When Vildan grew up, she dreamt of being a psychologist – trying to understand people's inner world and soul. Her job as a product manager at Tibber isn't too far off, since she spends her working days trying to understand our app users and their needs. We've asked Vildan about the other aspects of her work (prioritization!) and her personal life (painting and birds!), so that you can get to know her a bit.
'Meet the Tribe' is a series of articles in which we get to know the faces behind the app, analytics, user experience, sustainability, PR, support, engineering and growth at Tibber.
Name: Vildan Muallaoglu
Works in: Product management
Office location: Stockholm
Comes from: Istanbul, Turkey
Dream jobs as a child: Psychologist
Weirdest habit: When Vildan sees a spider in her dreams, she jumps out of bed and starts running through the house, screaming (happens almost every month)
Hi Vildan! Let's start with the things that give you energy in life.
I have two budgies that I like to spend time with when I'm at home. They're named Kiwi and Gigi and they give me a lot of energy and happiness. Being in nature and collecting this and that (think blueberries and mushrooms or pine cones, branches and leaves for some seasonal spirit in my house) gives me a lot of energy, too. Luckily, I live in the perfect place for that!
👆 Vildan's budgies Kiwi and Gigi
How different is life in Stockholm compared to your hometown Istanbul?
The nature here in Stockholm is amazing – that's something I couldn't find in my hometown. Istanbul is a crazy city: it's crowded and busy, but it's also home to a big variety of art, history, nightlife, street food and neighborhoods. You can find a bohemian style in one part of the city and a top-notch style in the other. This variety is amazing, but it also comes at a cost: a chaotic life. For example, you never know if you're going to make it to work on time in the morning. That's one of the reasons that I moved to Stockholm, to find some more order in my daily life – but also to discover more of the world.
How's it going with your Swedish so far? Any favourite words?
The bitter truth is that I speak Swedish, but I don't fully understand it. Usually, it's the other way around: people can understand, but they have difficulty speaking the language. For me, it's the opposite. 🙃 My favourite word is 'vild’, which means ‘wild’ – it's even included in my name!
What did you do before joining Tibber?
My very first work experience was at a game studio in Istanbul. Together with an amazing team, we produced casual games such as Cafeland and Cooking Tale, that were published on Facebook and mobile platforms. After I moved to Stockholm almost five years ago, my work not only focused on product, but it also included a lot of marketing aspects. That's when I realized I wanted to go 'back home' – back to product development. I saw that Tibber was looking for a product manager that could also bring in a gamification perspective and so I applied! I've been working at Tibber since May this year now, back in product design.
Gamification sounds cool – can you explain what it is?
Gamification is about including some game dynamics in an app that is not designed to be a game per se. It might be a competition area where users can follow their ranking on a leaderboard, enjoy some team spirit and collaborate with other users, or simply try to achieve a goal within an app. Adding such functions can add some fun and engagement alongside the information and technical integrations in the Tibber app.
What else are your tasks, besides bringing in a gamification perspective?
I work in a squad that's called Engagement & Referrals. As the name suggests, our job is to improve the engagement and increase referrals.* More specifically, we are trying to improve how our users interact with the app, provide more and more valuable data in there, and offer all the functionalities they need. My role as a product manager is to define what brings the most value to our users and try to plan and shape it in the best way possible. I do this by discussing with our designers and developers and by collaborating with other squads.
*Editor's note: a squad is a group of Tibber colleagues from different disciplines, working together on the same topic. We're speaking of a referral when a Tibber customer invites a friend, for which they both receive a bonus of 50 euros to spend on smart gadgets in the Tibber Store.
What's the best part about your job at Tibber?
It's fun to translate customer needs into a good experience in the app, but it’s even more exciting to adopt an inside-out approach and to surprise users with a really nice feature. But above all, I am so lucky to be part of a fantastic team. It's a pleasure to sit together at the table, discuss and find smart solutions!
Any challenges that come with the job?
It's always a challenge to know if we're having a good prioritization at the moment. Every day, new requests are coming in or new bugs are reported. I think that's the biggest challenge: knowing what and what not to integrate into the planning, both long term and short term.
What do you think the future of the energy industry will look like?
The houses we live in are going to be smarter than we can ever imagine. People will have ultimate control over their costs and will be able to maximize energy efficiency through IoT. Right now, at Tibber, we are building the grounds for that, by letting users hold smart energy management in their hands. With Tibber, users themselves are co-creating value in the app, and we are enabling it. I think that in the future, many companies will follow Tibber’s lead in this.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
I like to paint! I'm trying out different techniques: water colour, crayons, oil painting, acrylic. I follow painters that I like and I'm always impressed and motivated by their artwork. I also try to reproduce them at home and collect them in my own painting book.
👆Vildan's reproduction of a painting by Adriaen van Ostade
If you were to choose a movie character, who would you be?
Furiosa in the movie Mad Max: Fury Road. She's half organic, half mechanic, and a real survivor. I like her energy and competence – I think that's my dream character!
Do you want to become a part of the Tibber Tribe? Check out our career page for open positions ⚡️