January 4, 2023
Prior to Photon, I had the pleasure of working at a mission-driven organization for the first time. It was a great feeling waking up every morning knowing that my efforts that day could possibly ensure humanity’s continued and prosperous future on this planet. When I left that position to pursue my MBA, I knew that I had to find a program that would emphasize the same. I went to Portland State University because of its focus on sustainability within the curriculum. Upon graduation, it was really important for me to find a company that was building a product and culture that emphasized what I had been practicing and researching for the last few years. I also wanted to find a shop that would utilize my background in software and hardware development; not just any product management position would do.
I serendipitously contacted Marcelio Alvarez after I saw him and Photon Marine mentioned in the Portland Business Journal. I was enthralled to see an EV product being developed here in Portland and was eager to learn more about what this new endeavor was getting into. I asked Marcelino if he needed a Product Manager, and it just so happened that he did! Having worked at both large and small organizations well after they were founded, I was excited and thankful for the opportunity to contribute near the inception of Photon Marine’s journey.
Like any good start-up, a “classic” product manager role is far from what I get to do on a daily basis. In addition to “normal” product management activities, I get to work on supply chain, business development, organizational process, industry research, as well as show my ability to sit, walk, stand, grab, turn, and lift up to 50lbs in our shop. It has been thrilling to apply my decade plus of product management experiences to the role, but learning new skills on-the-fly has been a fulfilling challenge as well. For example, becoming a vessel for the “voice of the customer” is essential to the role, but I also find that being a sounding board for the “voice of the engineer” or the “voice of the biz dev associate” can be just as fulfilling. The role is a constant battle in duality; prod the engineering team to make faster choices when the risk is low, while helping them take a step back and slow down when the risk is higher. I guess what I’m saying is, that MBA is really coming in handy.
The technology and processes that Photon Marine is developing for the marine industry are really exciting! I’m looking forward to working on the hardware and software solutions that Photon will be bringing to market.
The people at Photon are some of the best and most compassionate folks I’ve worked with. The founding team, as well as all of the new faces contributing to Photon’s success, bring deep industry knowledge and passion for solving customer pain points in this industry. At the same time, we are all open to feedback and new ways of working. There is a lot we will learn together as a team in the coming year.
Brian Boshes started his engineering journey competing in solar engineering competitions in high school in Scottsdale, AZ. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley after internships at Bell Labs, SETI@home and Amazon. The internship at Amazon kicked off a seven-year stint with the company, where he eventually found himself as a Sr. Product Manager in their Seller Marketplace product. Directly prior to Photon, he was the Director of Product Management at Leanpath, a Beaverton, OR, company providing hardware and software solutions for tracking and mitigating food waste in large commercial kitchens. He is excited to apply that same focus on sustainability at his role at Photon Marine. In addition to his many years of industry experience, Brian also recently completed his MBA at Portland State University. Outside of work, Brian loves being a dad to his two kids and working on DIY projects for his house.