DiscoverLenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

Author: Lenny Rachitsky

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A weekly advice column about building product, driving growth, and accelerating your career.
180 Episodes
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Bangaly Kaba was an early growth PM at Facebook, head of growth at Instagram, and VP of Product at Instacart and is currently Director of Product at YouTube overseeing a global team working on creator monetization. Bangaly has also been a growth advisor to dozens of companies, including Twitter, on the board of multiple companies, and is an active angel investor. In our conversation, we discuss:• A simple framework for choosing where to work and what to work on• The importance of “understand work”• The “adjacent users” theory and how it can help you drive growth• Advice for coaching product managers• Invaluable lessons from his time at Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube• Much more—Brought to you by:• Uizard—AI-powered prototyping for visionary product leaders• Mercury—The powerful and intuitive way for ambitious companies to bank• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security.—Find the transcript and references at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/frameworks-for-growing-your-career-bangaly-kaba—Where to find Bangaly Kaba:• X: https://twitter.com/iambangaly• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iambangaly/• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iambangaly/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Bangaly’s background(06:31) Choosing where to work and what to work on(08:39) The impact factor(10:53) Evaluating the environment(15:53) The manager component(18:27) The skills part of the equation(23:49) Advice on finding a mentor(25:42) The power of “understand work”(31:17) Operationalizing understand work(37:55) Balancing understand work(41:25) Managing complex change(45:26) Effective management of product managers(51:35) The role of product managers as coaches and team leaders(54:52) Driving growth through flywheels and value proposition(01:03:14) Understanding adjacent users(01:08:41) The role of partnerships and SEO in Instagram’s early growth(01:16:08) The secret behind Instagram’s growth(01:25:37) Lessons from Facebook(01:29:15) Failure corner(01:31:58) Lightning round—Referenced:• Impact = Environment x Skills: How to Make Career Decisions: https://www.reforge.com/blog/how-to-make-career-decisions• Thinking beyond frameworks | Casey Winters (Pinterest, Eventbrite, Airbnb, Tinder, Canva, Reddit, Grubhub): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/thinking-beyond-frameworks-casey• Casey Winters’s blog: https://caseyaccidental.com/• Ben Thompson’s newsletter: https://stratechery.com/about/• Elena Verna on how B2B growth is changing, product-led growth, product-led sales, why you should go freemium not trial, what features to make free, and much more: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/elena-verna-on-why-every-company• George Lee on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geolee/• Bangaly Kaba: The Path to 1 Billion: Lessons Learned from Growing Instagram—CXL LIVE 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9ZHlb6kj_E• What Is ‘Dogfooding’?: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/14/business/dogfooding.html• Bloom’s taxonomy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_taxonomy• Kevin Systrom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsystrom/• Mike Krieger on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikekrieger/• LeBron James: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LeBron_James• Kobe Bryant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant•  Mike Krzyzewski: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Krzyzewski• John Calipari: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calipari• Stripe: https://stripe.com/• Chief: https://chief.com/• Jobs to be done framework: https://jobs-to-be-done.com/jobs-to-be-done-a-framework-for-customer-needs-c883cbf61c90• The Adjacent User: https://brianbalfour.com/quick-takes/the-adjacent-user• How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-the-biggest-consumer-apps-got• Alex Zhu on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keepsilence/• From Brush to Canvas with Alex Zhu of Musical.ly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey15v81pwII• Selena Gomez on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/selenagomez/• Kim Kardashian on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimkardashian/• Rob Andrews on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robby-andrews-64669720/• Instagram’s growth speeds up as it hits 700 million users: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/26/instagram-700-million-users/• Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World: https://www.amazon.com/Range-Generalists-Triumph-Specialized-World/dp/0735214484• Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Work-Focused-Success-Distracted/dp/1455586692• Start at the End: How to Build Products That Create Change: https://www.amazon.com/Start-End-Products-Create-Change/dp/0525534423• Flighty app: https://www.flightyapp.com/• Adam Grant on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamgrant/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Kenneth Berger coaches startup leaders on how to prevent burnout, advocate for their desired lifestyle, and make a meaningful impact on the world. He’s spent more than 20 years in the tech industry, is a former founder backed by top investors, and was the first product manager at Slack. Kenneth’s core mission is to help startup leaders change the world by learning to ask for what they want, living with integrity, and building genuine relationships even with the people they find most challenging. Currently he is writing a book, Ask for What You Want, in which he aims to share his actionable strategies for creating change in the world. In our conversation, we explore:• Why asking for what you want is so impactful• Three steps to effectively ask for what you want• Challenges that arise when people struggle to ask for what they want• Why hearing “no” is a normal part of the process• The “dream behind the complaint” technique for uncovering desires• Kenneth’s experience of being fired three times from Slack• How embracing fear and discomfort is key to getting what you want• Why discipline is overrated—Brought to you by:• Sidebar—Accelerate your career by surrounding yourself with extraordinary peers• Webflow—The web experience platform• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/ask-for-what-you-want-kenneth-berger—Where to find Kenneth Berger:• X: https://twitter.com/kberger• Threads: https://www.threads.net/@kberger• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kberger/• Website: https://kberger.com/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Kenneth’s background(04:31) The importance of asking for what you want(06:36) Challenges that arise when people struggle to ask for what they want(08:09) A personal example of failing to ask for what you want(09:17) Signs this is a skill you need to work on(10:49) How to get better at knowing what you want(15:28) Why hearing “no” is a normal part of the process(17:29) Getting a “yes” vs. a “hell yes”(19:20) Step 1: Articulate what you want(24:07) Doing an integrity check(26:56) Step 2: Ask for what you want intentionally(30:45) Understanding your influence(34:48) Using complaints as inspiration(36:24) Internal family systems(38:00) Giving feedback(41:24) Step 3: Accept the response(45:22) Kenneth’s experience of being fired three times from Slack(57:30) Advice on being the first PM at a company or startup(01:04:58) Contrarian corner: anti-discipline(01:05:52) Lightning round—Referenced:• Joining as the first product manager: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/joining-as-the-first-product-manager• Internal Family Systems: https://ifs-institute.com/• How to build deeper, more robust relationships | Carole Robin (Stanford GSB professor, “Touchy Feely”): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/build-robust-relationships-carole-robin• Leaders in Tech: https://leadersintech.org/• The Three Realities Framework | The 15% Rule | Feedback Guidelines: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/build-robust-relationships-carole-robin• T-group weekends at Stanford: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/experience/learning/leadership/interpersonal-dynamics/facilitation-training-program/intro-tgroup• DBT skill DEAR MAN: https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheet/dbt-dear-man• Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22838-dialectical-behavior-therapy-dbt• Vision, conviction, and hype: How to build 0 to 1 inside a company | Mihika Kapoor (Product at Figma): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/vision-conviction-hype-mihika-kapoor• Stewart Butterfield on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/butterfield/• How to fire people with grace, work through fear, and nurture innovation | Matt Mochary (CEO coach): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work• Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Kick-Ass-Without-Humanity/dp/1250103509• Radical Candor: From theory to practice with author Kim Scott: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/radical-candor-from-theory-to-practice• Jonny Miller’s Nervous System Mastery course: https://nsmastery.com/lenny• Managing nerves, anxiety, and burnout | Jonny Miller (Nervous System Mastery): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/managing-nerves-anxiety-and-burnout• The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success: https://www.amazon.com/15-Commitments-Conscious-Leadership-Sustainable-ebook/dp/B00R3MHWUE• Break Point on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81569920• Living on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81582076• Wimbledon tennis: https://www.wimbledon.com• Wenshan Baozhong tea: https://redblossomtea.com/products/wenshan-baozhong?variant=31629962820• Tea From Taiwan: https://www.teafromtaiwan.com/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jag Duggal is chief product officer at Nubank, a decacorn neobank founded in Brazil. It’s valued at over $30 billion, is bigger