- Lilian Rincon is the senior director of product management for the Google Assistant.
- She runs a team of about 20 people at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, with more team members around the world.
- She starts her days at 5:30 a.m. to get in a quick workout before her kids wake up.
- Rincon attends 10 to 12 meetings daily.
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Lilian Rincon, the senior director of product management for the Google Assistant, runs a team of 20 people at Google’s campus in Mountain View, California.
Rincon said her team at Google, called the features team, is “at the heart of the Assistant.”
“The way that we’re organised, there are other teams that kind of handle the mobile surface and the speakers and the hardware, et cetera,” Rincon told Business Insider. “But my team is that one that really thinks about what are the types of things that the Assistant should be able to do?”
Rincon, who recently spoke at a Latinas in Tech summit in San Francisco, said she tests features of the Assistant in her own life, from cooking along with her smart display to letting her kids request songs from “Coco” on the Assistant in the car.
Here’s what a day in her life looks like, from waking up at 5:30 a.m. to fit in a workout before her kids wake up to ending with emails and wine.
Lilian Rincon is the senior director of product management for the Google Assistant. She runs a team of about 20 at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, with more team members around the world.
“My team is that one that really thinks about: What are the types of things that the Assistant should be able to do?” Rincon told Business Insider.
She lives in San Carlos, California, with her husband, Nik, and their two children, Hudson, 6, and Bela, 3.
Rincon wakes up at about 5:30 a.m. so she has time to do a quick workout — which includes core work and yoga — and take a shower before her kids wake up at about 6:15.
After her children wake up, Rincon helps her daughter get ready. “These days I find myself trying out new hairdos on her,” she said.
Rincon does her makeup with the help of her Google Home Hub smart display. “I didn’t actually know how to put makeup on until, like, the last 10 years — so I kind of use it to look at YouTube videos and figure out how to do my eyeshadow or whatever,” she said.
When she has the time, she makes a protein shake with peanut butter, almond milk, bananas, and kale to get a healthy start to her day. She takes it in the car with her, along with her coffee.
Rincon’s work bag usually contains her computer, wallet, phone, a hair tie, and some lipstick. “I also throw in a fuzzy tuque (I am Canadian, after all) for when the weather gets cooler here in Mountain View,” Rincon said.
Rincon drives her kids to school — and they both love to request songs during the ride, she said.
“Right now the obsession is ‘Coco,'” Rincon said. ‘”Remember Me’ — I have listened to every single version of that song. It used to be ‘Trolls,’ so we kind of alternate between … Disney movies or whatever they’re into.”
She says goodbye to her children and then continues her commute to the Google campus in Mountain View. “I’m lucky Hudson still likes giving me hugs,” Rincon said.
Rincon gets to work between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m., depending on Bay Area traffic. The first thing she does is get an almond-milk latté from the café — for free, of course, as one of the perks of being a Google employee. She said her barista, Juan, knows her order by heart.
Rincon settles in at her desk and catches up on emails before heading to her first meeting of the day.
Rincon said she has 10 to 12 meetings in a typical day, some of them over the phone on her drive to or from work. In this meeting, Rincon and part of her team are reviewing their product goals for the quarter.
Dani Michel is Rincon’s administrative business partner. “She is a big part of my support system because she manages schedules, responds to requests, and helps people on the team get what they need so they can keep moving forward,” Rincon said.
Rincon doesn’t always have time for lunch, but she prefers to have lunch meetings when she can. “It gives me a chance to connect with colleagues and catch up on what they’re working on with other teams,” she said.
But Rincon doesn’t have to take the stairs down to lunch. “We can opt to take a slide down instead,” she said.
About once per quarter, Rincon goes to events like the Latina in Tech summit she attended in San Francisco in November, where she talked about growing up in Venezuela, Canada, Indonesia, and the US and how it shaped the way she thinks about building products and teams.
“I really do love my job,” Rincon said. “I’ve been working on the Google Assistant since kind of the first year that it started, and so it’s been really awesome to get to figure out the strategy of what are the features that we work on, and kind of see the product evolve.”
Rincon typically leaves work before 5:30 p.m. and gets home between 5:45 and 6:30, about the same time as her husband. Their mother’s helper picks up the kids from school and helps make dinner. The family has a “no screens” rule while Rincon and her husband spend time with the kids.
Rincon said she likes to cook with the help of her smart display, one of the features her team built this year.
After she and her husband read stories to the kids and put them in bed at about 8 p.m., Rincon usually catches up on emails. “This is not a good habit, but it’s one that both my husband and I have,” she said.
Sometimes answering emails is accompanied by a glass of wine, Rincon said. “So we’re usually online for an hour or two, and then we’re in bed between 10:30 and 11:30,” she said. “And then it begins again.”
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