are rolled out to early adopter customers so that we can iterate on and optimize our software before general release. Our customers are engaged in working directly with us to help shape our software.

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