RAIN KIVIMÄGI

Tuum
4 min readFeb 1, 2023

Product Owner (Cards)

How did you get started in the Cards area?

Well, it wasn’t easy. My background was in Telecom and then I was invited to join Tuum to manage the card product line. The funny part was that the card product and a team did not exist at the time. Even funnier was that back then I didn’t know much about the banks’ systems, let alone the cards system specifics. I decided to give it a try.

The first month was spent Googling everything: glossary, card business, involved parties, card processes, etc. I learned so much and my brain was on overload by the information, it hurt at the end of each day. It soon became clear, based on the experience of others who have built such systems for banks, that usually an MVP (minimum viable product) is built in minimum 6 months by an experienced team but I had 4 months and needed a solid plan and help. A good professional knows his limits and when to ask for help. If there is a will there is a way.

That’s when rapid team building started. In the beginning, there were 2 of us — a very talented Tech Lead assigned to the team, I would not have gotten far without him. It was clear I needed extra help quickly. We outsourced 2 external experts who had developed such systems before and also mobilised forces inside the company. The CPO himself helped to develop a credit card account and contract management functionality for the product. So, we divided the MVP into smaller parts and worked in groups — divide and conquer! — if it worked for Julius Ceasar, it might work for me too.

What is one thing that you wish people knew about your job?

I would like to highlight that I am never bored in my job. It’s very challenging. There is still so much to learn on a daily basis and the work never gets done. There is always something to do. Currently, I have at least a 9-month long to-do list, and after each completed task, 2 new ones pop up. What I would also like to share is that it is impossible to please everyone. Saying “no” is crucial in a Product Owner’s role. This is something I’m still learning.

What do you enjoy most about working at Tuum?

I mostly enjoy that there is still much to learn, do, and achieve.

We also have talented and smart people here. I find them inspiring, have a lot to learn from them, and can do amazing things together. I strongly believe that if I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong room. It’s because of these people that I believe Tuum will succeed through all kinds of difficulties!

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

  1. Unlimited wishes :)
  2. Extra years — time is one of our most valuable resources. It’s not that I want to be immortal. Why? I believe life has more value when it has an expiration date — you don’t want to waste it. I’ve had a near-death experience and felt very alive afterward. Maybe an extra 500 years would be nice though — could experience more, learn more, and travel more. It would be cool to live several lives in different professions such as a professional athlete, dancer, yoga-surf instructor, warrior, farmer, scientist etc.
  3. Fast free Internet everywhere — slow Internet drives me crazy. The Internet has changed the way a person learns and remembers things, made movies and books easily accessible, and so on. The way I see it, basically, everyone who has access to the internet has a chance at a good life.

What are the items you can’t live without?

I definitely cannot live without a laptop. I have spent a large part of my life behind a screen. Studying, working, and entertaining. I recently realised that Netflix no longer has very good movies that I haven’t seen. I’m a big fan of movies.

I also cannot live without humor. A life without humor would be very sad. A day without laughter is a day wasted. Laughter is a cheap medicine and the best therapy. What I appreciate the most in my colleagues and team is that people have a sense of humor. I suggest that when recruiting we should do a joke test, to check a candidate’s sense of humor!

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Tuum

Close-knit group of bright & warm-hearted people from different cultures, working together to bring innovation to financial services & impact millions of people