than Coinbase, Robinhood, Affirm, and SoFi combined, has 100 million customers (more than Bank of America!) while only operating in three countries in Latin America, and 80% to 90% of its growth comes through word of mouth. Prior to Nubank, Jag was a director of product management at Facebook, a senior vice president at Quantcast, and a product leader at Google. In our conversation, we discuss:• How Nubank builds a fanatical user base• Tactics for driving word-of-mouth growth• Measuring customer love through the Sean Ellis score• The importance of strategic clarity• The role of category design in creating successful products• Why companies should strive to be “fundamentally different,” not “incrementally better”• Nubank’s vision for an AI-powered banking future—Brought to you by:• WorkOS—Modern identity platform for B2B SaaS, free up to 1 million MAUs• Mercury—The powerful and intuitive way for ambitious companies to bank• OneSchema—Import CSV data 10x faster—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/be-fundamentally-different-jag-duggal—Where to find Jag Duggal:• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jagduggal/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Jag’s background(04:34) Nubank’s remarkable achievements(06:01) Nubank’s product development process(11:23) Nubank’s values(12:16) Building products people love fanatically(15:21) The Sean Ellis score(21:27) An example project using the Sean Ellis score(25:07) Picking up the phone and calling customers(28:20) The importance of starting small and iterating(30:42) Pushing back effectively(34:10) Uncovering pain points through customer research(37:53) An example of setting a clear hypothesis(42:01) Developing a strategy(52:16) “Be fundamentally different, not incrementally better”(53:10) Category design(57:37) Nubank’s founding story and goals for the future(01:00:46) Advice for adding new product lines(01:03:46) The future of fintech and banking(01:09:23) AI corner(01:12:34) Failure corner(01:20:24) Key takeaways(01:22:11) Lightning round—Referenced:• Nubank: https://nubank.com.br/en/• Coinbase: https://www.coinbase.com/• Robinhood: https://www.robinhood.com/• SoFi: https://www.sofi.com/• Affirm: https://www.affirm.com/• Lemonade: https://www.lemfi.com/• Bank of America: https://www.bankofamerica.com/• Nubank achieves a world record with more than 7 million people participating in NuBolão in one month: https://building.nubank.com.br/nubank-achieves-world-record-with-nubolao• Nu México carries out first financial transaction 20 meters under the depth of the sea: https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/nu-mexico-carries-out-first-financial-transaction-20-meters-under-the-depth-of-the-sea• David Vélez on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-v%C3%A9lez-1004875• Cristina Junqueira on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/crisjunqueira• Edward Wible on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamedwardwible• Sequoia Capital: https://www.sequoiacap.com/• Churrascaria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churrascaria• Nubank’s real foundation: our culture and values: https://building.nubank.com.br/nubank-culture-and-values/• Working Backwards Press Release Template and Example: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/working-backwards-press-release-template-example-ian-mcallister/• Sean Ellis test: https://productcoalition.com/using-sean-ellis-test-for-measuring-your-product-market-fit-c8ac98053c2c• How to know if you’ve got product-market fit: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-know-if-youve-got-productmarket• Reid Hoffman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reidhoffman/• Ultravioleta: Nubank expands its premium card offer and adds new features on the product’s first anniversary: https://international.nubank.com.br/company/ultravioleta-nubank-expands-its-premium-card-offer-and-adds-new-features-on-the-products-first-anniversary/• Jeff Bezos: Amazon and Blue Origin | Lex Fridman Podcast #405: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcWqzZ3I2cY• The Innovation Method Behind Swiffer Madness: https://www.fastcompany.com/3006797/innovation-method-behind-swiffer-madness• Kevin Systrom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsystrom/• Good Strategy, Bad Strategy | Richard Rumelt: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/good-strategy-bad-strategy-richard• Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Strategy-Bad-Difference-Matters/dp/0307886239• The Crux: How Leaders Become Strategists: https://www.amazon.com/Crux-How-Leaders-Become-Strategists/dp/1541701240/• How to become a category pirate | Christopher Lochhead (author of Play Bigger, Niche Down, Category Pirates, more): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-become-a-category-pirate-christopher• Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets: https://www.amazon.com/Play-Bigger-Dreamers-Innovators-Dominate/dp/0062407619• Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works: https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Win-Strategy-Really-Works/dp/142218739X• A framework for finding product-market fit | Todd Jackson (First Round Capital): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-framework-for-finding-product-market• Citi: https://www.citi.com/• Santander Bank: https://www.santanderbank.com/• Fidji Sumo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fidjisimo/• Harvard Kennedy School: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/• Susan Wojcicki on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-wojcicki-b136a99/• Coldplay—“Lost+” ft. Jay-Z: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkCDRm_YRFg• Google Buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/14/technology/14DoubleClick.html• Real-time bidding: https://support.google.com/authorizedbuyers/answer/6136272• From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000: https://www.amazon.com/Third-World-First-Singapore-1965-2000/dp/0060197765/• The Gilded Age on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-gilded-age• Lomi: https://lomi.com/• Nubank careers: https://international.nubank.com.br/careers/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Vikrama Dhiman heads all things product at Gojek, including product management, design, program management, and research, across Indonesia, Singapore and India. He has over 16 years of experience building internet products, consults with Fortune 500 companies, and is among the most well-known and respected product leaders in all of Asia. In our conversation, we discuss:• The most common traits among successful product managers• The 3 W’s framework for PM career growth• The Four A’s of leveling up in product management• The right way to push back as a PM• Common pitfalls that stall PM careers• Vikrama’s advice for transitioning into product management• Why intent alone is not enough—Brought to you by:• Uizard—AI-powered prototyping for visionary product leaders• Webflow—The web experience platform• Coda—The all-in-one collaborative workspace—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-framework-for-pm-skill-development—Where to find Vikrama Dhiman:• X: https://twitter.com/vikramadhiman• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vikrama/• Website: https://www.vikramadhiman.com/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Vikrama’s background(03:56) Three common traits among great PMs(07:09) The first W: What you produce(15:40) The second W: What you bring to the table(18:58) The third W: What’s your operating model?(20:36) Three traits that make you a great PM to work with(21:49) How to improve the quality and quantity of your outputs(23:26) The art of the pushback(26:55) Common factors that impede career growth(33:39) Vikrama’s personal reflections(39:33) Choosing which skill(s) to focus on developing(46:28) The ambiguity of the PM role(51:47) The 8 axis for PM growth(56:57) Contrarian corner: Why intent alone is not enough(59:30) Lightning round—Referenced:• Taxi mafias, cash vaults, and 100% MoM growth: The story behind Southeast Asia’s biggest startup | Kevin Aluwi (Gojek): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/taxi-mafias-cash-vaults-and-100-mom• How to scrappily hire for, measure, and unlock growth | Crystal Widjaja, Gojek and Kumu: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-hire-for-measure-and-unlock• Gojek: https://www.gojek.com/en-id• SQL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQL• Oracle: https://www.oracle.com/• Crystal Widjaja on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/crystalwidjaja• Raditya Wibowo: https://www.linkedin.com/in/raditya-wibowo-a0845436/?originalSubdomain=id• Sidu Ponnappa on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sidup• Leveraging mentors to uplevel your career | Jules Walter (YouTube, Slack): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/leveraging-mentors-to-uplevel-your• Kevin Aluwi on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaluwi/• Workday: https://www.workday.com/• Salesforce: https://www.salesforce.com/• Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Data-Clues-Uncover-Trends/dp/1250080681• Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World: https://www.amazon.com/Originals-How-Non-Conformists-Move-World/dp/014312885X• Thinking, Fast and Slow: https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/0374533555• Miss Congeniality on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Congeniality-Sandra-Bullock/dp/B002R5HQDK• Schitt’s Creek on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Schitts-Creek/dp/B083LDRW9F• DramaBox: https://www.dramaboxapp.com/• Am I Overthinking This?: Over-Answering Life’s Questions in 101 Charts: https://www.amazon.com/Am-Overthinking-This-Over-answering-questions/dp/1452175861/• Crazy Rich Asians on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Rich-Asians-Constance-Wu/dp/B07JGJFXBF• 9 Best Hawker Centers in Singapore—and What to Eat There: https://www.afar.com/magazine/best-hawker-centers-in-singapore-and-what-to-eat-there—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Hamilton Helmer is one of the world’s leading experts on business strategy and the author of the seminal book 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy, which provides a comprehensive framework for understanding what it really takes