A Productive Conversation: Ben Bauman

Products are solved puzzles that help solve puzzles

You are the Head of Product. What does that entail?

Ben Bauman: As Head of Product at Hatch, my role involves overseeing the entire lifecycle of our product and its features, from initial concept to launch and ongoing iteration. This includes market and user research, strategic planning, and working closely with cross-functional teams — Engineering, Design, Marketing, and Sales — to ensure that we build and deliver products that meet user needs and drive business objectives. It’s about ensuring that all elements of the product align with our vision and goals and creating a seamless user experience.

Is there a metaphorical ‘Foot of Product’?

Ben Bauman: Yes, in a way. The end-user experience of a product can be seen as the “foot,” while the vision and strategy are the “head.” Both are crucial and must be in sync. The product’s success depends on how well the vision translates into a tangible, user-friendly solution. Every part of the product and underlying technology must work together cohesively, much like how a body functions.

How did you become a Head of Product?

Ben Bauman: I’ve been in Product Management for 20 years, starting as an individual contributor and progressively taking on more senior Product Leadership roles. Early in my career at Net2Phone and IDT Telecom, I created innovative new products and lines of business that generated significant new revenue streams. These experiences laid a strong foundation in understanding the full product lifecycle and driving business growth through strategic product development. I then moved on to Product Leadership roles at fast-growing startups, building teams and developing cutting-edge B2B SaaS solutions. My approach to Product Management emphasizes strategic vision, innovation, and user-centric design. As a Founder myself, I love building businesses from the ground up, and I jumped at the opportunity to join Hatch at an early stage.

What distinguishes a product from produce, in the context of Product Management?

Ben Bauman: In Product Management, a product refers to a technology solution designed to solve specific user problems, such as a website, app, or software feature. It’s a strategic endeavor focused on delivering value and meeting business objectives. Produce, on the other hand, typically refers to agricultural goods like fruits and vegetables. However, in a broader sense, both involve creating something valuable, whether it’s a tangible item or a digital solution.

Can you describe your process for leading product development?

Ben Bauman: Leading product development starts with comprehensive research and analysis. We gather data to understand user needs, market trends, and competitive landscape. This involves engaging with stakeholders and identifying challenges and opportunities. Based on this, we create a product strategy and roadmap that outlines our vision, goals, and key milestones. The design and development phases are iterative, involving constant testing and refinement to ensure the product meets user expectations. It’s like solving a jigsaw puzzle, where each piece must fit perfectly to create a cohesive whole. This process ensures adaptability and continuous improvement based on user feedback and market changes.

Why is it called a “jigsaw” puzzle in the context of product development?

Ben Bauman: The term “jigsaw puzzle” aptly describes the complexity of product development. Each piece—be it user feedback, technical constraints, or market requirements—must fit together to form a complete, functional product. The process requires meticulous planning, coordination, and adaptability to ensure that all elements work together harmoniously, much like assembling a jigsaw puzzle.

What is your ultimate vision for your product, or as you called it, your ‘Hatch fantasy’?

Ben Bauman: My ultimate vision for Hatch is to enable non-profits to raise more money with less friction, and drive a movement of generosity and support that truly makes the world a better place. By leveraging technology, we aim to empower these organizations to amplify their impact and further their missions, creating a ripple effect of positive change.


Sir Hatch

If you were to meet Sir Hatch at a hotel bar or on an international flight you would encounter a highly skilled conversationalist with the adroit ability to crunch complex ideas into enjoyable digestifs. As your encounter deepens, you will see a lover of humans and machines, one who knows that the latter was created for the former, not the other way around. Sir Hatch uses long words at times, but only when there is no shorter one. He may tech, but he will never technobabble. Sir Hatch is a regular guy with a spectacular vision, which of course is way better than a spectacular guy with a regular vision. After meeting Sir Hatch you feel yourself aspiring to fulfill that spectacular vision. Not because Sir Hatch sold you on it, but because you realized that you were sold from birth.

Wait. There’s more

Never miss a thing