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Prodcast

Prodcast

By John Fontenot
The prodcast podcast is dedicated to bringing you key insights and learnings from the world's finest product managers and product leaders. Your podcast for weekly product management stories and advice.
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How to be successful when entering crowded markets with Max and Patrick, Co-Owners of America One Luxury Real Estate
This is episode two of the Why Products Fail series and on this episode, I sat down with Max de Melo and Patrick Niederdrenk, Co-Owners of America One Luxury Real Estate, to talk about how to successfully break into crowded markets and why so many fail trying. Whether you're launching a startup or in a product team trying to introduce a new product into an existing and crowded market, you'll be glad you took the time to listen.  Here's what we talked about: Both originally from Germany, Max and Patrick knew they wanted to work together and knew that real estate is where they wanted to focus How they landed on Arizona as the geographic market to pursue and how a vacation to Scottsdale solidified Arizona as that key location they would focus on The level of due diligence before diving into the market How you need to immerse yourself in the world you're breaking into so you can know the ins and outs of it before ever stepping into it Why Max and Patrick started with homes in the lower price points early on and why their "luxury" name doesn't prevent them from still working in the lower price point homes The way they re-framed their thinking of the term "luxury" and how it has shaped their customer service strategy What went into their decision to completely integrate their business vertically How personalization is factored into every aspect of their offering Why it's so important to truly understand your customer to serve them well How important it is to check the expectations you have going into a crowded market and how that impacts success and failure rates Any new business or product needs to have a long-term view rather than setting expectations strictly on short-term successes or results The importance of spending money (wisely) to make money. Reinvesting in yourself and the business is a MUST And the importance of building and maintaining a quality reputation for sustained success Connect with Max and Patrick: https://americaonerealestate.com https://www.maxandpatrick.com/ LinkedIn
27:07
September 14, 2020
New Series! Why Products Fail - Episode One with Kevin Garrett - Co-Founder of Food4All Global
On today's episode, I sat down with Kevin Garret, Founder and CEO of Food4All. What started out as volunteer work in urban farming turned into a passion-based business to help lower-income families develop a livelihood around the world. Kevin learned many lessons on his startup journey, and what he learned from key, early failures helped to shape his startup's success today.  Here's what we talked about: The origin story of how urban farming in the Bay Area turned into an ag-tech startup for the developing world After realizing this could be a business, Kevin and his team jouned an incubator that helped develop the idea and transition into an accelerator How his time in the accelerator helped prepare him for the rigor of running a startup Why his first big sale turned into his first big failure How Kevin's attempt to reinvent himself reinvigorated the business What the pivot looked like and what the aha moment was How Kevin leveraged his network from previous work engagements to open new opportunities and revenue models for his startup Why removing barriers for your customers are critical The challenges of bootstrapping and why approaching your boostrapped startup WILL look different than a startup with VC funds The power of reframing, contextualizing customer problems and how they're solving those problems today Follow Kevin and Food4All:  LinkedIn Food4AllGlobal Download the app
34:51
September 7, 2020
New Series Kickoff - Why Products Fail
This is the announcement of our new series kicking off on September 6th called "Why Products Fail"  Also announcing a new platform to democratize product management experience for aspiring product managers that will be launching at the end of September! Stay tuned for more details and updates and the platform progresses toward release! 
