Feature Friday: Benny Bowden

Hello SnapStream universe! Here at SnapStream, our people are everything, and we like to show them off. This week, meet our our product designer, Benny!

How did you find SnapStream?

I was looking for a new role that was remote. So I was scouring LinkedIn and all kinds of places for remote type work, but, funny enough, the role came through a friend of a friend of a friend that knew SnapStream’s President Tom (Cabanski) who was looking for a designer. I think they had been previous co-workers, so I connected with Tom and the rest is history. I started SnapStream probably three weeks later.

Tell us about your role at SnapStream?

I am a product designer, SnapStream’s single product designer, which means I work with our company’s leadership and product team to determine what features we want to build and then how we want to build them. I create designs and specifications and instructions for the user interface and how the experience of that feature should work. I then work with the engineering team to implement the design.

What are some ways that you have grown since you’ve joined snap stream.

In previous roles, I typically worked on new products, so we were building from scratch with users who were onboarding for the first time. This is my first experience working on a product with some history and background. SnapStream as a company, and as a product, is over 10 years old. As a designer I have to take into account what does that mean for our customers. And, more importantly, what does that mean for building new features for those users or even changing the way existing features work that they’ve been using for over 10 years.

What is one of your favorite things about SnapStream?

I’ve been remote with SnapStream from the start, and so there were a lot of unknowns about how integrating into a company culture would work without ever meeting people I’d be working with in person. It’s actually been really good. SnapStream has a lot of good habits and practices and processes in place that make everybody feel like an integrated part of the team, even though we’re not in person. I think that is really important and something that the world is still trying to figure out right now, but SnapStream is doing a great job.

A close second is that we all trust each other to be the experts in our domains. SnapStream, comparatively to some other tech companies, is fairly small. We’re only 32 people. So that requires a lot of trust, and I have experienced walking out that trust with each other and allowing ourselves to be the experts in own domain. Yes, there are challenges and verifying that the decisions we’re making are right, but allowing people to go with their gut and make decisions has been another really big positive.

What do you like to do when you’re not working at SnapStream?

I live in Kansas City with my wife and my dog, and we spent a lot of time with family. My wife and I really enjoy experiencing coffee. I say experiencing coffee, because almost every weekend is a journey from the suburbs to the city to try a new coffee shop or to learn about a new place that we haven’t been before or revisit a favorite place. Coffee’s really close to our hearts. I also like to run. My wife and I participate in a relay race every year with friends from college and other people we’ve met along the way. Staying fit and trying to stay ready for that each year when it comes around is a lot of fun, I really enjoy it. It’s a really unique run over a 36 hour period where you and 11 people on a team take turns running legs for a total of 36 legs. Each person runs three legs on the race and varying distances. In all, you end up running about 200 miles in that 36 hours passing pass the baton off to each person. Two vans take turns letting people run the legs, so you sleep when when you’re not running. But usually the adrenaline is pumping so much, and you’re having so much fun that you don’t really get much sleep until afterwards.