Connector Spotlight: Ian Foster



August 26, 2022

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Honest, curious, and contemplative is how Ian Foster, Lead Product Strategist here at Connected would describe himself. We would also add kind to the list considering the positive impact he has had on his friends’ professional lives as a mentor. When he’s not working on product strategy, you’ll find him travelling to places like Spain and Colombia or playing hockey and soccer. Find out what Ian’s favourite product is and how it helps him on a daily basis!

Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on?

My most recent project has been collaborating with other Connectors to convert our Product Thinking Playbook into an internal certification program. This will allow practitioners to connect our practice with our value proposition and mission of building better products.

What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?

Designing the certification program with a perfect balance of teaching new techniques that are absorbable, while staying true to the rigour of our practice of product development is the most interesting challenge I am facing. If this balance is successfully achieved, we will be able to provide a valuable and enriching experience to the participants. 

Where did you work before Connected?

Before my time at Connected, I was a Service Designer in digital banking at a Canadian financial institution. Ultimately, the service design team tried to understand, design, and change service delivery to be more enjoyable for customers and employees. I see numerous similarities between service design and product strategy which is my current focus at Connected.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?

I am most proud of being a helping hand in my friends’ careers. I’ve referred a lot of friends into roles in the past and mentored friends when trying to get jobs. While this was partially self-serving, I think it’s improved their personal lives and livelihood, and it’s great to see them succeed.

Do you have a mantra you live by?

No, but one of my favourite lines is from a poem by Robert Frost:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference”

What do you love to do outside of work?

I like to play a lot of sports, particularly hockey and soccer. I also really enjoy travelling to new places. My favourites have been Spain and Colombia and next on my list is South Africa. When I am not playing sports or travelling, I always have a book handy and currently it’s The Sympathizer.  My favourite books usually include anything by Hunter S. Thompson or David Foster Wallace.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?

Movie – Shawshank Redemption

Book – Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Album – In Rainbows by Radiohead

Describe yourself in three words. 

Honest, curious, and contemplative.

And finally, what’s your favourite product and why? 

I love the Mood Meter application as I use it consistently to keep track of my mood at different times of the day. I like how the digital experience has me diagnose my own mood, instead of having the technology do it (even though that technology is available). It also offers protocols if you are trying to shift your mood. It’s a simple, but smart app.

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