07:01
August 31, 2020
Earning company-wide buy-in through corporate storytelling with Kristy Olinger - SVP Product Management
On today's episode, I sat down with Kristy Olinger, Portfolio Optimization Manager at Citizens Bank, and former SVP of Product at Bank of America. In Kristy's experience, with or without direct authority, it's vital for Product Managers and Product Leaders to gain buyin through influence, and Kristy has found storytelling to be the #1 tool for earning company-wide buyin. That's what we're going to dig into today, so let's get started.   Here's what we talked about: The underappreciated skill of corporate story-telling Kristy's podcast "the opposite of small talk" How different companies function in terms of how much authority PMs have Why even when you have authority, sociliting feedback is crucial for buy in and better decision making Even without direct authority, PMs have direct responsibility for outcomes Knowing when to stand your ground since the buck ultimately does stop with you Why the best strategy fails if you fail to consider and nurture implementation How the jobs we have are complex, and it's our job to make what we're doing simple, understandable, and compelling There's always more than one path we CAN take, so getting buy-in is critical for the path you've chosen How storytelling is the #1 way to gain that buy-in Why understanding your audience is key to telling the right story the right way Get started with corporate storytelling at: kristyolinger.com/prodcastfreebie
19:05
August 24, 2020
The Partnership Between User Research and Product Management with Nikki Anderson - User Research Lead @ Zalando and Founder of User Research Academy
On today's episode, I sat down with Nikki Anderson, User Research Lead at Zalando and Founder of User Research Academy. Nikki started her user research career about 7 years ago, with a foundation in quantitative research but has since shifted focus to specialize in qualitative user research where Nikki has worked in B2B, B2C, B2B2C and has both worked as a freelancer and worked in corporate settings. After having started her career in New York, Nikki has since moved to Germany where Zalando is based. With such a robust and diverse background in user research Nikki had a ton of great advice and insight to share.  Here's what we discussed: Some of the biggest misconceptions of user research Why quant or qual data alone is not enough to make decisions The trust cost of doing user research and the cost of not doing it Low cost ways to source user feedback What Nikki has learned throughout her career that she wants other user researchers to know The difference between user research and UX design  Why planning and purpose are essential to the value of research How to influence executives to care about user research What a great partnership looks like between user research and product management in setting priority for what you build How to know if you're doing user research right in a well-resourced company Ways to get scrappy if you're a user research team of one How Product Managers can do user research on their own Here's the resources: Google's Heart Framework Podcasts: Awkward Silences, Dollars to Donuts & Mixed Methods Books: Just Enough Research by Erika Hall; Practical Empathy by Indi Young; Quantifying the User Experience by Jeff Sauros Recommended resources for user researchers Important concepts, processes, and terminology User Research Academy
30:30
August 17, 2020
The biggest mistakes that inhibit product growth w/ Dan Griffith - President and Griffith Growth Consulting
On today's episode, I sat down with Dan Griffith, President of Griffith Growth Consulting, where Dan helps early stage B2B software and services companies by helping them find and engage their target market, and sell their product. In Dan's experience, there are key mistakes that early stage startups make that inhibit their ability to grow, and he was kind enough to jump on the podcast to share. And I'll note, this advice is absolutely applicable to established organizations who are launches new products.   Here's what we discussed: Why not knowing your customer or who your target market is has to be the single biggest mistake a company can make when developing and launching a product How to optimize your product development and launches The question of, "How do you prioritize features in your product if you have no clue who you're building it for?" Why the customer should always trump the "coolness" of the technology How identifying your target market before developing your product creates a shorter path to revenue Why hiring sales people should be a low priority early in the lifecycle of brand new products How implementation and execution is even more important than the technology, the product, or the strategy The difference in approach between blue ocean versus red ocean markets The catch 22 of industry research Why it's so important to work closely with customer success How PMs should develop a competency for sales and understand their organization's sales process
19:37
August 10, 2020
The Good and Bad of Emotional Decision Making w/ Nick Sonnenberg - CEO of Leverage
On today's episode, I sat down with Nick Sonnenberg, CEO of Leverage. getleverage.com Before Leverage, Nick was a high frequency trader on Wall Street, building algorithms to programmatically trade stock at micro-second speed. Back in May, Nick published an article on Inc. called "How to remove emotion from your decision making". I loved the article and thought of how relevant it was to product management so, I had to have Nick on to dive a bit deeper into the topic.  Here's what we discussed: Why emotional decisions can be more informed than you think How your gut decisions are never random Why you should reduce the number of critical decisions you make How subconscious logic can drive quick decisions What factor risk plays in the decision making process Understanding probability can help you decide how much thought to give to a particular decision When to check your emotions to avoid disregarding key information or making angry or frustrated decisions A great framework for decision making and when to delegate or put off decisions How to leverage design thinking and tools like Miro to make group decisions Why having core values or organizational principles are key anchors in critical decision making How to leverage OKRs to create organizational alignment on individual decision making Check out the book on decision making that Nick recommended: https://www.amazon.com/Problem-Solved-Decisions-Confidence-Conviction/dp/163265086X  Follow up with Nick at https://getleverage.com/
16:23
August 3, 2020
How PMs Can More Effectively Manage Stress w/ Lolita Guarin - Author, Speaker, and Certified Stress Management Coach