to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. With more than three decades of experience in the strategic consulting industry, Hamilton has advised over 200 companies—from burgeoning startups to Fortune 100 giants—on how to identify, build, and leverage their unique strategic powers. In our conversation, we discuss:• Potential sources of power that startups should develop from an early stage• Common misconceptions among companies about the types of power they possess• How power relates to strategy• The difference between a moat and a power• Practical strategies for non-leaders to leverage insights about power and strategy in their work• AI’s impact on competitive advantages and barriers to entry—Brought to you by:• WorkOS—Modern identity platform for B2B SaaS, free up to 1 million MAUs• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security• Paragon—Ship every SaaS integration your customers want—Find the transcript and references at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/business-strategy-with-hamilton-helmer—Where to find Hamilton Helmer:• X: https://twitter.com/hamiltonhelmer• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hamilton-helmer-42983/• Website: https://7powers.com/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Hamilton’s background(04:08) When power becomes important(08:24) How strategy relates to power(12:09) How power informs strategy(14:46) The sequence of powers(21:13) Common misconceptions(24:39) Network effects vs. network economies(26:58) Uber’s success(29:16) Moats vs. powers(31:12) Strategies for non-leaders to leverage power and strategy(37:51) Advice on how to become a strategic thinker(39:27) AI’s impact on the seven powers(45:43) Why moving fast is not a power(50:24) Three things that create value in a company(51:16) The debt trajectory of the U.S.(56:35) Optimism for the future(59:25) Lightning round—Referenced:• 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy: https://www.amazon.com/7-Powers-Foundations-Business-Strategy/dp/0998116319• John von Neumann: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann• Pearl Harbor: https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/pearl-harbor• Where the Japanese Went Wrong at Pearl Harbor: https://pearlharbor.org/blog/where-japanese-went-wrong-pearl-harbor/• The ‘7 Powers’ of business success—from one of Netflix’s early investors: https://www.qualitycompounders.com.au/post/the-7-powers-of-business-success-from-one-of-netflix-s-early-investors• 7 Powers: Foundations of Business Strategy (Key Takeaways): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-powers-foundations-business-strategy-key-takeaways-nikita-maloo/• Strategy Capital: https://strategycapital.com/• Warren Buffett: https://www.forbes.com/profile/warren-buffett/• Charlie Munger: https://www.forbes.com/profile/charles-munger/• Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Essential Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger: https://www.stripe.press/poor-charlies-almanack• Bill Gates reveals why Warren Buffett was an invaluable source of support during the stormiest period of his career: https://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-interview-warren-buffett-support-microsoft-antitrust-lawsuit-2019-6•  Billionaire Warren Buffett’s Secret Love Affair With Castles, Revealed: https://www.thestreet.com/opinion/billionaire-warren-buffett-s-secret-love-affair-with-castles-revealed-14290973• Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster—how Netflix almost lost the movie rental wars: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/22/how-netflix-almost-lost-the-movie-rental-wars-to-blockbuster.html• Michael Porter on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/professorporter/• What Is Strategy?: https://hbr.org/1996/11/what-is-strategy• TSMC: https://www.tsmc.com/english• Toyota Production System: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Production_System• America will be left with ‘severe, irreversible scars’ if national debt goes unchecked. Now, a blockbuster report warns the bill is higher than believed, hitting $141T by 2054: https://fortune.com/2024/04/01/america-social-economic-scars-us-debt-gomes-price/• Ben S. Bernanke: https://www.federalreservehistory.org/people/ben-s-bernanke• Forty-four of 50 U.S. states worsen inequality with ‘upside-down’ taxes: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/jan/10/states-wealth-inequality-taxes• Joseph A. Schumpeter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Schumpeter• Theory of Economic Development: https://www.amazon.com/Theory-Economic-Development-Science-Classics/dp/0878556982• The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Reality-Complete-Guide-Universe/dp/0679776311• The Gene: An Intimate History: https://www.amazon.com/Gene-Intimate-History-Siddhartha-Mukherjee/dp/147673352X• American Fiction on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/American-Fiction-Jeffrey-Wright/dp/B0CQKR72NX• Farahan Sarouk rugs: https://nazmiyalantiquerugs.com/persian-sarouk-farahan-rugs/• Rory Sutherland on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rorysutherland• Ogilvy: https://www.ogilvy.com/• Clint Eastwood quote: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/clint_eastwood_168005• Winston Churchill: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill• Michelangelo, God’s Architect: The Story of His Final Years and Greatest Masterpiece: https://www.amazon.com/Michelangelo-Gods-Architect-Greatest-Masterpiece/dp/0691195498• The Last Judgment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Judgment_(Michelangelo)• Theodore Roosevelt: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/theodore-roosevelt/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Annie Duke is a former professional poker player, a decision-making expert, and a special partner at First Round Capital. She is the author of Thinking in Bets (a national bestseller) and Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away and the co-founder of the Alliance for Decision Education, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve lives by empowering students through decision skills education. In our conversation, we cover:• What Annie learned from the late Daniel Kahneman• The power of pre-mortems and “kill criteria”• The relationship between money and happiness• The power of “mental time travel”• The nominal group technique for better decision quality• How First Round Capital improved their decision-making process• Many tactical decision-making frameworks—Brought to you by:• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security.• UserTesting—Human understanding. Human experiences.• LinkedIn Ads—Reach professionals and drive results for your business—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/making-better-decisions-annie-duke—Where to find Annie Duke:• X: https://twitter.com/AnnieDuke• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annie-duke/• Website: https://www.annieduke.com/• Substack: https://www.annieduke.com/substack/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Annie’s background(03:53) Lessons from Daniel Kahneman: humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness(09:15) The importance of unconditional love in parenting(15:15) Mental time travel and “nevertheless”(20:06) The extent of improvement possible in decision-making (24:54) Independent brainstorming for better decisions(35:36) Making sure people feel heard(42:41) The “3Ds” framework to make better decisions(44:49) Decision quality(55:46) Improving decision-making at First Round Capital(01:05:05) Using pre-mortems and kill criteria(01:10:15) Making explicit what’s implicit(01:10:55) The challenges of quitting and knowing when to walk away(01:19:23) Where to find Annie—Referenced:• Daniel Kahneman, Who Plumbed the Psychology of Economics, Dies at 90: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/27/business/daniel-kahneman-dead.html• Adversarial collaboration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adversarial_collaboration• Does more money correlate with greater happiness?: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/does-more-money-correlate-greater-happiness-Penn-Princeton-research#• Income and emotional well-being: A conflict resolved: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36857342/• Strategic decisions: When can you trust your gut?: https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/strategic-decisions-when-can-you-trust-your-gut• Cass Sunstein on X: https://twitter.com/CassSunstein• Dr. Becky on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drbeckyatgoodinside• A framework for finding product-market fit | Todd Jackson (First Round Capital): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-framework-for-finding-product-market• First Round Capital: https://firstround.com/• Brett Berson on X: https://twitter.com/brettberson• Renegade Partners: https://www.renegadepartners.com/• Renata Quintini on X: https://twitter.com/rquintini• Roseanne Wincek on X: https://twitter.com/imthemusic• Josh Kopelman on X: https://twitter.com/joshk• Bill Trenchard on X: https://twitter.com/btrenchard• Linnea Gandhi on X: https://twitter.com/linneagandhi• Maurice Schweitzer on X: https://twitter.com/me_schweitzer• Problems with premortems: https://sjdm.org/presentations/2021-Poster-Gandhi-Linnea-debiasing-premortem-selfserving~.pdf• Create a Solid Plan on How to Fail Big This Year: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2020/02/07/create-a-solid-plan-on-how-to-fail-big-this-year/• Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away: https://www.amazon.com/Quit-Power-Knowing-When-Walk/dp/0593422996/• Richard Thaler on X: https://twitter.com/R_Thaler• Stewart Butterfield on X: https://twitter.com/stewart• Glitch: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glitch_(video_game)• How the Founder of Slack & Flickr Turned Colossal Failures into Billion-Dollar Companies: https://medium.com/swlh/how-the-founder-of-slack-flickr-turned-failures-into-million-and-billion-dollar-companies-7bcaf0d35d66• The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup: https://www.wired.com/2014/08/the-most-fascinating-profile-youll-ever-read-about-a-guy-and-his-boring-startup/• The Alliance for Decision Education: https://alliancefordecisioneducation.org/• Make Better Decisions course on Maven: https://maven.com/annie-duke/make-better-decisions—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Kayvon Beykpour was the longest-serving head of product at Twitter and was GM of Twitter’s consumer division until the platform was acquired by Elon Musk. He originally joined Twitter in 2015 through the acquisition of his company, Periscope, the largest live video streaming platform at the time. Periscope pioneered technology that inspired Instagram Live, TikTok Live, Facebook Live, and other social networks’ expansion into video streaming. In our conversation, we discuss:• The story of being let go from Twitter after Elon’s acquisition• How he turned Twitter’s stagnant culture around• Kayvon’s thoughts on the limitations of frameworks like Jobs to Be Done• Why Periscope failed• Advice for building consumer products• When to copy, when to innovate—Brought to you by:• Enterpret—Transform customer feedback into product growth• OneSchema—Import CSV data 10x faster• Heap—Cross-platform product analytics that convert, engage, and retain customers—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/twitters-former-head-of-product-kayvon-beykpour—Where to find Kayvon Beykpour:• X: https://twitter.com/kayvz• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayvz/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Kayvon’s background(04:31) Getting Elon up to speed at Twitter(11:34) The story of being let go from Twitter after Elon’s acquisition(21:09) Changing the product culture at Twitter(29:44) Building the “hide replies” feature(32:02) Sacred crows, taking bold bets, and reigniting growth(34:28) Aquihires and their impact(42:40) Tips for successful acquisitions and staffing(47:00) The limitations of frameworks like JTBD(53:20) Signs you’ve gone too far with a framework(57:44) Lessons from building Periscope(01:00:41) Reasons why Periscope failed(01:07:24) The challenges of implementing video at Twitter(01:12:05) Copying ideas in good taste(01:17:58) How to get better at building consumer products(01:19:51) What Kayvon is building(01:20:31) Lightning round—Referenced:• Lessons on building product sense, navigating AI, optimizing the first mile, and making it through the messy middle | Scott Belsky (Adobe, Behance): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-on-building-product-sense-navigating-ai-optimizing-the-first-mile-and-making-it-through-t/• What it’s like to sell your startup for ~$120 million before it’s even launched: Meet Twitter’s new prized possession, Periscope: https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-periscope-and-why-twitter-bought-it-2015-3• Walter Isaacson on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/walter-isaacson-b8b81520/• Elon Musk on X: https://twitter.com/elonmusk• Parag Agrawal on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/parag-agrawal-5a14742a/• Jack Dorsey on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-dorsey-a43b07242/• Blackboard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackboard_Inc.• Keith Coleman on X: https://twitter.com/kcoleman• Esther Crawford on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/esthercrawford/• Twitter acquires Chroma Labs: https://tech.hindustantimes.com/tech/news/twitter-acquires-chroma-labs-story-aqvcRPAoYXqXJuAbefA6cN.html• John Barnett on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnbarnettt/• Jobs to Be Done framework: https://jobs-to-be-done.com/jobs-to-be-done-a-framework-for-customer-needs-c883cbf61c90• Hot takes and techno-optimism from tech’s top power couple: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/hot-takes-and-techno-optimism-from-techs-top-power-couple-sriram-and-aarthi/• Nike Is Unveiling the Kobe 11 Tomorrow Using Periscope: https://sneakernews.com/2015/12/13/nike-is-unveiling-the-kobe-11-tomorrow-using-periscope/• Chris Sacca’s website: https://chrissacca.com/• Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/formedia/tools/facebook-live• Kevin Hart on X: https://twitter.com/KevinHart4real• Clubhouse: https://www.clubhouse.com/• Vine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vine_(service)• Paul Davison on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davison/• Rohan Seth on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rohanseth/• Cryptonomicon: https://www.amazon.com/Cryptonomicon-Neal-Stephenson/dp/0380788624• Reamde: https://www.amazon.com/Reamde-Novel-Neal-Stephenson-ebook/dp/B004XVN0WW• The Name of the Wind: https://www.amazon.com/Name-Wind-Kingkiller-Chronicle-Book-ebook/dp/B0010SKUYM• Star Trek official site: https://www.startrek.com/• Dune: part 2: https://www.dunemovie.com/• Oppenheimer on Peacock: https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-movies/oppenheimer• Tokyo Vice on Max: https://www.max.com/shows/tokyo-vice/e7d93204-7f98-4e62-ab52-6c1da053f942• Devs on Hulu: https://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/devs• Nick Offerman on X: https://twitter.com/nick_offerman• 3 Body Problem on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81024821• Perplexity AI: https://www.perplexity.ai/• Particle: https://www.particle.news/• Crokinole board game: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/521/crokinole—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Carole Robin spent over 20 years teaching the Stanford Graduate School of Business course Interpersonal Dynamics, affectionately known as “Touchy Feely.” After leaving Stanford, she founded a nonprofit called Leaders in Tech, which applies the Touchy Feely principles to help Silicon Valley executives build their leadership and interpersonal skills. Carole co-authored the popular book Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues, which shares key insights from her decades of teaching these courses. In our conversation, we discuss:• The benefits of building robust relationships, in life and work• The 15% rule, and how it will help you build better relationships• The power of vulnerability• Examples of how to practice vulnerability• Why mental models you build early in life hold you back later• The “three realities” and “the net”• The art of inquiry• Practical tips for avoiding defensiveness when getting feedback• The impact of long Covid on Carole’s life—Brought to you by:• Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments• CommandBar—AI-powered user assistance for modern products and impatient users• The a16z Podcast—Featuring conversations with the founders and technologists shaping our future—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/build-robust-relationships-carole-robin—Where to find Carole Robin:• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carole-robin/• Email: carolerobinllc@gmail.com—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Carole’s background(05:17) The importance of building robust relationships(10:20) The “Touchy Feely” course at Stanford(13:29) An example of the in-class experience(17:19) Leaders in Tech: developing interpersonal competence(21:36) Progressive disclosure and the 15% rule(24:28) Appropriate disclosure(26:52) The power of vulnerability(34:57) Admitting mistakes and sharing feelings(37:08) Understanding mental models(42:57) The “three realities” framework(53:52) The power of feedback and personal change(58:47) The art of inquiry(01:03:27) How to get better at giving feedback(01:07:47) Exercises and continued learning(01:10:49) “Advice hinders relationships”(01:16:49) Failure corner: AFOG(01:20:30) Takeaways(01:21:51) Lessons from long Covid—Referenced:• How to Build Better Relationships: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/how-build-better-relationships• Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues: https://www.amazon.com/Connect-Building-Exceptional-Relationships-Colleagues-ebook/dp/B0894279WZ• Leaders in Tech: https://leadersintech.org/• Leaders in Tech Fellows: https://leadersintech.org/learnaboutfellows• Steve Jobs: https://www.forbes.com/profile/steve-jobs/• Sheryl Sandberg on X: https://twitter.com/sherylsandberg• Ursula Burns: https://www.forbes.com/profile/ursula-burns/• Application for Leaders in Tech: https://leadersintech.org/programs-and-applications• Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding Theory: https://www.simplypsychology.org/zone-of-proximal-development.html• The Best Leaders Aren’t Afraid to Be Vulnerable: https://hbr.org/2022/07/the-best-leaders-arent-afraid-of-being-vulnerable• The Surprising Benefits of Admitting Mistakes: 5 Ways to Build Intellectual Humility: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/12/29/the-surprising-benefits-of-admitting-mistakes-5-ways-to-build-intellectual-humility/• How to Build Conflict Skills—The Pinch/Crunch Model: https://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahart/2023/12/15/how-to-build-conflict-skills-the-pinchcrunch-model/• Slides mentioned (The Three Realities Framework | The 15% Rule | Feedback Guidelines): https://www.notion.so/pen-name/Carole-Robin-on-Lenny-s-Podcast-dc7159208e4242428f4b11ebc92285eb• Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Carol-S-Dweck/dp/0345472322• Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?: https://hbr.org/1999/11/management-time-whos-got-the-monkey• Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41579-022-00846-2• Leadership, acceptance, and self-management: my journey with long COVID: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leadership-acceptance-self-management-my-journey-long-carole-robin/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Mihika Kapoor is a design-engineer-PM hybrid at Figma, where she was an early PM on FigJam and is now spearheading development on a new product at the company that’s coming out this June. She’s known as the go-to person at Figma for leading new 0-to-1 products, and, as you’ll hear in our conversation, beloved by everyone she works with. Her background includes founding Design Nation, a national nonprofit focused on democratizing design education for undergraduates; spearheading product launches at Meta; and community building within the NYC AI startup scene. In our conversation, we discuss:• How to effectively take ideas from 0 to 1 at larger companies• How to craft a compelling vision• The importance of vulnerability and feedback• The role of intuition and product sense in making decisions• How to practically communicate your vision• How to balance collaboration and strong opinions• Advice for building a strong team culture• Pivoting