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Meet Tony

Posted on 4/4/2018 7:00:00 PM by Chief Team



Tony Caruso
Product Manager


Describe the work you do.
Essentially, it’s to gather empathy and relate to customer pain points to see if we can solve their problems by using existing product, modifying existing product, or developing a new product. There’s a lot of iteration, but it really starts up front with who you are, what you are trying to accomplish, what you want the solution to reflect. How do they create that experiential impact they are trying to achieve? Creative people have these visions and it takes a lot of listening and discussion to drill down to what they want to accomplish and translate that into features and benefits of products.

What drew you to this work?
I just really enjoy the creativity and innovation, not necessarily in product sense, but in applications and experiences. How you attain that wow effect is through inspired minds getting together to combine creativity and innovative products to make something that’s never been built before. It’s easy to get enthusiastic about.

I really value the concept of design thinking in our approach – focusing on the intersection of desirability, feasibility and viability. You may create a fantastic widget, but that alone is insufficient. Innovation is finding a way to use that widget to alleviate a need in an economically viable way. You have to meet the customer in their realm to find out what they are trying to accomplish and what they value. I like the idea of going to installations and using our product in the field, feeling the energy of installers, having that perspective is super critical to developing quality product.

What interests you about digital signage?
Creativity. You need to be creative to stand out, keep attention and maintain engagement. It’s not easy to do. It’s challenging, creative, and fun. It’s a pretty big factor in so many different industries. For example, the projection mapping at many museum exhibits – you can show up to a museum and see artifacts behind glass, but when you bring in that type of unique and engaging content, it becomes a place you want to go to again.

What is a common misconception about digital signage you often have to correct?
That it’s not worth the investment – some may ask why replace a static poster with a display. It may be hard to see up front what return you are getting and, at times, it can be hard to quantify at all. We are getting better at that with cameras and analytics to show measurable returns It’s not hard to find case studies showing the return on investment in digital signage.

What trends are you seeing in 2018?
Leveraging it to the next level to measure the impact. There are cameras, sensors and other peripherals that are quantifying engagement and impact. We can learn how to best optimize the digital signage in much the same way websites are using data to see what headlines are or aren’t getting clicks.

Displays are also trending bigger at lower prices which certainly adds to the visual impact. Another trend that is cool is flexible LED. It literally adds another dimension to the digital signage solution. What are the applications for that? Retail, hospitality, you name it. It’s novel already, but certainly as you see more and more creative people working with it, the applications will become apparent

What personality traits work well with what you do?
Being up for problem solving. When trying new stuff, you will run into new problems, so being able to think quick on your feet or creatively problem solve is something that is helpful. Collaboration helps, too. I think some of the coolest stuff is rarely one person’s idea.

PatrickwithTony

What frustrates you?
Hearing “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

What excites you?
When I hear let’s try something new. Brainstorming and flaring on ideas no matter how crazy. Seeing the end product and how it all comes together is the best.

Do you have other hobbies or interests?
Right now, it’s mostly focused on family. I have a 2-year-old and a newborn, so most of my outside of work time is family related. We’ve got big families on both sides with 12 nieces and nephews, so there is always a birthday party or holiday for family time.

Where did you grow up?
St. Paul. The house I was born in was about two miles from the house my dad lived in as a teenager. That’s a mile from the house he grew up in. And the one he grew up in was a mile from the house my grandmother moved to from Italy. Probably safe to say I’m proud of my roots.

What makes something a good idea for you?
An idea that gets more engagement. Ideas that make you question norms in the industry.

What is your favorite non-dirty curse word?
Weak sauce.