On today's episode, I sat down with Lolita Guarin, Author, Speaker, and Stress Management Coach. Originally from Lithuania, Lolita moved to the States to pursue her American dream. She landed in Texas and quickly began climbing up the corporate ladder. Afraid to say no, Lolita quickly saw her health decline and work/life balance come undone. After learning some natural ways to reduce and overcome stress, Lolita started giving advice to friends and colleagues until eventually seeing stress management coaching as her calling and getting certified. Today, Lolita is going to share how we can more effectively manage stress in our day to day as product managers. Here's what we talked about: The first and most critical aspect of managing stress is by removing ambiguity. We have to know what our goals are, first and foremost Secondly, we have to know and feel that we are competent to do the task at hand Asking for help when you don't know how to do something isn't weakness, it's smart Why taking breaks are so important, even if you feel like it'll interrupt "flow" Breathing techniques that work and how you can couple them with your breaks The negative aspects of stress and the real impact to your health and productivity Even if you're strapped for time, you can practice a 60 second technique to reduce stress How something as simple as drinking enough water can keep your mind sharp and reduce your stress Why guarding your thoughts and letting go of the things you can't control are such powerful mental tools How prepartion is one of the best ways to mitigate stress Why you should celebrate little victories and keep a journal of your accomplishments The myth of performing better under stress Why you have to have stress in your life to grow, but you can have too much How stress lingers even after the cause of the stress goes away Check out Lolita's book. "Crush Stress While You Work: Tips and Tricks To Stay Energized, Organized and Happy in Your Work Environment": https://www.amazon.com/Crush-Stress-While-You-Work/dp/1542609798 Check out her courses with the promo code: halfoff https://lolitaguarinsm.teachable.com/courses
28:46
July 27, 2020
Product Management in a startup vs a mature organization with Nicholas Hinrichsen & Chris Coleman, former Directors of Product at Carvana and Co-Founders of WithClutch
On today's episode, I sat down with Nicholas Hinrichsen & Chris Coleman, former Directors of Product at Carvana and Co-Founders of WithClutch. If you need to refinance your car or want to check out what thy're working on, head over to withclutch.com Here's what we discussed: Who the product manager is in a startup versus a mature company What differs in product priority at these different stages How communication goes from informal to more formal the more your company matures Why innovation seems to slow down as companies grow One of the reasons breaking into product management is so difficult When product managers are the mini-CEO and when they're not The mindset shift when going from a PM in a startup to a mature organization and vice versa A very interesting interview question to find where you best fit as an aspiring product manager Why you have to know what company and industry you're in before you try to "move fast and break things" How to take on risk without risking the brand of an established organization Why there's always risk, but defining it helps you make better decisions on what level of risk you're willing to take on How to balance shipping fast and risking embarrassment in an established product or org Why in Blue Ocean markets, value trumps design but why things change in competitive markets And what is true about product management, regardless whether you work in a startup or an established org
25:49
July 20, 2020
Why Product Managers Should Care About Empathic Design with John Garratt - Product Manager @ Perspectum
On today's episode, I sat down with John Garratt, Product Manager at Perspectum Diagnostics. Here's what we talked about: How John first discovered the need for combining empthic design into the product discovery and delivery process Why it's so important to take an empathetic approach to product and ux design How in many industries, the experience of the user is still an afterthought How empathy starts with connecting and engaging with your users The trends in experience personalization Why everyone who touches the customer in an organization should be collecting and sharing customer needs and insights How you should be getting on-site with your users to see how they are actually usingyour products Why what people say, think, and feel might be counter to what they do How product managers can and should be developing personas and shouldn't leave personas to the marketing department Why you should do research before talking to users so you sound more informed and can ask more relavant questions
22:05
July 13, 2020
How Salesforce develops personas and does customer validation w/ Dinesh Rajasekharan - Director of Product @ Salesforce
For today's episode, i sat down with Dinesh Rajasekharan, Director of Product at Salesforce. Dinesh shared how he develops personas, performs validation with customers, and prioritizes around his primary personas. Here's what we've discussed: The first law of product management How to expand your view of who your customer is and the range of personas you serve Why personas are even more critical in highly technical products How to prioritize the personas you build for  What core aspects of product management that don't change, regardless of your product or industry How to prioritize your core focus as a product team and as an organization as a whole Why UX matters, even in more technical products, but why it's approached differently How UX goes beyond the UI, especially in more technical products The two key checkpoints for customer validation Why you should start with user feedback before architectural decisions are made
22:05
July 6, 2020
How IBM Does Product Management w/ Zia Mohammad, Senior Product Manager at IBM
On today's episode, I sat down with Zia Mohammad, Senior Product Manager at IBM,  Zia has had amazing career growth while at IBM and after speaking with him, you can  tell why. Zia is incredibly passionate about product management and has a wealth of insight to share.  Here are some of the things we discussed: What Zia does at IBM and the products he focuses on. What a day in the life looks like at IBM as a PM and the scope of the role.  We recorded on a Friday, so Zia played back what his week looked like to give great insight into the specifics of his day to day. How you can't be the voice of the customer if you never talk to users. How and why your day to day should never look the same. If you feel like things are monotonous, you're not doing product right.  Why you should bring sales and marketing into the early stages of product development Why it doesn't matter what your background is when trying to break into Product What questions you HAVE to be asking to be a good PM and the pillars to success in Product How to prioritize, especially in times of uncertainty What type of user engagement is most impactful One of the best questions to ask at the end of user interviews and how early to involve users in new product/feature development efforts and why you should bring them through the entire process The role that Product Managers play in go-to-market planning at IBM Lastly, we talked about what excites Zia with AI and the future of the technology.
