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Get to Know Jim Lowery
Jim Lowery joined Growers Edge in 2021 as Vice President of Product. With over three decades of experience in the Data and Technology industry, his efforts to transform and improve the Growers Edge product organization over the last year are already making a big difference in delivering highly valued products to the agriculture industry.
YOU HAVE WORKED IN THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY FOR OVER 33 YEARS. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE WAY GROWERS EDGE DEVELOPS PRODUCTS FOR THE FINTECH INDUSTRY?
What makes Growers Edge unique is what we aim for when developing products. I have always appreciated our aspirations toward being fast and straightforward. One of our company’s values is being ruthlessly simple, and we strive for that in all facets of product development. As the Vice President of Product, I love the autonomy we have been given to build high-quality. Our team aspires to build well-made products that solve problems for our customers.
YOU AND YOUR TEAM TAKE A SPECIAL APPROACH TO DELIVERING SOLUTIONS TO THE AGTECH INDUSTRY. WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO FINDING SOLUTIONS?
Finding solutions starts with understanding ag retailers, input manufacturers and their growers. Our solutions begin with a deep understanding of who each of these customers are and what problems they need our software to solve. Our approach is not to build and hope. Instead, we want to understand and develop software that addresses the needs of our customers.
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE FOR GROWERS EDGE IN THE COMING YEARS?
I like the cause that we are part of here—resilient ag, and the goal of helping farmers maximize productivity and profits. This is important for the future of agriculture and the world. We are closely partnering with ag retailers to get great technology directly into the hands of farmers. We are part of a cause that leads to future opportunities within the ag industry with our innovative technology and products.
IN THE TECH WORLD, MOST PRODUCTS ARE BOUGHT AND CONSUMED IMMEDIATELY, AND OURS IS OVER A PERIOD OF 18 MONTHS. DOES THAT POSE CHALLENGES TO YOUR GROUP?
In agtech, the nature of the products is different from anything else. Our products require additional capabilities to sustain the products over time. Since farmers may not see progress immediately, it has other complexities beyond us and requires excellent external communication over a sustained period.
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES IN YOUR POSITION?
When I first joined Growers Edge, I had some immediate goals. First, I needed to make sure we had the right people in the right roles on our team, and part of that was making sure there was clarity around who was here, what role they played, and what we needed of them. Growers Edge needed a capable team who could deliver. Before I arrived, the team wasn’t always delivering on our promises, and we needed to become reliable and predictable. In the ten months that I’ve been here, we’ve made great strides, and now my focus will turn more to actual product development, which includes improving upon the products we have today and finding new products to serve ag retailers and farmers.
HOW DO YOU BUILD AN ENGAGED CULTURE IN A REMOTE ENVIRONMENT?
I have made it a goal to get to know people whether they are in the office or not. I want to learn about their families and hobbies and learn what they like or dislike about their roles on our team. It hasn’t always been easy trying to get to know people personally in a remote environment, especially as someone who enjoys face-to-face interaction, but I have been striving to get better, and I think it’s helped everyone on the team feel more welcome.
HOW DO YOU DELIVER QUALITY WHEN WORKING IN A FAST-PACED ENVIRONMENT?
I am a believer quality is not an afterthought. It must be addressed upfront, and it’s just as important as the capabilities of a product, website, apps and even billing statements. Because eventually, those will all make their way to a customer, we have to make sure everything is of quality the whole way through as we design them. When I walked in, we had a separate quality team responsible for ensuring our products had quality built-in after the product was finished. I have shifted those responsibilities to everyone, meaning the software engineers, designers, and product managers share this role and ensure quality every step of the way.
IS THERE ANYTHING WE DIDN’T COVER?
Over the years, I have learned highly talented technology professionals want to be on purpose-driven, high-performing teams. Very few individuals want to go to a place where they feel head and shoulders above their colleagues. People want to be around like-minded individuals they can learn from. Developing a product isn’t all we do. We invest in the people who work here and prepare them for all future endeavors, so they are ready to be the best and do the best wherever they go. Learning is fundamental and giving people the opportunity to become their best matters to me as a leader.
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