with grace and enthusiasm• The current AI revolution and its impact on PM—Brought to you by:• Paragon—Ship every SaaS integration your customers want• Lenny’s Talent Team—Hire the best product people. Find the best product gigs• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/vision-conviction-hype-mihika-kapoor—Where to find Mihika Kapoor:• X: https://twitter.com/mihikapoor• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mihikakapoor/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Mihika’s background(04:29) Core attributes of great product managers(07:34) Crafting a compelling vision(12:12) The vision behind FigJam (18:25) Delivering a vision without design or engineering skills(21:52) Creating momentum(26:36) The importance of strong conviction(27:45) Direct communication(32:48) Building hype(42:20) Immersing yourself in user insights(47:16) Operationalizing user insights  (50:33) Caring deeply about what you build(54:01) Finding passion in your work(57:00) Building a strong culture(01:07:07) Pivoting with grace and enthusiasm(01:11:48) Design Nation(01:13:15) Mihika’s weaknesses(01:16:07) Building new products at larger companies(01:20:50) Coming up with a great idea(01:22:49) The key to going from 0 to 1(01:26:47) Spreading the idea across the company(01:29:15) Closing thoughts(01:32:11) Lightning round—Referenced:• Figma: https://www.figma.com/• Sho Kuwamoto on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shokuwamoto/• The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation: https://www.amazon.com/Medici-Effect-Preface-Discussion-Guide/dp/1633692949• FigJam: https://www.figma.com/figjam/• Cognition: https://www.cognition-labs.com/• Devin: https://www.cognition-labs.com/introducing-devin• David Hoang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhoang2/• Replit: https://replit.com/• The Making of Maker Week at Figma: https://www.figma.com/blog/the-making-of-maker-week/• Yuhki Yamashita on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuhki/• Jeff Bezos’ Simple Decision-Making Framework Will Give You Clarity, Conviction, and Courage: https://medium.com/illumination/jeff-bezos-simple-decision-making-framework-will-give-you-clarity-conviction-and-courage-adf8d0183625• Alice Ching on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aliceching/• Karl Jiang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karl-jiang-4a07424/• Kris Rasmussen on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristopherrasmussen/• Config: https://config.figma.com/• Dev Mode: https://www.figma.com/dev-mode/• Asana: https://asana.com/• Julie Zhuo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-zhuo/• StrengthsFinder test: https://www.gyfted.me/personality-quiz/strengthsfinder-test-free• Dylan Field on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dylanfield/• Vishal Shah on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vishalnshah/• Design Disruptors: https://www.invisionapp.com/films/design-disruptors• Daniel Burka on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dburka/• Jamie Myrold on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemyrold/• Design Nation: https://dn.businesstoday.org/• Stuart Weitzman on X: https://twitter.com/StuartWeitzman• Joe Gebbia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jgebbia/• Building a long and meaningful career | Nikhyl Singhal (Meta, Google): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-a-long-and-meaningful-career-nikhyl-singhal-meta-google/• Jambot: https://www.figma.com/community/widget/1274481464484630971/jambot• Hestia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hestia• Harry Potter series: https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Paperback-Box-Books/dp/0545162076• Pachinko: https://www.amazon.com/Pachinko-National-Book-Award-Finalist/dp/1455563927/• Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration: https://www.amazon.com/Creativity-Inc-Expanded-Overcoming-Inspiration/dp/0593594649• The Overstory: https://www.amazon.com/Overstory-Novel-Richard-Powers/dp/039335668X• Severance on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/severance/umc.cmc.1srk2goyh2q2zdxcx605w8vtx• Dune on Max: https://www.max.com/movies/dune/e7dc7b3a-a494-4ef1-8107-f4308aa6bbf7• Dune: Part 2: https://www.dunemovie.com/• Arc browser: https://arc.net/• Pika: https://pika.art/home• The power of recognition: Why you should celebrate your employees | Josh Miller: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/the-power-of-recognition-why-you-should-celebrate-your-employees-josh-miller/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Dalton Caldwell is Managing Director and Group Partner at Y Combinator. Prior to YC, he was the co-founder and CEO of imeem (acquired by MySpace in 2009) and the co-founder and CEO of App.net. During his time at YC, he’s advised more than 35 YC unicorns, including DoorDash, Amplitude, Webflow, and Retool, and has worked across 21 different YC batches. He’s also racked up more than 6,500 office hours with founders. In our conversation, we discuss:• Why founders need to adopt the mindset “Just don’t die”• The most common reason startups fail• When to pivot, and characteristics of a good pivot• The concept of “tar pit ideas” and examples of bad startup ideas• Why investors say no to startups• The importance of market size in investment decisions• The pitfalls of founders over-delegating• Effective ways to talk to customers• 20 ideas Dalton is looking to fund—Brought to you by:• Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security• Coda—The all-in-one collaborative workspace—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/lessons-from-1000-yc-startups—Where to find Dalton Caldwell:• X: https://twitter.com/daltonc• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daltoncaldwell/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Dalton’s background(04:41) The value of simple advice(07:04) Dalton’s advice: “Just don’t die”(08:39) Knowing when to stop(11:45) Deciding to pivot(14:26) Characteristics of a good pivot(17:53) Knowing when to pivot(19:03) Zip’s journey and finding a market(21:22) Why Dalton says to “Move towards the mountains and the desert”(23:45) Tar pit ideas(26:49) Understanding why investors say no(29:14) The importance of market size(32:16) Avoiding over-delegation and hiring senior people too early(36:43) Why startups fail(40:30) Effectively talking to customers(45:17) Examples of startups hustling to talk to customers(48:01) Patterns of successful startups(52:05) YC’s Request for Startups(55:37) Early days of Silicon Valley(01:05:33) Contrarian corner: growth hacking for early startups(01:09:28) Failure corner(01:11:15) Closing thoughts(01:12:22) Lightning round—Referenced:• Y Combinator: https://www.ycombinator.com/• Tiger Woods’s website: https://tigerwoods.com/• Co-Founder Mistakes That Kill Companies & How to Avoid Them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlfjs_eEEzs• Daniel Alberson’s LinkedIn post about Y Combinator: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/alberson_i-left-my-dream-job-as-a-product-manager-activity-7089677882431533056-jJ9H• Companies in Y Combinator W17 Batch: https://www.ycdb.co/batch/w17• Brex: https://www.brex.com/• Retool: https://retool.com/• Segment: https://segment.com/• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/• Whatnot: https://www.whatnot.com/• Andreessen Horowitz: https://a16z.com/• Airbnb’s CEO says a $40 cereal box changed the course of the multibillion-dollar company: https://fortune.com/2023/04/19/airbnb-ceo-cereal-box-investors-changed-everything-billion-dollar-company/• Rujul Zaparde on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rujulz/• Zip: https://ziphq.com/• Lu Cheng on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lu-cheng-973b7830/• Avoid these tempting startup tar pit ideas: https://www.ycombinator.com/library/Ij-avoid-these-tempting-startup-tarpit-ideas• Airbnb acquires Localmind to create crowdsourced advice about neighborhoods: https://skift.com/2012/12/13/airbnb-acquires-localmind-to-create-crowdsourced-advice-about-neighborhoods/• Foursquare: https://foursquare.com/• Razorpay: https://razorpay.com/• Total Addressable Market: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/total-addressable-market/• Lenny Bogdonoff on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rememberlenny/• Milk Video: https://milkvideo.com/• Lessons from working with 600+ YC startups | Gustaf Alströmer (Y Combinator, Airbnb): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-from-working-with-600-yc-startups-gustaf-alstromer-y-combinator-airbnb/• How the most successful B2B startups came up with their original idea: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-the-most-successful-b2b-startups• Collison installation: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18400504• Stripe: https://stripe.com/• Patrick Collison on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrickcollison/• John Collison on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnbcollison/• Tony Xu on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/xutony/• Grant LaFontaine on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/grantlafontaine/• Ryan Petersen on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rpetersen/• Lessons on building product sense, navigating AI, optimizing the first mile, and making it through the messy middle | Scott Belsky (Adobe, Behance): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-on-building-product-sense-navigating-ai-optimizing-the-first-mile-and-making-it-through-t/• YC’s latest Request for Startups: https://www.ycombinator.com/blog/ycs-latest-request-for-startups• ERPs: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#new-enterprise-resource-planning-software• Commercial open source companies: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#commercial-open-source-companies• New space companies: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#new-space-companies• A way to end cancer: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#a-way-to-end-cancer• Spatial computing: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#spatial-computing• New defense technology: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#new-defense-technology• Bringing manufacturing back to America: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#bring-manufacturing-back-to-america• Better