24:48
June 29, 2020
The Truth About Customer Feedback w/ Raoul Friedrich Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Building Radar
On today's episode, I sat down with Raoul Friedrich Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Building Radar Here's what we discussed: How Raoul pivoted from engineering to product and founded Building Radar Why feature requests should never be taken at face value How you can train other departments such as sales and customer support to deliver more valuable feedback Why you should throw out your feature backlog and substitute it for a problem backlog Focusing on outcomes versus outputs How features get outdated but problems never do and how to prioritize which problems you focus on solving How to differentiate from your competitors with better solutions that truly get at solving your customer problems, based on the  real "why" of the customer's problem Don't forget to subscribe, so you don't miss an episode! I'd also love to hear from you, so feel free to rate and review the podcast or reach out to me at jfontenot@jobreadi.com with any feedback!
15:45
June 22, 2020
What You Wish You Knew About Working With UX Leads w/Zach Daley - UX Product Design Lead @ Overstock.com
On today's episode, I sat down with Zach Daley, UX Product Design Lead at Overstock.com to chat about what a day in the life of a UX Design Lead looks like and how PMs can work more effective with their UX Leads.  Here's some of the things we discussed: What a day in the life of a UX Design Lead looks like, from leadership to individual contributions The biggest challenges UX Design Leads face and how much it intersects with the same core challenges Product Managers face Some of the biggest misconceptions about UX Design and how Product Managers and organizations should view UX Design How ubiquitous UX is throughout the organization The ways in which UX should be leveraged more but is grossly underutilized What a solid working relationship looks like between UX and Product from the UX perspective and the overlap that exists in  the role What can make things break down between PMs and UX and the product development process How to go from observation to hypothesis to outcome-focused experimentation Where PMs can help UX develop the business case for the iterative nature of UX to executives who might not understand the  value of the time you'll need to invest to get things right How in-depth discovery work and mitigate the risk of building the wrong things. 
18:14
June 15, 2020
Why You Should Include Devs Early in Design w/Jeff Pease - Sr. Product Designer @SwipeClock
On today's episode, I sat down with Jeff Pease, Sr. Product Designer @ SwipeClock. Jeff has been in design his whole career, but he's had to evolve as industry trends led him into new territories. But even with the digital disruption of the 21st Century, one thing has remained constant for Jeff, the need to include developers early on in the design process.  Here's what we discussed: Jeff shares how he's in daily discussions with developers, regardless of what stage of the product development lifecycle his team may be in.  Daily discussions are essential in a true agile environment. The unique perspective developers bring to design discussions.  How these upfront discussions can save a ton of time and money! A simple design might not be as simple to implement.  Why technical constraints should be considered before initial wire frames and how they should inform them How these early conversations help uncover assumptions that could lead to design roadblocks On the flip side of roadblocks, these early discussions can show where we aren't as constrained as we might assume we are Why there should always be a clear line of communication between UX and Dev How developers can be incredibly creative and assist in the design process Jeff's pet peeve about working with product as a UX Designer Why you should always respect the crafts of your co-workers, regardless of what role they're in And the benefit of PMs doing early wire frames and mockups to help share the vision with the UX and Dev teams
22:04
June 8, 2020
How To Effectively Develop and Cascade Product Strategy In Your Org w/Chris Bee - Sr. Director of Product Development at Zillow
On today's episode, I sat down with Chris Bee, Senior Director of Product Development at Zillow. Before going to Zillow, Chris spent time as a PM and Product Leader at Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber. Now, Chris leads the core product team and product strategy for Zillow's core consumer experience on Zillow.com On today's episode, Chris and I had a great chat around product strategy, and cascading product strategy throughout the organization. Here's some of what we discussed: What strategy actually is and what product strategy is specifically How to develop product strategy and what considerations you might have going into strategic planning How top-level strategy influences product-strategy and strategy at the individual team level Why it's so important to align team product strategy to top-level strategy and how it impacts the morale of the organization Why disagreement should be encouraged, but the need to disagree and commit once a decision has been made Strategy is always a hypothesis, so there will always be a bit of subjectivity involved What your role is as a PM or a PM leader in the strategy development process and how you can influence top-level strategy What a product strategy doc is and what benefit it delivers to your team and the executives. Slide 16 captures the outline of what you would include in the product strategy doc: https://medium.com/@chrisbee/presentation-video-and-slides-getting-your-teams-running-like-clockwork-e107554b9e01
