Idea killers, how to bounce back

whats-happening-here-concerns-me-enormously

A key skill in my opinion as a product person is to identify “idea de-railers”. Idea de-railers are specific phrases used to block ideas from going further. Once you can identify this pattern, it’s much easier to plan around it, and as leaders attack it head-on. Below follow some choice de-railers from my collection.

Obvious disclaimer, Yes product managers should be empathetic, yes everybody in the company is driving towards the same thing so idea-derailers seems a bit harsh of a characterization, yes this is not ideal company culture, yes yes yes. However, reality is an approximation of the ideal, it always helps to understand human behavior (good and bad) and have a plan to tackle. These are just techniques that have been useful to me 🙂 Read More »

The one thing that demonstrates greatness

I’ve been really fortunate over my career to be in companies that were experiencing tremendous growth. As companies grow, hiring and getting the right team in place is important, multiple interviews and mistakes later I’ve landed on one key insight, one thing that I look for

creating playbooks > following playbooks

What is a playbook?

I define playbooks broadly as a set of processes, principles, required behaviors, and measures that lead to a repeatable outcome. A playbook is structured and is the key enabler for scale in the problem area of your choice. Problem: Hiring, figure out your playbook. Problem: User acquisition: figure out your playbook. Problem: High-velocity product delivery: figure out your playbook.Read More »

Practical tips for accountability in product teams

Accountability is a fascinating topic. The textbook definition is “the quality or state of being accountableespecially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”. While a lot has been written about individuals, I’ve found in my experience, the actual mechanics of how to think about team accountability for product teams, pretty lacking. This post is an attempt to describe the framework that has been useful for me. A few of these tips are borrowed from the great executives I’ve had the pleasure to work with and a few are homegrown. Hopefully, this helps somebody who is just starting out or well into their manager/team leader journey.

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The ultimate guide to product management hiring, Part 2: The hiring process

This post is #2 in the series of “The ultimate guide to hiring PM’s”. Post #1 is here.

Continuing with the theme of approaching the hiring process as a product, the hiring process has two main goals:

  1. Targeting: Find the right person. Create an efficient interview process that provides a full view of the candidate.
  2. Conversion: Reduce the candidate’s friction. Once you have decided you want a person on your team, ensure you have the best method to convert the user (candidate) to a customer (full time hire).

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The ultimate guide to product management hiring, Part 1 : Strategy

So you need to hire a PM or build out a PM team. Where to begin? What are some best practices? WHAT TO DO!

Fear not, this four part series will give you a framework along with an operational guide to getting it done. These posts are a result of all the mistakes that I have made and the learnings that I have painfully gained 🙂

This four part series will cover

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How to scale

Congratulations, you made it to the executive ranks. What now? Should your day to day change? Is it only about delegation from here on out — bankers hours here we come? 😃

Nope

Shit just got real. You now have to scale. If you are wondering, what kinda consulting jargon are you throwing at me — wtf does scale mean? Here are some tips that may help.

Only rule of executive club is that there are no more excuses. The buck stops with you. You own a function and the final output and outcome of the business unit is pinned to you. You are the leader of a team and now its your job to ensure that you motivate/measure/plod/cajole/donuts them to deliver.Read More »