Elena Plescan, Product Manager at Scanner Pro on her internship at Twitter and a way to product management

Readdle is a team of 200+ amazingly talented professionals who have different backgrounds and experiences, but the same values and desire to create great products that bring value to people. We decided to tell you more about Readdlers and today we welcome Elena Plescan, Product Manager at Scanner Pro.

How did you start your international career?

I was born and raised in Moldova. As I was majoring in Marketing I was an active member of a global youth organization which convinced me to jump-start my career internationally. 

Straight out of school, I joined an Indian e-commerce start-up and was thriving in the company’s fast-paced environment. I was craving more opportunities to interact with customers, so I joined a Chinese luxury furniture retailer, where I was directly responsible for managing foreign clients and training sales representatives. 

After almost 3 years spent in Asia, I decided to come back home, being confident that with the accumulated experience I can contribute to the growth of the local industry. I joined Moldova’s biggest wine holding and later transitioned to a digital agency to focus on implementing digital campaigns.

Tell us more about your study at the top world MBA programs and the internship at Twitter

I believe marketers will agree with me when I say that the marketing department is only called when the product is ready and it’s time to develop a launch plan. Marketing professionals don’t have as much clout in the company and that was one of my biggest frustrations. I craved more ownership and my way of getting that was to transition to a career in product.

I came to Kellogg School of Management (the top 3 best business schools in the US) to help me transition into a product management role. During two years I continued building a solid data analytics and marketing core. During the summer, I got an internship at Twitter as a Product Manager. I was the first-ever PM intern the company had! It was an awesome experience in the heart of San Francisco, where I created a strategy for Twitter’s business accounts.

How did you join Readdle?

My first "contact" with the company was through Denys Zhadanov, Readdle’s Board Member, ex-VP of Marketing, at a conference. I was mesmerized by the story of four Ukrainian friends who bootstrapped a company, which got recognition from Apple itself. At that point, I was already using (and loving) multiple Readdle products – PDF Expert, Documents, and Spark. So, when I finished my studies I applied for a job and was super-lucky to join the Scanner Pro team. I have been with the company for over 2 years and it’s been a very exciting journey.

What drives you the most?

Helping people. I know it sounds cliche, but I want to work in a product that has the ability to bring value to millions of people on a regular basis. We’re proud to help 9M people of all backgrounds, occupations, and ages to digitize documents: from students to retirees, from CEOs to truck drivers. Most users scan receipts, invoices, contracts, and other important documents, however, there are ‘surprising’ cases as well. This summer we spoke to a Las Vegas library guard who used Scanner Pro to file witness reports for the police every time someone threw a fight in the library. 

What are your key team achievements in 2020?

The team’s biggest achievement was launching Scanner Pro 8.0 with a fresh new look, enhanced user experience, and deeply integrated on-device text recognition. We’ve redesigned the entire app to make the scanning and organizing of documents simpler and faster. Auto-OCR in 26 languages enables users to copy and share the text from their scans, while also being able to search by text contained within scans. The release was the result of very intensive teamwork and a big win for our team. Also, Scanner Pro was awarded “The Editors’ Choice” by Apple and was put on the list of the top paid apps of 2020.

What skills are important for a product manager?

A manager is only as good as her team. My job is to hire people who are way smarter than me and enable them to do their job. I’m trying to learn not to get hung up on not being the best-informed person in the room but instead bringing my team together to find the best answer.

Most of the time we don’t have complete information to make a decision. In reality, the information we’re waiting for might never come, so it’s important to avoid becoming paralyzed by the lack of it. Handling risk and uncertainty, as well as being comfortable making mistakes, is very important for a PM.

Finally, saying ‘no’ is not always pleasant, but very important. The things we chose to do are as crucial as the things we don’t do. There is only so much you can do on any given day and by dispersing your efforts on everything you end up achieving very little. So my job is to sift through ideas, choose the ones we’ll work on, and explain why we won’t be investing time in others. 

Where do you get inspiration?

I love discovering new cultures, so I keep a vlog where I talk about my expat lifestyle. Currently, I’m living in Odessa and I share the reality of living in Eastern Europe. Check out my channel here.

If you want to develop the best scanning app for your iPhone and iPad with Elena and her team, explore our job opportunities on our Careers page.

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