23:57
June 1, 2020
How PMs Can Be Effective Working With Executives w/George Dita - CEO of WiseUp
Don't forget to sign up for the Product-Led Festival! https://festival.productledalliance.com/?sc=youEcs1n&ac=M1F29xXu Use promo code Prodcast20 for 20% off of individual and team passes! On today's episode, I sat down with George Dita, CEO of WiseUp, a product innovation company focused on helping established companies build and launch cutting edge products Here's what we discussed: George's background and what his company, WiseUp is all about His experience in working with a broad and diverse set of executives from numerous companies What you need to remember about executives when communicating with them What executives value most and how to speak that language How to increase your odds of getting executive sponsorship on your product initiatives Why executives care more about quantitative data than qualitative How executives vet projects and how to set yourself apart from your peers How to leverage small requests to executives to lead to buyoff on larger projects The biggest mistake you can make with executives Why you should push information to executives versus waiting for them to ask for it and what information they want to know from you The sure sign that your project went well in the eyes of executives Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes or the Apple Podcast App. It would make my week!
26:34
May 27, 2020
How To Combine Product Development Frameworks To Maximize Outcomes
Don't forget to register for the Product-Led Festival! Click the link below and use the promo code: Prodcast20 https://festival.productledalliance.com/?sc=youEcs1n&ac=M1F29xXu Today's episode is inspired by the frequently asked question of "what frameworks should I use in product management; what's the best practice?" First off, I hate the term best practice.  Secondly, this episode explores two highly popular frameworks for product development and innovation with Jobs Theory and Design Thinking. Often times, we can look at these frameworks as competing processes, but there is so much to be gained by combining these two frameworks and leveraging the best parts of both.  On this episode, I'll share how I do it, and I hope there's at least one take away you can put into practice from it! 
11:28
May 25, 2020
Going from Product Manager to Product Leader w/ Carlos González de Villaumbrosia - Founder and CEO of Product School
Sign up for the Product-Led Festival here: https://festival.productledalliance.com/?sc=youEcs1n&ac=M1F29xXu Don't forget to use the promo code Prodcast20 for 20% off individual and team passes! On today's episode, I sat down with the CEO and Founder of Product School, Carlos Gonzales de Villaumbrosia Carlos founded Product School with the passion to help train the next generation of Product Managers. Product School provides certifications in Product Management to professionals across 20 campuses worldwide, and they offer the same courses live online. All Product School instructors are senior-level product managers working at top technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Airbnb, PayPal, LinkedIn, and Netflix. On this episode, Carlos shares with us how to land a PM job and how to grow in your PM career Here's what we discussed: How Carlos stumbled into Product Management, and how his early PM experiences created the empathy  Why aspiring PMs don't need to have an engineering degree or an MBA The best learning is by doing, so build something to get the experience you need! PM roles, by nature, are not "entry-level" Don't get stuck on titles or specific companies when trying to break into product Don't try to switch industries AND roles at the same time. Try one, but not both. The most important things to do first when landing that first PM role The difference between a PM and a Senior PM and how to make that jump! What you need to know before getting into Product Leadership and why the skills are completely different than what you need as a PM The impact that continuing education and lifelong learning has on your career and when you should be learning what skills Connect with Carlos and Product School at: https://www.productschool.com/
21:17
May 20, 2020
Leading Through Peace Time Versus War Time w/Bill Masur - Group Product Manager @ SwipeClock and Founder of ProductMastery
