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.
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:
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:
Download the app
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!
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
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
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
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:
Follow up with Nick at https://getleverage.com/
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":
Check out her courses with the promo code: halfoff
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
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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback!
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.
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
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
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!
Don't forget to register for the Product-Led Festival! Click the link below and use the promo code: Prodcast20
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!
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/
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: email@example.com
Or for mentorship: ProductMastery.com
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
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
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/
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/
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
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
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:
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_
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_
Here's how to follow Alex on Medium: https://medium.com/@Amitch5903
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"
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org