As the product lead for Chooch’s AI Vision platform, Kasim Acikbas drives the strategy for creating solutions that both fit market needs and drive enterprise-level growth. He works hand-and-hand with Zeynep Caculi, product design lead, to make sure that Chooch’s AI Vision platform features and functionality surpass customer expectations. Kasim’s diverse background as a front-end developer and UI designer gives him a unique perspective when developing Chooch solutions. His mission is to create user-centric solutions that not only address customer needs but also to propel Chooch as a category leader in computer vision.
Tell me about yourself.
I’m proud to say that I joined Chooch in 2017 as its first employee. I started as a front-end developer and worked on UI design. I eventually transitioned into product management as the product lead for Chooch. The last 6 years have been exciting. My journey has put me on a path of continuous growth as I focus on creating user-centric solutions that align with industry needs. I’ve not only grown professionally, but it has been gratifying to see how Chooch has grown as it has engineered this exciting technology.
What’s your favorite tech and non-tech products?
My favorite tech product is Adobe Photoshop. I’ve been using Photoshop since the early 2000s when I got my first computer. Using Photoshop sparked my interest in software design. Photoshop’s versatility, powerful tools, and constant innovation have kept me loyal to it over the years, despite the emergence of alternatives. It’s been an indispensable tool throughout my professional journey.
On the non-tech front, my favorite product is my sling bag. It’s a practical and stylish solution that perfectly meets my needs. In case you don’t know, a sling bag is a small, compact one-strap bag that is worn across your body above the waist. Because I tend to carry a lot of items with me daily, I used to carry a backpack. The design and convenience of my sling bag— a thoughtful gift from my wife— have made it my go-to choice. It serves as a great reminder that the best products are those that effectively combine form and function to address real-world needs.
Who is the ideal user for the Chooch AI Computer Vision platform?
Chooch is designed for any organization interested in a no-code, end-to-end AI solution. We have a broad range of customers from individual freelancers, startups, and Fortune 50 enterprise companies. Chooch is designed to simplify the process of AI deployment with a strong focus on an intuitive interface. Our platform helps users generate datasets, build models, and manage deployments without needing to write a single line of code. It is a perfect fit for anyone seeking a user-friendly, comprehensive AI computer vision solution to streamline their operations or services.
Describe the process you follow and how you prioritize new features for the Chooch platform?
Our process for prioritizing new features revolves around a deep commitment to listening to customer feedback. This is the foundation of innovative ideas from our team and staying current with the latest technology trends.
Given the unique nature of our work developing no-code AI solutions, customer insights offer invaluable perspectives for product enhancements. We take customer feedback seriously. From functionality requests to usage challenges to overall user experience, it helps shape our understanding of where our product stands today, and where it needs to go.
We value the diverse ideas and creativity within our team. From the developers to the executives, we encourage everyone to share their thoughts without restrictions. This free exchange of ideas has proven to be a meaningful source of inspiration.
Staying informed about the latest technology and AI trends is crucial for our product’s evolution. It helps us anticipate emerging needs and opportunities, ensuring we remain at the cutting edge of technology.
Our product development process is iterative and continuous, ensuring that Chooch remains relevant, user-friendly, and impactful for our diverse users.
How has generative AI affected the direction of Chooch’s product roadmap?
Generative AI has had a significant impact on Chooch’s product roadmap. As this technology evolves, it opens a new range of possibilities and applications, allowing us to envision and create more sophisticated, automated, and user-friendly solutions.
Increasing competition in our industry pushes us to explore the boundaries of innovation and continuously improve our platform to stay ahead. We’re actively developing new features that leverage the power of generative AI, with the goal of simplifying processes and making our users’ lives easier.
Generative AI also pushes us to continually reassess our strategy and roadmap. It’s important for us to stay adaptable, agile, and ready to pivot as new AI advancements emerge and user needs evolve. Generative AI isn’t just influencing immediate product features though. It’s also shaping our plans of a more intelligent, dynamic, and accessible AI solution.
How do you anticipate Chooch AI Vision solutions developing over the next year?
Given the dynamic nature of the computer vision industry, it is challenging to make definitive predictions about how Chooch’s AI Computer Vision platform will develop over the next year. However, I can say with certainty that we’ll continue to adapt, evolve, and innovate to ensure our product remains relevant, user-friendly, and technologically advanced.
Our highly skilled team is adept at rapidly integrating new technologies into our platform. Regardless of whatever new advancements or trends might emerge in the AI and no-code sectors, we are committed to incorporating these in a manner that enhances our user experience and simplifies AI lifecycle management.
While we will always strive for innovation, I recognize the importance of constantly improving our existing products. Our focus will remain on refining and perfecting our current offerings, based on customer feedback and our own insights, to provide the best solutions for our users.
Our goal over the next year, and beyond, is to solidify Chooch’s standing as a key player in the generative AI field. We want to offer top-tier, easy-to-use solutions that address real-world challenges.
What do you do to empower product managers at Chooch?
Empowering my product managers to speak up and share ideas is very important to me. I believe in fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility in each of them. When a product manager feels truly responsible for their product, it not only inspires a higher level of commitment but also enables them to better manage relationships with engineers, salespeople, and customers.
I strive to instill an “evangelist” mindset in our product managers. Instead of just working for a paycheck (the “mercenary” mindset), I want them to believe in our product and its potential to make a difference. I want them to see themselves as champions for their products, advocating for the best outcomes for our users and our company.
I hold weekly meetings to discuss product improvements, insights from the market, and developments in the product area. These sessions provide a platform for our product managers to share insights, collaborate on solutions, and learn from each other.
How do you help keep engineers engaged and motivated?
This involves a deep understanding of an engineer’s mindset and working style. At Chooch, we recognize that engineers thrive in environments where they have the autonomy to apply their creativity and problem-solving skills.
Instead of micromanaging or dictating how tasks should be done, I prefer to define what needs to be achieved. I outline the objectives, requirements, and expectations, then leave the ‘how’ part to the engineers. This approach respects their expertise and gives them the freedom to devise their own strategies and solutions.
What has been your biggest lesson learned as product lead?
At Chooch, I’ve experienced first-hand that creating a great product isn’t simply about building something we think is good or innovative; it’s about crafting a solution that meets the specific needs, preferences, and experiences of our users. This realization has emphasized the necessity of including our customers and partners in the product development process, seeking their insights, feedback, and validation before finalizing any product.
This approach has made us more attuned to our users and has led to products that truly solve their problems and enhance their operations. It has taught us the value of empathy in product development, ensuring that our focus is always on delivering value to our users, and not just on creating something we think is cool or impressive.
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