Register for the Product-Led Festival here: https://festival.productledalliance.com/?sc=youEcs1n&ac=M1F29xXu Use my promo code Prodcast20 for 20% off individual and team passes! On this episode, I sat down with Bill Masur, Group Product Manager at SwipeClock.  Bill has experience working for large brands and startups, working in multiple types of business models, and now finds himself leading a product team for a highly profitable and growing software company in Utah.  The topic of today's episode is Product Leadership Through Peace Time Versus War Time. Even without the global pandemic, Bill found himself in a position of product leadership and identified his organization's situation as being in war time. Bill breaks down how he identified that, the difference between leading through peace time versus war time, and what product managers can do to help their organization lead through challenging times.  Here's some of the things we discussed: Much of the thought leadership that PMs learn come from organizations and Product thought leaders who operate during peace times Peace time doesn't necessarily mean "easy" but it does allow for a different approach than you have to take during war times The luxuries you lose during war times that most PMs really enjoy during peace times The signs of peace time The signs of war time Some of the most underappreciated aspects of business Why our customers shouldn't be the only ones who receive our empathy The path to peace time has to come through the messiness of war time How to lead through war times to quickly get back to peace times Connect with Bill at: wmasur@gmail.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bmasur/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/futureinmindd Or for mentorship: ProductMastery.com
23:06
May 13, 2020
What You Wish You Knew About Usability Testing with Frank Spillers - Chief Experience Officer @ Experience Dynamics
On today's episode, I sat down with Frank Spillers, Chief Experience Officer and Founder of Experience Dynamics, a consulting firm in Portland Oregon, focused on User Experience and User Research. Frank is a subject matter expert in the field of UX, and he joined the podcast to share with us what we wish we knew about usability testing. This is an absolute treat, and I guarantee that listening to this episode will give you a competitive advantage against most other organizations out there.  Frank got his start in UX back in the mid-90s working with VR. He worked through the dot-com era in e-commerce, the launch of mobile apps, and he's continued to innovate in the field of UX.  On this episode, Frank discusses: The relationship between Product and UX The two pillars of UX and how these two pillars play into the product development lifecycle The most critical aspect of what you should be measuring in usability tests Pro-tips on how to moderate your usability tests The value of "broken prototypes" How to handle users when they get frustrated during the test Why we need to leave emotion and visual or audible empathy at the door The "5 User Myth" and what nobody understands about Jakob Nielden's 5 User Model The benefit of larger sample sizes in usability tests and field studies What a usability test plan is and why it's critical to the success of usability tests How to know what tasks you should be testing for usability Connect with Frank on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankspillers/ Connect with Experience Dynamics: https://www.experiencedynamics.com/ Check out Frank's "5 User Myth" Article: https://www.experiencedynamics.com/blog/2019/03/5-user-sample-size-myth-how-many-users-should-you-really-test-your-ux Check out Frank and Laurie Faulkner's work: https://www.experiencedynamics.com/blog/2019/10/how-many-users-should-you-test-user-testing
38:09
May 6, 2020
Mindset Upgrades To Spark New Opportunities with Rich Sanchez - PM at InStride
On today's episode, I sat down with Rich Sanchez, Product Manager at InStride.  Rich has a background in IT but soon found himself transitioning into Product Management for companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Disney, and now InStride.  This episode is all about how to find new opportunities as a PM by up-leveling how you think On this episode we discussed: How Rich fell in love with Product while at Johnson and Johnson It was after Johnson and Johnson that Rich found out how to stand out from others to get  where you want to go in your career How to up-level quickly as a PM when you're just starting out Why we need to take a step back and think differently to be an effective PM How to build deep, lasting relationships by leveraging sources of value you can offer The origins of the book, Think and Grow Rich. I thought this was a really cool history lesson The ancillary aspects of what makes a great product manager, outside of the traditional thinking How your thoughts either enable success or block it Why improving your personal live will improve your professional life as a PM Why PMs more than anyone else should have a roadmap for their lives and the benefits of doing it Rich shares his 8 "Fs" which are pure gold, and I totally stole them Connect with Rich on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richesanchez/ Rich's Teachable site is now live! https://aproductfit.teachable.com/p/steps-for-becoming-product-manager-and-founder
35:23
April 29, 2020
Why PMs Should Be More Involved In Architecture w/ Greg Prickril - Founder of Career.PM and former Sr. PM at IBM, Microsoft, and SAP
On today's episode, I sat down with Greg Prickril, Founder of Career.PM and Prickril Consulting and former Senior PM at IBM, Microsoft and SAP.  In this discussion, Greg shares why PMs should be much more involved with architecture than we probably think we should. Here's some of the points we discussed: Architecture impacts the business in ways we won't know until it happens We can miss out on doing the things we should be doing in our products if we haven't given architecture the consideration upfront that we should have How to get involved in architecture whether it's a new product or an existing one Greg considers the architecture of our products as analgous to the frame of a house. If it's not right, the whole thing will eventually crumble How to get started in understanding architecture, even if you're not technical The most underutilized resource in your building How to have the most productive conversations with architects Go to pmfont.com to find great resources on architecture to get started. You'll find many other great resources there too! Don't forget to check out career.pm and the great resources there! Connect with Greg on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregprickril/
