Laura Oppenheimer is the lead product manager on Bubble’s Growth team. She joined Bubble in late 2022 after spending the 2022 midterm elections season as a state director for Tech for Campaigns, a nonprofit that places tech talent as volunteers on down-ballot democratic and progressive campaigns. Prior to that she spend the last decade-plus working in the education technology (Edtech) space as both a marketing and product leader.
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Tell us about your journey to Bubble.
When I first left college, I worked as a journalist and writer. But, when I moved back to the Bay Area in 2008, journalism jobs were tough to come by, so I ended up landing in tech in a customer success role. My time in that role not only helped me learn the ins and outs of the product but also gave me intimate knowledge of our customer. Armed with that expertise, I was able to make the jump to marketing.
Since then, I’ve had the chance to lead several marketing teams, eventually landing at Quizlet. Leading the marketing team there was one of my most transformative experiences, but after 4 years of amazing growth, I decided to make the leap into a Product role to lead Quizlet through some key strategic bets. After 10 years in EdTech, I joke that I was tired of trying to think of new ways to get kids to do their homework - that’s when I decided to join Bubble!
What did you notice about Bubble while interviewing?
The people I met while interviewing were so interested in me and how I thought about things. They truly wanted to get to know me and my approach to problem solving and collaboration. My PM background is a little bit non-traditional, in that I’ve spent a lot of time in marketing/marketing leadership roles; rather than see that as a negative, the people I met with saw that as a value add, which made me even more excited to be part of the organization. From a recruiting specific perspective, I was very appreciative of the structured approach to interviewing; I had done a bunch of interviewing over the summer and the interview loops would stretch on for weeks. In contrast, I completed all my interviews for Bubble over a couple of days. What a refreshing experience!
What surprised you in your first few months?
The onboarding to Bubble is designed to make sure that you as an employee actually know how to program in Bubble. So the first three weeks of life at Bubble is structured around a gentle but intensive introduction to Bubble as a language and product. I assumed I would start right away doing PM work but the onboarding is very intentional about giving you space to learn the Bubble platform.
I was also surprised how open people here are so open to new ideas or ways of getting things done and there’s no defensiveness of “Oh, that’s how we’ve done it before.”
What are you most excited about?
Bubble is incredibly powerful for our customers - thousands of people have built successful businesses on Bubble and we’ve also invented a new job in the market, “Bubble Developer.” I love hearing the stories of people who didn’t think there was a place for them in tech, and then found Bubble and opened up a new income stream or were able to create a job for themselves that they never thought would be possible. But learning how to build on Bubble can be challenging. I’m excited to work on ways that we can make onboarding to Bubble easier so that more people can get to that “aha moment” and realize that their vision is truly possible on Bubble.
What is unique about working at Bubble?
A fun benefit we have is an $800 work from home office enablement benefit. I realized working from home that one thing I don’t have in my “office” is a janitorial staff. So, I bought a Roomba to see if that might be a good replacement.
On a more robust note, one cool thing is that we are aggressive “dogfooders” of our own product, meaning we have an entire product development team that programs on Bubble (almost everything on Bubble.io is built on Bubble). The coolest thing about this is how much faster our Bubble developers are than our full-stack developers. It’s the only development org I’ve ever been part of where the engineers are consistently faster than product is in shaping out new products to work on.
Describe a typical day in the life as a Lead Product Manager at Bubble.
I’m based in San Francisco but much of my team is on the east coast – both the folks in product and design who I work with most closely and also my cross functional engineering partners. Because of that I try to start my day at 7:30 AM so we can maximize our overlap. An added bonus of this is I’m usually wrapped up with my day by 4pm.
I like to spend as much time as I can doing user research and talking to customers, so typically a day will have some sort of research component — either diving into data and trying to understand a pattern or talking with customers over Google Meet. Right now I’m researching why people who start free trials don’t always convert to being a paid customer, so I’m in the midst of a series of 30 minute calls with people who are mid building on Bubble.
We work in sprints as a team, so my day may also have some sprint rituals — I do daily standup, as well as ticket refinement to make sure we always know what work we have in front of us as a team. Beyond that, I meet with designers and PMMs that I work with, spend time exploring solutions for different customer problems we could tackle next and evaluate experiment results. It varies a lot from day to day.
Proudest moment so far?
I think I have a lot more to do here! But one of the areas I’ve been excited about as a product leader is helping drive improved communication between the product team and our cross functional stakeholders. This is something that’s always a work in progress and I was excited to be able to propose some places where I thought we could do better and get a warm reception.
What Bubble Value do you resonate with the most?
Fire! I am all about a fast B being better than a slow A. I love getting things done, making things happen for our customers and then seeing things in the wild. Get results, iterate, put them back out there and repeat!