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Instabase Spotlight: Bridging the gap between technology and business value with Clemens Mewald, Head of Product Management

Oct 05,2022

We’re thrilled to welcome Clemens Mewald, a proven leader with deep experience delivering innovative products and customer experiences for enterprises. At Instabase, Clemens will lead Instabase’s growing product management team globally. In this spotlight, we’ll highlight Clemens’ background, journey to Instabase, and his vision for the role.

About Clemens:

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Clemens has built a successful track record as a product and technology leader in the AI and machine learning space. Clemens joins Instabase from Databricks, where he spent more than three years leading the product team for Machine Learning and Data Science. Before Databricks, Clemens served on the Google Brain Team building AI infrastructure for Alphabet, where his product portfolio included TensorFlow and TensorFlow Extended (TFX). Clemens holds an MSc in computer science from UAS Wiener Neustadt, Austria, and an MBA from MIT Sloan.

Why did you join Instabase?

I’ve been focused on bringing this technology to enterprises ever since my time at MIT, where my fascination with AI began. While we have seen a tremendous amount of innovation in the AI space, from generative models to transformer-based architectures used in large language models, we are barely scratching the surface when it comes to applying these technologies to real business problems.

What makes Instabase appealing to me is our strategic position at this moment in time and our vision to democratize access to AI to solve these business problems. Enterprises are sitting on a wealth of unstructured data assets that are either painstakingly processed by humans or not utilized at all. We have proven that we can unlock the value of this data for some of the biggest enterprises in the most demanding industries like financial services and insurance. Beyond that, we will continue to innovate, build, and enhance our platform functionality and offerings to expand across new verticals.

I love this William Gibson quote, “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.” Recent breakthroughs in AI have had a profound impact within big tech companies, but not every organization is able to benefit from them at this point. At Instabase, I’m excited to help accelerate that.

Please tell us about your main responsibilities and what the position will entail. 

I will be leading the product management team by driving the process of product strategy formulation and outlining Instabase’s vision for the product management function. We have only scratched the surface in terms of the overall growth opportunity, and our team is excited to bridge the gap between what is possible with technology and research and what drives business value for our customers.   

We will complement the efforts of our world-class go-to-market and engineering organization by driving customer adoption and value.

 What makes a successful product management leader?

  • Empathy: Everything we do is about delivering a delightful experience for our customers. Following Ben Horowitz’s “shocking rules” recommendation to build a strong culture, I tell every product manager that they are not entitled to their own opinion but instead are expected to put themselves in our customer’s shoes and represent their voice within the company.
  • Ownership: We are accountable for the success of the product, whatever it takes. I believe in empowering product managers and giving them the freedom to execute and expect them to take full ownership of their product’s success. 
  • Influencing without authority: By organizational design, product managers usually don’t have formal authority over any of the teams that actually build and deliver their products. Being able to influence those cross-functional teams to drive outcomes is a critical attribute for product managers. 

What makes you excited about the future of Instabase?

As someone who is driven by impact, I will say it’s the sheer size of the opportunity. We see the massive market opportunity companies like Snowflake and Databricks have been able to tap into with structured data platforms. At Instabase, we have the right technology and talent to capture a market that is at least 4x bigger by unlocking the value of unstructured data. The crazy thing is Instabase isn’t not just promising this, we are already delivering on it in some of the world’s largest financial institutions! So that’s what makes me excited about Instabase’s future.