16:02
April 22, 2020
Why The Best PMs Have Side Hustles w/ Clement Kao - Product Manager @Blend and Co-Founder of PMHQ
On today's episode, I sat down with Clement Kao to discuss how the best PMs have side hustles Here's what we discussed: Clement shared how he accidentally fell into product management with no experience, and his steep learning curve created the empathy for what he does now in his side projects Clement has published over 60 articles, read by over 200K PMs across the world, on PMHQ, the product manager community he helped co-found on Slack.  There's a lot of passion behind Clement's drive to share knowledge and see other PMs and aspiring PMs benefit from his shared learnings.  The power of communities and what the benefits are for joining and engaging in a PM community.  Why learning from other people's experiences and sharing your own experiences with other helps to crystalize your knowledge and accelerates your growth.  The tangible and subtle benefits of side hustles or extracirricular projects How to choose which communities to be part of and how to benefit most from communities Why having a side hustle, regardless of what it is, should be treated like we treat our products: iteratively To find Clement's articles and join the PMHQ Community: https://www.productmanagerhq.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clement-kao/ Clement's Book: https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Into-Product-Management-Manager/dp/1670792714/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0 _encoding=UTF8&qid=1586443511&sr=8-1 
29:12
April 15, 2020
Stop Avoiding Sales and Start Engaging Deeper With Them! w/ Tommi Forsstrom - VP of Product @ Teachable
On today's episode, I sat down with Tommi Forsstrom, VP of Product @ Teachable. While working in Venture Capital with growth-stage companies, Tommi discovered the power of having a strong sales organization and the need for product management to collaborate closer with sales Some of the topics we cover include: Why PMs need to take ownership and proactive steps toward deeper engagements with sales In B2B, it's hard to be good at your product role, unless you have a deep understanding of your customer.  As PMs, we stress the need for empathy with our customers, but we also need to have empathy with other departments in our orgs To start working more closely with sales, we need to learn how to speak the sales language and empathize with their needs and their concerns.  We can help our sales teams by clarifying our product's value prop and where the value lies in the various segmentations of our market Our sales teams can help us get closer to our customers, but they won't take you on sales calls if they don't trust you or they don't know what is in it for them And we can help Sales avoid over-promising by clarifying what is in-bounds to talk about for our short-term roadmap and what they should not be talking about with customers to be realistic If you're struggling to engage with sales, working with your product marketing team to develop great sales enablement tools will go a long way in building relationships with sales To find Tommi's article and to follow him on Medium: https://medium.com/@forssto/product-folk-love-you-sales-buddies-b034a1967f49
22:36
April 8, 2020
How To Be A Great Remote Product Manager with Alex Mitchell - Chief Product Officer at ICX Media
On today's episode, I sit down with Alex Mitchell, Chief Product Officer at ICX Media Alex is an avid blogger on Medium and over the last year, Alex's posts have gotten over one million views.  Before COVID-19, Alex had worked in several companies that had a heavy remote component, but this is the first time Alex would be working from home full-time.  To help others who might be going through the unknowns of working from home for the first  time, Alex wrote a great Medium article on how to be a great remote product manager: https://blog.usejournal.com/how-to-be-a-great-remote-product-manager-37d29f13d332 Here's what we discussed on this episode: Alex shares how communication needs to be taken to a whole new level when working remote. You lose a lot of the "watercooler" talk you get in the office, so you'll need to increase the number of meetings you have.  You can lose touch with your manager or your direct reports, so your need for more frequent one-on-one's becomes more critical Alex shared a remote work hack, that he didn't share in the article, to help keep culture alive. You should steal it! I will.  All the extra meetings could be frustrating, so Alex shares how to optimize the work from home meeting experience.  Even without the quarantine, for full-time remote product managers, it's still critical to get face-to-face with your team to build a more human bond.  Alex shared great advice of how to optimize that face-to-face meet-up when you are a full-time remote product manager, and it might not be what you expected.  We even talked about how working remote, even if it's temporary, is a great opportunity to build your remote network.  Lastly, Alex shares how he published the second edition of "Building Digital Products" aproduct management handbook for professionals looking to get into Product or PMs looking to level up.  Here's the link to the book:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1672858437/ref=ox_sc_ saved_title_4?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1  The second book Alex recently published is "Disrupting Yourself" which is all about how to  not just survive but to thrive in the new economy.  Here's the link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1712469223/ref=ox_sc_saved_ title_6?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1 Here's how to follow Alex on Medium: https://medium.com/@Amitch5903
