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Designing Products for People in the Beta Community: Meet Beta Specialist Marco

Welcome to the first edition of Meet the Beta Team. Our aim is to help you put a username to a face in the Beta Community and get to know the real people who are excited to bring you updates on everything beta. 

 

The Beta Community is a forum where you can join beta programs and share your feedback on upcoming Square features. Your feedback helps Square build the right products for your business needs. 

 

I sat down with one of our beta specialists @Marco to hear what he’s most excited about when it comes to his projects, what he enjoys doing outside of Square, and more. Read on to get to know all about Marco and the work he's doing! 

 

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Tell us about your Square journey.

I kicked off my Square journey by diving head first into Square Online voice support. If you’ve ever dialed in to Square Support with a Square website question, chances are we’ve shared some laughs on the line.

Fast forward to January 1, 2023 — New Year, new adventures. I joined the beta team and since then, I’ve been bombarding inboxes with emails detailing various beta programs and how to get involved. 

 

What is your favorite part about working on the Beta Team?

This is a cliché answer, but it is all about our sellers.

My favorite part is getting to connect with this incredible community, understanding the ins and outs of our sellers and their Square journeys, and acting as the bridge between sellers and our product team.

I share ideas and feedback from sellers with the product teams. While there can be challenges along the way, I like to be persistent and try to design a product that works for everyone. At Square, we value all perspectives. With an open mindset, we welcome all ideas. We continuously strive to design products that cater to everyone's needs.

 

What does a typical day look like as a Beta Specialist at Square? 


My primary goal is to gather insights from sellers and transform them into great story points to convey to our product team. If anyone has participated in a beta program before, they’ll have experienced my friendly reminders about feedback (maybe a bit too often?).

 

Behind the scenes I mainly work with spreadsheets to keep track of feedback and docs to present them to our product team. I really thought getting out of the accounting field meant I wouldn’t have to work with spreadsheets anymore – I couldn’t have been more wrong.

 

Can you tell us about a Beta Program you’ve worked on?

I often reference the sales trends report when it was in beta. It was a roller coaster. Thanks to all of the feedback we received, we went through multiple iterations of the designs. The product that exists today would not exist without that feedback (thank you to everyone for their feedback!).


I recently received a lovely message from @TheRealChipA six months after the launch of the sales trends report. It warms my heart to know that we created something impactful. 

 

I told you [the changes made in the sales trends report beta] were removing my need to have my own spreadsheet reports, and that is only more true now. I wanted the reporting team to know that this particular evolution has made me a happy camper! Reporting has always been a less-than-stellar part of Square for me, and lately I’m finding more and more reasons not to have to break out the old spreadsheets. I’ll not complain about that. 
@TheRealChipA , Super Seller and Beta Community member


As we design new products and features, our goal is to create something that works for sellers and their businesses. Ultimately, we are people who design products for people, and there is a human element to that.

 

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What beta programs are you most excited about right now?


Picking a favorite beta is like choosing a favorite ice cream flavor (even though I’m lactose intolerant, I’d still devour a whole pint in one sitting). I love all the beta programs that I am a part of! But the one that I am most excited about is the one that I am not allowed to share just yet, so please join the Beta Community, and stay tuned. 

 

What has been the most challenging part of managing Beta Programs?

I tend to get very attached to my projects, making it challenging for me to step away. That’s why you might find me sending random replies at 1:00 a.m. 

 

Is there a local Square business that you support regularly?

Yes. Whisker Station in Kirkwood, MO, and Mauhaus in Maplewood, MO. They’re cat cafes. I mean, what’s not to love?


But if you are allergic to cats, check out Quarrelsome Coffee.

 

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What do you like to do in your free time outside of Square?


Outside of Square my heart belongs to my three cats — Kudo, Corduroy, and Cassie. Spoiled and amazing. I adopted all three of them earlier this year, and they’ve already added immeasurable joy to my life..

On the weekend you will likely spot me with a book in one hand (currently reading ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara), a nice cup of tea in the other, and these three furballs deciding whether my lap is comfy enough for them.

My goal this year is to pet 100 cats and write 100 haikus about them, and I’m documenting this amazing journey here.  To end this segment, here is a haiku for you all. 

 

In beta we find,

Sellers community bind,

Growth is intertwined.

 

Join the Beta Community


Thanks for sharing your cat-ventures with us, Marco! To connect with Marco and learn about the beta projects he’s working on, pop over to the Beta Community. Learn more about the Journey of a Square Beta Program on the Seller Community Blog.


Nika is a beta community manager at Square. You’ll find her most often in the Beta Community, helping to bridge the gap and build relationships between sellers and product teams.

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