I’m Dimitri, officially known as Dimitrios Ntempos. Born, raised and working from the city that derives its name from the sister of Alexander the Great, who was a 🧜♀️. Over the centuries Thessaloniki has been a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Turks, and Jews. Each one has left an indelible mark, creating a diverse atmosphere that makes visitors feel right at home.
As a child, I aspired to become a chemist, reflected in my high school coursework encompassing Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Biology. However, upon completing high school, I pivoted toward a bachelor’s degree in Economics. This program covered a broad spectrum, from micro and macroeconomics to accounting, auditing, econometrics, finance, marketing, and management, including an enriching student exchange in Sweden. Post-graduation, I remained uncertain about my career path, leading me to embark on a master’s program in Informatics and Management within the tech field. And here I am today.
Drawing from my entrepreneurial drive, I’ve engaged in a diverse array of activities. Over the years I have been involved with Product, Community, Marketing, Finance and more. I have a penchant for automation, concise communication in emails, and well-organized spreadsheets. In 2012, I graduated from university while concurrently running a hardware startup. Our product earned national recognition, as we aimed to revolutionize recycling practices. It was an ambitious endeavor, and though the failure was challenging, it served as a valuable learning experience. Since 2014, my primary focus has been on product management, complemented by my efforts in fostering a vibrant tech and entrepreneurship local community.
🧰How I work
My approach to work is ever-evolving, but here are some principles.
CommunicationsI use chat for simple everyday discussions, and emails for the formal ones that need to be referred later on. I am trying to avoid long meetings and always have an agenda. I should follow up if needed or log notes where everyone has access.
WritingI usually start with a skeleton where I am throwing random thoughts, I then parse my text to make it readable and use my last parse to make it simple.
Product DevelopmentI work with agile frameworks for small cross-functional teams of 5-7 people, primarily applying Scrum and Kanban principles with flexibility rather than strict adherence. I have a strong belief in Scrum’s effectiveness, especially when teams are given time to establish a rhythm.
PrioritizationWhile there might be this urgent feature that I’m trying to keep for the next sprint, I could prioritize using several frameworks. However, I do prefer RICE. Trying to keep requests in a different place than requirements and make sure I equally get all stakeholders' input before I start.
DesignI enjoy crafting low-fidelity designs and my prefered tool is Balsamiq. I then present to the team so I get initial effort estimates, coming back for fixes and pushing them straight to an artist. I am sure they know how to create better experiences than I do.
PresentationsCrafting a presentation follows my Writing routine with some constraints. Twenty words per slide are more than enough. Showing something dynamic, but not just animations is a key to engaging an audience.
LeadershipFlat style. I try to advise rather than command, commands are for the computers I work with humans. I am simply trying to compile clear goals, receive commitment, and let people work with minimal pings. I am available to help and use retrospectives for doing it better.
Finding the right mix of the below elements can make an organization thrive.
SimplicityClear language fosters team-wide understanding, while short streamlined processes facilitate organizational growth. Anyone can do something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple, and I always aim to express ideas in the simplest way possible.
TransparencyOpenly sharing information empowers team members and cultivates unity. It illuminates goals and their path to realization, reducing confusion and building trust. In an era where access to information is the norm, operating in opaque environments is outdated.
Diversity & InclusionI inherently recognize, respect, and value differences. I don’t really understand why I shouldn’t do that, but wait… that’s a different discussion. Inclusion is my standard practice, as it brings out the team’s full potential, fostering innovation and collaboration.
Ownership & CraftmanshipI have a strong thirst for meticulously crafted work created by responsible individuals or teams. These works convey a sense of care, respect, and consideration for their users. Love, respect, and responsibility form the basis for shared value.
🪁In my free time
I enjoy playing semi-professional basketball, hiking, and being a traveler, not a tourist. I feel quite lucky for traveling before the Google Maps era, using analog ones to find my way around road trips.