20:57
April 1, 2020
Why Your Product Expertise May Be Hurting You with Tanay Agrawal, former PM @ Atlan
On today's episode, I sat down with Tanay Agrawal, former PM @ Atlan and Graduate Student at Carnegie Mellon University  Tanay had spent the first two years of his career as a software developer but quickly made the transition to product management. After two years as a PM, Tanay decided to pursue his Master's in Product Management at Carnegie Mellon University.  While studying to become a better PM, Tanay started blogging. His blog is a mental download of all the things he learned in his two years as a PM and the things he wish he knew when he started. On today's episode, we dive into one of his Medium articles, "You need to unlearn your product every day as a product manager"  https://productcoalition.com/you-need-to-unlearn-your-product-every-day-as-a-product-manager-dbe01d15d4e8  Tanay shares how PMs often fall into the trap of what I call the "omniscient" product manager. We know our products inside and out, and our in-depth product knowledge can often disconnect us from the experience of first-time users. To avoid this disconnect, we must unlearn our product with each new feature.  Each new feature launch should create a delightful experience. Customers should be excited to use your feature, not dread HAVING to use it. Slack ingeniously executed this with their Google Drive integration through "contextual onboarding" We also discussed the "pricing conundrum" that we can find ourselves in as our products grow and evolve. Tanay shared why more features don't necessarily mean more value and how pricing should be leveraged with customers through their lifetime with your product.  In the same way we need to unlearn our products with new features, we need to take a step  back from our product's pricing tiers from time to time as well. Pricing complexity can be  a big barrier for new customers, but it doesn't have to be.  Another issue with pricing pertains to growth levers. Many companies focus on user acquisition to drive growth, but not enough companies look to leverage existing customers as sources of revenue growth.  The third pricing issue happens when companies under-price their products to gain market share.  Pricing and feature strategy should coincide to help users are they progress through their journey with your product.  Tanay shares why it's so hard to maintain a consistent "voice" within your product as your company and your team grows. Even documented guidelines can be ineffective, so Tanay shares  how to prevent this disconnect in your product.  Follow Tanay on Medium, LinkedIn, and Twitter: Medium - https://productcoalition.com/@tanayagrawal19 LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tanayagrawal19/ Twitter - @tanayagrawal19
21:42
March 25, 2020
Aligning With Product Marketing For Better Product Launches with Susan Stavitzski - Director of Product at Hatch
On this episode of Prodcast, I sat down with Susan Stavitzski, Director of Product @ Hatch!  Susan shared how and why she made the transition from Product Marketing to Product Management and how her background as a product marketer has not only helped in her roles in product, but it's also given her a unique perspective on the relationship between the two roles.  She also explained the three different types of product managers: - Technical PM - User-Focused PM - Business-Minded PM Susan believes that regardless of what your background is, being a product manager is ultimately about having vision and the ability to execute on that vision.  She shares the differences between product marketing and product management and what the  ideal working relationship looks like between the two roles And if you're not sure where to start in bridging the gap between your team and product marketing, invite your product  marketer to be part of your processes early on. It actually makes their job easier, not harder.  Lastly, we talked about how user-experience is everyone's job, and tighter cross-functional collaboration helps to  improve the overall user experience.  Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review! We're available on any podcast app!  You can connect with Susan at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-stavitzski/ If you have feedback about the podcast, send me a note at jfontenot@jobreadi.com
17:47
March 16, 2020
Career advice and when to say no with Shawn Kumar - Senior Product Manager
Shawn shares how to create opportunities in your career and take advantage of the ones in front of you. We also discuss what type of opportunities you should pursue and when to say no.
27:19
March 2, 2020