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Bern, Switzerland



Tanja Lau / siroop


Former Employer, Start-up

In 2015, in the early days of siroop I was asked by the founders to join their crew as Head of Product. A lot of passion and hard work went into the project aiming at bringing the first open online-marketplace to Swiss customers. My first focus was on prototyping, validating our assumptions and launching the first beta version of the marketplace from scratch within four months. In parallel, I recruited the UX team as well as my fellow product managers while siroop as whole company was also growing at full speed.

Within 3 years, we managed to onboard over 600 merchants, serve over 400’000 customers as well as scaling our team up to 200 siroopies. However, sadly despite fulfilling the goals that were set for us in 2017 and shortly after launching our brand new shop platform in January 2018, our investors decided to pull the plug on the project. At this point in time I had already decided to leave siroop due to my personal situation (commuting 3 hours a day and working at a 100% pensum with toddler at home).

My most valuable learnings include:

  • Being well-funded is not always a blessing. You might feel tempted to scale too early (especially in regards to employees) or weaken your guerilla spirit.
  • It takes a lot of courage to launch an MVP when you are in the media spotlight from day 1. 
  • Building a lean tech and PM organization is not enough. In order to build a truly customer-centered company, all departments including their budgets and business cases need to live and breath the agile spirit.
  • Culture at scale is a full-time job and building a truly learning organization is one of the biggest challenges. 

I am very grateful I got the chance to be part of this bold and challenging project. In case you are interested in additional background, I can recommend reading this article:

Product Leader, Speaker, Consultant & Entrepreneur