enterprise glue: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#better-enterprise-glue• Small fine-tuned models, as an alternative to giant generic ones: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs#small-finetuned-models-as-an-alternative-to-giant-generic-ones• Reid Hoffman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reidhoffman/• Sam Altman on X: https://twitter.com/sama• Sean Parker on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/parkersean/• Owen Van Natta on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/owen-van-natta-444a7/• Marc Andreessen on X: https://twitter.com/pmarca• Picplz 1, Instagram 0 as VC firm Andreessen Horowitz chooses photo app rival: https://www.reuters.com/article/idUS2587232395/• Gustaf Alstromer—How to Get Users and Grow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9ikpoF2GH0• Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In: https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Yes-Negotiating-Agreement-Without/dp/0143118757• Founding Sales: The Early Stage Go-to-Market Handbook: https://www.amazon.com/Founding-Sales-Go-Market-Handbook-ebook/dp/B08PMK17Z1• Founder-led sales | Pete Kazanjy (Founding Sales, Atrium): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/founder-led-sales-pete-kazanjy-founding-sales-atrium/• The Sopranos on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-sopranos• The Wire on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-wire• Columbo on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Columbo-Season-1/dp/B008SA89HA• Oura ring: https://ouraring.com/• Apple watch: https://www.apple.com/watch/• SiPhox: https://siphoxhealth.com/• Dalton & Michael on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQ-uHSnFig5Nd98Sc9I-kkc0ZWe8peRMC• How Future Billionaires Get Sh*t Done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ephzgxgOjR0• The Student’s Guide to Becoming a Successful Startup Founder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5KCB2p6SB8—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
David DeSanto is the chief product officer of GitLab, which is the largest remote-only company in the world. They share many of their team meetings on YouTube, and they’ve grown from being an open-source code management product competing with GitHub to a multi-product platform that covers security, compliance, continuous integration, project management, and deployment tools, many of which are infused with AI magic. In our conversation, we discuss:• How GitLab operationalizes transparency• The philosophy behind recording and sharing team meetings on YouTube• Their extensive public employee handbook• GitLab’s core value of having “short toes”• Challenges and advice for doing remote work well• Strategies for ensuring effective communication in a remote work environment• GitLab’s breadth-over-depth strategy• The company’s unique approach to AI• The value of using humor in high-stakes conversations—Brought to you by:• Orb—The flexible billing engine for modern pricing• Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments• Paragon—Ship every SaaS integration your customers want—Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/the-gitlab-way—Where to find David DeSanto:• X: https://twitter.com/david_desanto• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ddesanto/• Threads: https://www.threads.net/@david.the.beard—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) David’s background(04:20) Maintaining an epic beard(05:29) Why GitLab publicly shares team meetings(09:49) The GitLab Handbook(11:30) GitLab’s issue tracker(14:29) How to successfully build a culture of transparency(18:11) Benefits of operating with transparency(19:55) The value of building in public(21:53) How GitLab implements their core value of kindness(25:16) What it means to have “short toes”(27:41) Other core values(32:16) Common reasons for not fitting in at GitLab(34:42) Advice for remote teams(42:04) Advice for getting into product(43:52) Advice for PMs who are struggling in a remote world(48:25) Specific tools that help with remote work(53:13) Time zones and remote work(57:18) Breadth-over-depth strategy(01:04:14) AI at GitLab(01:13:11) GitLab’s products and solutions(01:14:54) Lightning round—Referenced:• GitLab: https://about.gitlab.com/• UX Showcase—David DeSanto introduction to UX team and AMA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEdsmnVKNj4• The GitLab Handbook: https://handbook.gitlab.com/• Sid Sijbrandij on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sijbrandij/• Y Combinator: https://www.ycombinator.com/• GitLab issues: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/project/issues/• Salesforce: https://www.salesforce.com/• GitLab values: https://handbook.gitlab.com/handbook/values• GitLab organizational structure: https://handbook.gitlab.com/handbook/company/structure• GitLab direction: https://about.gitlab.com/direction/• Dogfooding: A simple practice to help you build better products: https://medium.com/agileinsider/dogfooding-a-simple-practice-to-help-you-build-better-products-b5954af4d5f7• The ultimate guide to adding a PLG motion | Hila Qu (Reforge, GitLab): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/the-ultimate-guide-to-adding-a-plg• Zigging vs. zagging: How HubSpot built a $30B company | Dharmesh Shah (co-founder/CTO): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/lessons-from-30-years-of-building• HubSpot: https://www.hubspot.com/• Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers: https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-3rd-Disruptive-Mainstream/dp/0062292986• Geoffrey Moore on finding your beachhead, crossing the chasm, and dominating a market: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/geoffrey-moore-on-finding-your-beachhead-crossing-the-chasm-and-dominating-a-market/• Open-core model: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-core_model• GitLab Duo: https://about.gitlab.com/gitlab-duo/• GitLab Docs: https://docs.gitlab.com/• Anthropic: https://www.anthropic.com/• GitLab Acquires UnReview to Expand Its DevOps Platform with Machine Learning Capabilities: https://about.gitlab.com/press/releases/2021-06-02-gitlab-acquires-unreview-machine-learning-capabilities/• Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: https://www.amazon.com/Essentialism-Disciplined-Pursuit-Greg-McKeown/dp/0804137382• The Mission Critical Core/Context Model for Product Managers: https://secretpmhandbook.com/the-mission-critical-corecontext-model-for-product-managers/• The Devil’s Hour on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/the-devils-hour/umc.cmc.3zw4tyzd4lvor5mwhujms63x3• Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81458416• Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/TAYLOR-SWIFT-ERAS-EXTENDED-VERSION/dp/B0CP99SN2B• The STAR method: https://capd.mit.edu/resources/the-star-method-for-behavioral-interviews/• Artifact News: https://artifact.news/• Superhuman: https://superhuman.com/• Arc browser: https://arc.net/• An inside look at how The Browser Company builds product: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/competing-with-giants-an-inside-look—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Todd Jackson is a Partner at First Round Capital. Before moving into venture capital, he played a crucial role as VP of Product and Design at Dropbox, guiding the company until its IPO in 2018. Prior to Dropbox, Todd led product management for Twitter’s Content and Discovery teams after selling his startup, Cover, to Twitter in 2014. Before Cover, Todd oversaw product development for Facebook’s Newsfeed, Photos, and Groups. He kickstarted his career at Google as an associate product manager and eventually led product for Gmail, witnessing its growth from beta to 200 million users. In our conversation, we discuss:• Why product-market fit (PMF) matters• First Round Capital’s four-part PMF framework• Level one: Nascent product-market fit• Level two: Developing product-market fit• Level three: Strong product-market fit• Level four: Extreme product-market fit• Examples of companies at each level• How to know if you’re stuck at a level, and how to get unstuck• What to change if you’re stuck: persona, problem, promise, and product• The goals and challenges at each stage—Brought to you by:• WorkOS—The modern API for auth and user identity• Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments• CommandBar—AI-powered user assistance for modern products and impatient users—Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-framework-for-finding-product-market—Where to find Todd Jackson:• X: https://twitter.com/tjack• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddj0/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Todd’s background(06:07) First Round Capital’s PMF framework(09:07) Why product-market fit is so important(11:02) Who can benefit from this framework(12:55) The product-market fit method(16:54) Broad overview of the framework(21:35) Level one: nascent product-market fit(33:16) The four P’s(39:13) Level two: developing product-market fit(49:13) Signs you’re stuck at level two, and what to do(55:12) Level three: strong product-market fit(01:00:17) Signs you’re stuck at level three, and what to do(01:02:22) Level four: extreme product-market fit(01:06:55) Rough timelines for each level(01:11:18) A quick recap of the framework(01:12:15) Diving deeper on the four P’s: what to do if you’re stuck(01:13:56) Dollar-driven discovery(01:25:11) Apply for the product-market-fit method program—Referenced:• First Round: https://firstround.com/• Twitter Acquires Cover: https://www.vox.com/2014/4/7/11625332/twitter-acquires-cover-an-android-mobile-startup• Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/• Rahul Vohra on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rahulvohra/• How Superhuman Built an Engine to Find Product Market Fit: https://review.firstround.com/how-superhuman-built-an-engine-to-find-product-market-fit/• How to validate your startup idea: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/validating-your-startup-idea• How the most successful B2B startups came up with their original idea: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-the-most-successful-b2b-startups• How to know if you’ve got product-market fit: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-know-if-youve-got-productmarket• A guide for finding