Coworking

Coworking: Steve Won helps you log on

The chief product officer at 1Password is optimistic that passwords will soon be a thing of the past.
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Steve Won

· 4 min read

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How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in tech?

I think about my role in comparison to a producer on a film set: Essentially, the core of my work as chief product officer at 1Password is establishing a continuous feedback loop between our existing and future customers, as well as the product team of engineers, designers, and product managers. My role is dynamic and constantly evolving because our customers’ needs are never static—and that’s why I love it.

I’m in an interesting spot where I have one foot planted in the world of our customers’ business outcomes and the other in building technology, which has forced me to grow both of these skills.

What’s the most compelling tech project you’ve worked on, and why?

One of the most notable projects I’ve been a part of was centered around offline login to laptops. At Duo, we had a really interesting Challenge: To facilitate offline multi-factor authentication (MFA) for users in sensitive government buildings or on airplanes. I was really proud of the engineer who ended up designing the solution for that problem, which ultimately led to a patent application. Our success came from being incredibly entrenched in emphasizing our customers’ needs.

What technologies are you most optimistic about? Least? And why?

I’m most optimistic about going passwordless with passkeys; they’re our best shot at eliminating the hassles that come with passwords and MFA, while removing the reward for hackers. It’s been exciting to see adoption taking off this past year, especially with Big Tech giants like Amazon, X, Google, and TikTok leading the way.

To keep everyone safe online, there’s a huge need for passwordless authentication right now. In an era where we continue to see a spate of breaches led by credential theft, we need to lean into security solutions that equally prioritize usability and security. There are only a few key moments in history where solutions have delivered on this promise, and passkeys are one of them.

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I’m simultaneously excited but apprehensive about the adoption of AI. I see the risk of AI widening the gap between those with resources and those without. My wife works at a federally qualified health center, and witnessing the gulf in experience between her world and her patients’ compared to mine in the tech industry is a grounding, daily reminder of these existing disparities. The saying “the future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed” resonates deeply with me.

What’s the best tech-related media you read/watch/listen to?

I’m drawn to Stratechery for analysis on what’s going on in the tech world. Ben Thompson breaks down complex concepts and trends in a way that feels deep, yet accessible. In terms of podcasts, I’m also a big fan of Brad & Will Make a Tech Pod. Their episodes have a great mix of humor that keeps me entertained and insight that helps me stay informed on the latest tech advancements.

What’s something about you we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile?

When I need to decompress, I love to cook and bake with my family. I take pride in being able to glance in the fridge and spontaneously whip something up. The best thing I’ve made is either Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate babka or speculoos babka. They’re favorites in my house right now

What do you think about when you’re not thinking about tech?

I’m always thinking about my daughters, who are 4 and 1. Witnessing the world from their perspective and absorbing their surroundings is a joy. Their boundless creativity and zeal make me feel hopeful about the future.

Keep up with the innovative tech transforming business

Tech Brew keeps business leaders up-to-date on the latest innovations, automation advances, policy shifts, and more, so they can make informed decisions about tech.