August 11, 2023

Meet our Product Management Executive, Hoa Phung - Super Intern #1


Meet Hoa Phung – Product Management Executive at Homebase! If you ask anyone at Homebase what Hoa’s greatest strength is, they will tell you she gets stuff done!

Here we find out more, including her passion for people.

1. One word to describe your Homebase life?

“Challenging" - Homebase is a challenge in its nature. If you strive for difficulties and thrills every day, Homebase is a home for you. However, if you value a peaceful life, please stay away from Homebase (laughing).

There are actually reasons for how challenging Homebase is because Homebase has been delivering completely new products to the market. Because Homebase is a start-up with everything to set up from the scratch. And because Homebase is ambitious with our purpose and vision.

So I must admit that, while other businesses may have some parts as their sweet spots and some parts as their challenges, at Homebase, every part is a challenge!

2. What is the most exciting part of your Day at Homebase as a Product Management Intern?

It is Brainstorming. As a startup, we are so new to the market. We are new to the point that all feedback we receive from customers is just a No. At that time, talking with customers was essential, however, was also demotivating.

It is the Brainstorming part that helps me gain my confidence again. Imagine an Intern sitting with the company's CEO, COO, and Managers, leading the discussion about products to change people’s lives. How cool it is!

Through our Brainstorming, I can feel the “Dream Big” spirit so powerfully. We - only 5 or 6 people, are solving a problem of not only 1, but 50, 100, 1000 people. We, as a team, are moving forward together! As long as we believe in what we are doing and keep trying, we can do it!

3. What is the most exciting moment of your Homebase life until now?

Actually, I do not have the exact answer to this question since it combines several trivial moments.

It can be when customers exclaim our products as “helpful” or “innovative.” It can be when our Sales team closes the deal and earn their commission.

Since my core value in life is “Be helpful,” as long as I can help someone during my time at Homebase, it is already an exciting moment!

4. How do you picture your Career Path?

If you ask about my Career Path at Homebase, I do not think I have (laughing). At Homebase, you create your career path, and Homebase will give you the resources to actualize your path.

For example, in my case, I straightly mention to JY - my direct Manager, that I aspire to reach the level of Product Manager in the next 2 years. Since then, JY has leveled up the tasks he assigns to me, recommends resources for my self-learning, then follows up with me in our Weekly 1:1.  

In other companies, your career is a ladder with several ranks that we have to climb. However, at Homebase, there are no ranks, and you are the one who has to proactively create your path. No matter what your path is, Homebase would accommodate you to take your first step on that path.

5. How does Homebase impact your Career Path?

To be honest, before joining Homebase, I never thought I would join a startup, not even a single time in my entire life (laughing). I imagined my life would be surrounded by great people, be stable, and work in a big corporation where there are always abundant resources for me to do whatever I wanted.

However, life is not always what you expect it to be. I met Homebase (laughing). Homebase has completely changed my mindset: regardless of where you work, your title, or your salary, as long as your personal growth is guaranteed, everything is fine.

Therefore, I have begun my startup life since then and asked myself several questions I have never asked before. Working in a startup forces me to learn how to optimize with limited resources. Working in a startup forces me to care about the mindset and the vision of the founders since they are the ones who decide the life or death of the whole company. Working in a startup forces me to increase my persistence since every startup is flickering every day, and I need to push myself to help it breathe even one day more.

6. Advice for enthusiasts in Product & Homebase?

About the advice for Product enthusiasts, please “take a step further.” Let’s take a simple example. Apple did not invent the first mobile phone. However, the first mobile phone that could call, listen to music, or watch videos was invented by Apple.

Therefore, as a Product Owner, I think we should not only do things that the market needs, we should do things that the market WILL need!

About Homebase enthusiasts, let’s embrace the “Just do it” spirit! Homebase is a start-up, and indeed Homebase will have “down” moments. During these moments, I can only say that “Just do it” is always better than “Do nothing,” Eventually, we will get through.

I also have had “down” moments - when I risked working in a startup which I would never know whether it could be up when I doubted myself whether I am good enough to be in charge of all product lines. However, just do it, take up the challenge, and gradually figure things out yourself!


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