On the Rise: JP Garnier
Lead Product and Design for AndGo | Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 36
What was your first job in the industry?
I was an intern at Goodyear in 2015. My first project was research on how the future of mobility would impact a tire company and what new value propositions could Goodyear create with new mobility companies in areas such as ride hailing and car sharing. Specifically, I assisted in a research project with Uber in Mexico.
What attracted you to the industry?
I was drawn to the changes happening in mobility around the world. This is an industry that is slated for big changes as mobility evolves, becoming more accessible, sustainable and digitally driven.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
I’m going through the biggest challenge in my career! I am leading a digital product and design team that is building a complex platform application from the ground up. I am in charge of design, strategy and product direction as well as building and recruiting a new team. The application we are building, called AndGo, is a complex and ambitious product that requires a team that is inspired, organized and directed with the right research and context to address new customer pain points effectively.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Our team at Goodyear and AndGo has had the biggest influence on my career, especially working with my manager, AndGo’s General Manager. Together we’ve addressed some interesting problems, while always being agile and moving forward. We take a design-forward approach that allows us to address all kinds of problems, from creating new team processes and frameworks, to pivoting our business to grow during the pandemic.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
AndGo is a fleet servicing platform that facilitates maintenance for vehicles that are shared, electric and autonomous. The facilitation happens through a digital application that orchestrates all the work creating a seamless, effortless, and transparent experience for fleet managers and vehicle owners. My biggest accomplishment was to move the AndGo platform from a minimum viable prototype to a more mature and feature-rich platform. This effort took enormous coordination and lots of work but we’ve been seeing very positive results, such as revenue growth and utilization month over month. I would also add a second accomplishment was helping to set up Goodyear Ventures, which is Goodyear’s corporate venture capital fund that aims to invest $100 million in the next few years in new mobility startups and tech companies.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am the head of product and design for AndGo by Goodyear. In this role I set the items on our roadmap by aligning with other business teams in AndGo. In turn I coordinate the design, build and release of the roadmap items with multiple teams of designers, developers, and other engineers.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
You don't need to know and do everything! A good team can be self-managed if they have the right information to make critical decisions about their work.
Tell us about your family.
I live with my girlfriend of seven years, Aly, and our puppy of three months, Mita. I met Aly during my MBA in Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and haven't looked back since. She's a Midwestern woman whose family is spread out across the U.S., and I'm Costa Rican, with family in the states as well. This all makes for a super busy year of travelling to see family, especially in the holidays! We live in a tiny apartment in San Francisco.
What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I came into my own as a leader during Covid. Our product needed to pivot to meet the moment and survive the pandemic, and the team needed to work and feel that we were moving forward. Working from home, we all have to be disciplined and empathetic. I learned how to listen, when to say no, how to establish boundaries, and how to humanize myself in front of the team.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I was an athlete! I am not an athletic person — even though I enjoy my workouts and diet. I simply have no talent in sports. If I got to pick it would be either surfing, triathlon or rock climbing.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
I like to go to the gym. I get to run, bike, swim, lift and just disconnect with some good music in my ears. I'm also getting into walking my dog, she's learning, but getting better every day.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I really enjoyed Barbarian Days, A Surfing Life. This is the life story of Will Finnegan, a life-long surfer and adventurer. It's a jewel that everyone should read if they wonder what it's like to surf.
What’s your favorite, can’t-miss podcast?
I really like Bay Curious, a podcast about the historical curiosities of the Bay Area, where I live. A runner up is Bill Maher’s podcast, which I never miss.
If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)
I would win gold in the new triathlon: surf, run, climb. You compete by surfing until you get a 8+ point ride, then you run half a marathon until the foot of your climb which you free solo for the win.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
Changes in mobility are shifting vehicle ownership and increasing expectations of services. Over time, end consumers as well as fleets of vehicles expect the same level of experience from their maintenance service provider as they do from an Amazon delivery: extreme convenience, short turnarounds, competitive price. This industry shift opens up the service industry to new incoming players who can build new services that match customer experiences and put the big incumbents out of business.
What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?
I am not familiar with how dealers find talent, but I can speak about my own experiences hiring for the digital team of AndGo: create a culture that people want to join and put in the work and don't settle.
In 2020-2021 we learned how difficult it can be to find talent. The market for product candidates is hot, and they all have offers in hand. This has led to pretty big efforts to get talent. What we've learned is building a strong team culture has proven an asset that helps us find excellent candidates. We now talk more about our team, and make sure that each candidate talks to other team members. But we still put in the hours when looking for great talent. I personally conduct anywhere from two to 10 interviews every week to fill our roles, and we're not scared to be picky.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I hope to be creating paradigm-shifting products. I love innovation, design, change. I hope to be fulfilling my part in making the world new and better through new business innovation and new product development. And hopefully also surfing, running, climbing — all the fun stuff.