Purple Squirrel Profile: Tam Su

Curate Partners Purple Squirrel Profile Series invites technical consultants to share their daily experiences, tips and tricks of the trade within our community. This is an in-depth look into one of Curate’s many diverse candidates.

Meet Tam, the latest Curate consultant in our Purple Squirrel Profile Series. Tam, Senior Director of Product at Crimson-Hexagon, is here to share with us his experience in UX and a glimpse into his impressive career.

Curate Partners: You have a very impressive resume with over 16 years experience in growing successful companies. What pushed you towards UX and CE when you were getting started? What did you like about it, or did you fall into it naturally.
Tam: I started a couple of companies while still in college. They both failed. Through those formative experiences, I learned the importance of not only well designed product, but the importance of well crafted customer experience from end to end.

CP: What do you like about these specialties and how have these positions shaped your career.
Tam: In startups, you find yourself moving in and out of different functions. At one startup, I was running product, accounts and QA at the same time. Through it all, the thread that ties everything together is the drive for excellent product UX and exceptional overall CX. At the end of the day, our goal is to make someone’s life a little better and that makes me smile.

CP: How important is UX and CE to technology companies (and companies in general) today versus 10 years ago? What are the major changes and developments in UX?
Tam: It’s always been critical. The big difference between now and then is more companies have found religion and we don’t have to sell it as much. Because of that, there’s a major shift towards lean UX where we are no longer in the mode of trying to justify our results. Instead, the focus is getting validated results efficiently.

CP: What advice do you have for new folks interested in a career in UX or product marketing?
Tam: Go take a psychology class. You’ll thank me for it.

CP: Now a little more about you- You recently made the cross country move from San Fran to Boston- what are the similarities? Key differences?
Tam: Both cities are port towns with lovely people and thriving tech scenes, and that’s about where the similarities end. SF is culturally very forward leaning. The Peter Pan syndrome is celebrated there, for example. Boston is much more grounded in tradition but not at the cost of innovation or having fun. SF drinks wine, Boston drinks beer. SF loves vegetarian fare, Boston loves seafood. SF has no weather, Boston has too much. SF has poop on the sidewalk, Boston is amazingly clean. The list goes on.

CP: What do you outside of growing successful business ventures.
Tam: When I have the time, I love to cook and learn new recipes. It’s creative in a very different way.