product-market fit in B2B: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/finding-product-market-fit• Product-market fit method: http://pmf.firstround.com/• Stripe: https://stripe.com/• Plaid: https://plaid.com/• Paths to PMF: https://review.firstround.com/series/product-market-fit/• WeWork: https://www.wework.com/• Casper: https://casper.com/• Vanta: https://www.vanta.com/• Christina Cacioppo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ccacioppo/• Ramp: https://ramp.com/• Velocity over everything: How Ramp became the fastest-growing SaaS startup of all time | Geoff Charles (VP of Product): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/velocity-over-everything-how-ramp-became-the-fastest-growing-saas-startup-of-all-time-geoff-charl/• Jack Altman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackealtman/• Lattice: https://lattice.com/• Zachary Perret on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zperret/• Positioning: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/positioning• Retool: https://retool.com/• David Hsu on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dvdhsu/• Persona: https://withpersona.com/• Rick Song on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-song-25198b24/• Lloyd Tabb on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lloydtabb/• Looker: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looker_(company)• Jason Boehmig on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jboehmig/• Ironclad: https://ironcladapp.com/• Lessons in leadership | Scaling an org and tactical management advice | Jack Altman (Lattice): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZzXqf61mrQ• Filip Kaliszan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaliszan/• Verkada: https://www.verkada.com/• Ali Ghodsi on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alighodsi/• Databricks: https://www.databricks.com/• Stripe Radar: https://stripe.com/radar• Stripe Atlas: https://stripe.com/atlas• Square Stand: https://squareup.com/shop/hardware/us/en/products/ipad-pos-stand-integrated-card-reader• Cash App: https://cash.app/• Square Checking: https://squareup.com/us/en/campaign/banking/checking• Square Loan: https://squareup.com/help/us/en/article/5654-get-started-with-square-capital• Casey Winters on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseywinters/• How to sell your ideas and rise within your company | Casey Winters, Eventbrite: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-sell-your-ideas-and-rise-within-your-company-casey-winters-eventbrite/• Josh Kopelman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jkopelman/• The art and science of pricing | Madhavan Ramanujam (Monetizing Innovation, Simon-Kucher): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/the-art-and-science-of-pricing-madhavan-ramanujam-monetizing-innovation-simon-kucher/• Simon Kucher: https://www.simon-kucher.com/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Claire Vo is the chief product officer at LaunchDarkly and the founder of ChatPRD, likely the most popular PM-specific AI product out there. Before LaunchDarkly, she was a longtime chief product officer at Color and Optimizely. Claire has founded and managed two other companies, Pretty HQ and Experiment Engine, the latter of which Optimizely acquired in 2017. In our conversation, we discuss:• Knowing what you want in your career and being clear about it• Finding your zone of genius and how to operate within it• How to maintain a fast pace in larger companies• How to make it easy for your boss to help you achieve your goals• Advice for navigating the tech industry as a woman• The role of a CPTO and the benefits it brings to organizations• Why she built ChatPRD• Tips for building your own AI tools• The impact of AI on product management and what skills will continue to be important—Brought to you by:• Orb—The flexible billing engine for modern pricing• Dovetail—Bring your customer into every decision• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security—Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/bending-the-universe-in-your-favor—Where to find Claire Vo:• X: https://twitter.com/clairevo• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairevo/• TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@chiefproductofficer—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Claire’s background(04:50) How to achieve career progression(10:11) Avoiding promotion obsession(13:50) How Claire stepped into leadership roles(17:24) Operating in your zone of genius(23:03) How to maintain a fast pace(27:46) Setting a high bar for quality and talent(29:54) Normalizing feedback(33:09) Being a woman in tech(47:09) The role of a CPTO(54:19) Building ChatPRD(59:39) Tips for building a GPT(01:02:27) The impact of AI on product management(01:08:08) How AI is changing the product management role(01:14:36) Efficiency gains with ChatPRD(01:16:39) Contrarian corner: sales-led product organizations(01:20:11) Lightning round—Referenced:• LaunchDarkly: https://launchdarkly.com/• Define your zone of genius: Laura Garnett at TEDxMillRiver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ7_r2oWlrw• Energy Audit: https://beta.mocharymethod.com/blog-post/energy-audit• How to fire people with grace, work through fear, and nurture innovation | Matt Mochary: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work-through-fear-and-nurture-innovation-matt-mochary/• Radical Candor: From theory to practice with author Kim Scott: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/radical-candor-from-theory-to-practice-with-author-kim-scott/• Optimizely: https://www.optimizely.com/• GitLab: https://about.gitlab.com/• ChatPRD: https://www.chatprd.ai/• You should be playing with GPTs at work: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/you-should-be-playing-with-gpts-at• SpaceX’s Starship: https://www.spacex.com/vehicles/starship/• GitHub Copilot: https://github.com/features/copilot• Product management theater | Marty Cagan (Silicon Valley Product Group): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/product-management-theater-marty-cagan-silicon-valley-product-group/• High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups from 10 to 10,000 People: https://www.amazon.com/High-Growth-Handbook-Elad-Gil/dp/1732265100• Scaling People: Tactics for Management and Company Building: https://www.amazon.com/Scaling-People-Tactics-Management-Building/dp/1953953212• Stripe Press: https://press.stripe.com/• Circe: https://www.amazon.com/Circe-Madeline-Miller/dp/0316556327• Poor Things: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14230458/• Mythic Quest on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/mythic-quest/umc.cmc.1nfdfd5zlk05fo1bwwetzldy3• Silicon Valley on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/silicon-valley• Chrysler Pacifica: https://www.chrysler.com/pacifica.html• Waymo: https://waymo.com/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Dharmesh Shah is the co-founder and CTO of HubSpot (currently valued at $30 billion) and one of the most fascinating founders I’ve ever met. Dharmesh is the keeper of HubSpot’s Culture Code, built ChatSpot (an AI chatbot built on top of HubSpot CRM) and a game called WordPlay (which grew to 16 million users), and also founded and writes for OnStartups, a top-ranking startup blog and community with more than 1M members. He’s also invested in 100+ startups including OpenAI, AngelList, Coinbase, and Dropbox. In our conversation, we discuss:• The biggest lessons he has learned from building HubSpot• The importance of leaning into your strengths• Dharmesh’s data-oriented approach to public speaking• How he developed HubSpot’s culture code• The decision-making process at HubSpot• His contrarian approach to building products• Why founders and product teams are all fighting the second law of thermodynamics• How “flash tags” can save your teams time• How to decide what ideas are worth investing in—Brought to you by:• Explo—Embed customer-facing analytics in your product• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security• LinkedIn Ads—Reach professionals and drive results for your business—Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/lessons-from-30-years-of-building—Where to find Dharmesh Shah:• X: https://twitter.com/dharmesh• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dharmesh/• Website: https://dharmesh.com/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Dharmesh’s background(04:20) Fun facts about Dharmesh(06:31) His data-oriented approach to public speaking(11:45) Advice for adding humor to your presentations(15:28) Why he has no direct reports(18:46) You can shape the universe to your liking(20:02) Lessons from building HubSpot(23:43) Contrarian ways of running a company(37:26) Fighting the second law of thermodynamics (40:29) The importance of simplicity in running a business(45:22) Succeeding in the SMB market(50:29) Zigging when others are zagging(54:17) When it makes sense to go “wide and deep”(57:33) Using flashtags to communicate opinions(01:02:44) HubSpot’s decision-making process (01:09:41) Deciding what ideas to invest in(01:15:26) Defining and maintaining company culture(01:30:46) The potential of AI(01:37:03) Practical advice for learning AI(01:40:07) Where to find Dharmesh—Referenced:• WordPlay: https://wordplay.com/article/unlimited• ChatSpot: https://chatspot.ai/• Indian-origin entrepreneur buys ‘chat.com’ for over $10 million, then sells, donates $250,000 to Khan Academy: https://www.businesstoday.in/technology/news/story/indian-origin-entrepreneur-buys-chatcom-for-over-10-million-then-sells-donates-250000-to-khan-academy-382907-2023-05-26• Kipp Bodnar on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kippbodnar/• The surprising metric presenters should analyze: https://lars-sudmann.com/the-surprising-metric-presenters-should-analyze/• SoloWare: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/dharmesh_for-3-decades-now-in-addition-to-my-day-activity-7166500611247583232-kZgb/• Brian Halligan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianhalligan/• First Principles: Elon Musk on the Power of Thinking for Yourself: https://jamesclear.com/first-principles• Peter Thiel on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterthiel/• The second law of thermodynamics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics• What is an SMB?: https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/SMB-small-and-medium-sized-business-or-small-and-midsized-business• Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/• Relentless curiosity, radical accountability, and HubSpot’s winning growth formula | Christopher Miller (VP of Product, Growth and AI): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/relentless-curiosity-radical-accountability-and-hubspots-winning-growth-formula-christopher-mil/• FlashTags: A Simple Hack for Conveying Context Without Confusion: https://www.onstartups.com/flashtags-a-simple-hack-for-conveying-context-without-confusion• What it means to “disagree and commit”: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16949021• A Simple Decision Framework: Debate, Decide and Unite: https://connectingdots.com/p/debate-decide-unite• Dharmesh Shah’s Frameworks for Creating a $1 Billion Net Worth: https://hakune.co/dharmesh-shah-networth/• Zip: https://ziphq.com/• The HubSpot Culture Code: Creating a Company We Love: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34234/the-hubspot-culture-code-creating-a-company-we-love.aspx• How defining values and culture helped Airbnb achieve worldwide success: https://lattice.com/library/how-defining-values-and-culture-helped-airbnb-achie• What is SQL?: https://aws.amazon.com/what-is/sql/• GrowthBot: https://community.hubspot.com/t5/Releases-and-Updates/Meet-GrowthBot-from-HubSpot-Labs/ba-p/417985—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Matt Abrahams is a renowned communication expert, with decades of teaching, coaching, and consulting experience. At Stanford University, he teaches a business school class on strategic communication. Beyond academia, he’s a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant, guiding presenters from IPO road shows to prestigious platforms like TED, the World Economic Forum, and the United Nations. His acclaimed podcast, Think Fast, Talk Smart, garners millions of listeners, and his book, Think Faster, Talk Smarter, equips speakers with practical skills for impromptu success. With a previous bestseller, Speaking Up Without Freaking Out, Matt has empowered countless individuals to speak confidently and authentically. In our conversation, we discuss:• The concept of “daring to be dull”• The power of visualization to desensitize oneself to speaking situations• Managing negative self-talk• The WHAT structure for delivering toasts (why we are here, how you are connected, anecdote, thanks)• The ADD structure for Q&As (answer, detailed example, describe relevance)• Breathing techniques to reduce anxiety, such as the double exhale• Concrete speaking structures like What? So What? Now What? and the Four I’s (information, impact, invitation, implications)• Much more—Brought to you by:• Sprig—Build a product people love• Dovetail—Bring your customer into every decision• Coda—Meet the evolution of docs—Find the transcript and references at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-speak-more-confidently-and—Where to find Matt Abrahams:• X: https://twitter.com/tftsthepod• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maabrahams/• Website: https://mattabrahams.com/• Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ll0MwobDt1JW9gYaOONEo—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Matt’s background(04:50) Techniques for managing anxiety in public speaking(10:57) Dare to be dull(13:40) Reframing anxiety as excitement(16:08) Using mantras to boost confidence(18:45) Managing negative self-talk(20:03) Normalizing speaking anxiety(23:12) Using conversation as a communication technique(24:52) Using the double-exhale breathing technique(28:29) Getting present-oriented(29:46) Using tongue twisters(33:34) Broad advice for speaking on the spot(38:35) The PREP structure(38:59) The What? So What? Now What? structure(42:10) Toastmasters and improv(45:31) Getting better at small talk(51:05) The importance of sharing back(52:33) Giving feedback(56:31) Improving toasts and tributes(01:02:57) Mastering Q&A sessions(01:07:25) Apologizing effectively(01:09:29) Closing thoughts—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Kunal Shah is one of the most well-known and admired product leaders in India. He is the CEO and founder of CRED, an Indian-based fintech startup valued at over $6 billion. Prior to CRED, he founded three other startups, including Freecharge, which he sold for over $400 million to Snapdeal. He has also been an advisor to India’s most influential organizations. In our conversation, we discuss:• The prevalence of successful Indian immigrants in top CEO roles across the tech industry• Why companies in India can grow DAUs but not ARPU—and what that means for building products for India• What most sets India’s market apart• Challenges and opportunities in the Indian market• The Delta 4 framework for building new products• Lessons from building CRED so far• The power of curiosity and second-order thinking• Lessons from failure—Brought to you by:• WorkOS—The modern API for auth and user identity• Orb—The flexible billing engine for modern pricing• Dovetail—Bring your customer into every decision—Find the transcript and references at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/kunal-shah-on-winning-in-india-second—Where to find Kunal Shah:• X: https://twitter.com/kunalb11• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kunalshah1/• Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/@CRED_club—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Kunal’s background(04:22) The Delta 4 framework(11:00) The success of Indian CEOs in the U.S.(19:55) Challenges and opportunities in India(23:04) DAUs vs. ARPU in Indian markets(25:50) The perception of time in India(27:55) The curse of focus in Asian markets(30:33) Challenges and opportunities in India (continued)(33:23) Lessons learned from building CRED(36:40) Profit pools can provide valuable insights into the values of a country(37:55) Founders’ role in company growth(39:55) Profitability and Indian business culture(43:24) Advice for staying positive amid criticism(44:41) The promising market in India(47:35) The power of curiosity(52:59) Who Kunal looks up to(55:31) Kunal’s favorite sources of content(58:42) Asking great questions(01:02:54) Contrarian corner: Wealth is nothing but storage of energy(01:05:26) Failure corner(01:08:57) Closing thoughts: Share your learnings(01:09:38) Lightning round—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Emilie Gerber is the founder and CEO of Six Eastern, a top PR agency that’s worked with over 100 tech companies, from stealth startups to publicly traded companies. Before starting her own firm, she worked at Uber, where she led PR for the business development team and B2B programs. Prior to that, she worked at Box on product communications, with a focus on product launches and partnership announcements. In our conversation, we discuss:• Why, and when, getting press is worth your time• Common misconceptions about the impact press can have• The second-order effects of press• Which areas each publication (TechCrunch, Axios, The Verge, etc.) cares most about• How to craft your pitch• How to find and reach reporters• How pitching press is different from pitching customers• The effectiveness of direct communication through social media versus traditional press—Brought to you by:• Sprig—Build a product people love• Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security.—Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/the-ultimate-guide-to-pr-emilie-gerber—Where to find Emilie Gerber:• Substack: http://onbackgroundintel.substack.com• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilie-gerber-59612230/• Website: https://sixeastern.com/• Email: hello@sixeastern.com—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Emilie’s background(04:56) The value of press and second-order effects(13:00) When press is not worth your time(17:01) Different publications and their suitability(25:36) Avoiding negative stories(27:23) Finding aligned podcasts and awards(31:12) Advice for reaching out to reporters(37:23) Controversial pitches(41:16) Avoiding category creation(43:26) Examples of pitches that have worked well(53:32) Pitching to Lenny(55:46) Effective pitching strategies(57:45) Improving pitch announcements(01:03:01) Press releases(01:07:06) Crafting a compelling story(01:09:43) Traditional press vs. newsletters, podcasts, and social media(01:15:50) Building a social media presence(01:17:51) How to get a Morning Brew feature(01:19:32) Advice on choosing a PR agency(01:22:25) Timing and budget for PR(01:25:39) Lightning round—Referenced:• Perplexity: https://www.perplexity.ai/• Who is Lenny Rachitsky? And what does he know that you don’t about making millions writing online?: https://www.fastcompany.com/90940453/lenny-rachitsky-newsletter-podcast-job-board-substack• 42-year-old brings in an average of $41,000 a month from his podcast and works on it just 5 hours a week: https://www.cnbc.com/2024/01/11/lenny-rachitsky-podcast-brings-in-more-than-500k-a-year-heres-how.html• How This Newsletter Writer Got More Than 300,000 Subscribers, and Now Makes “Significantly More” Than He Did at His Day Job: https://www.entrepreneur.com/starting-a-business/how-this-newsletter-writer-got-more-than-300000/447172• Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/• Contraline: https://www.contraline.com/• Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/• TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/• Axios: https://www.axios.com/• Fortune: https://fortune.com/• Term Sheet: https://fortune.com/tag/term-sheet/• The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/• Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/• New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/• Found podcast: https://techcrunch.com/tag/found/• Equity podcast: https://techcrunch.com/tag/equity-podcast/• VentureBeat: https://venturebeat.com/• Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/• Clockwise: https://www.getclockwise.com• Shopify deleted 322,000 hours of meetings. Should the rest of us be jealous?: https://www.npr.org/2023/02/15/1156804295/shopify-delete-meetings-zoom-virtual-productivity• Shopify canceled all recurring meetings. Should you too?: https://www.getclockwise.com/blog/shopify-cancels-meetings• Shopify’s new meeting cost calculator is well intentioned—but it’s not addressing the issue: https://www.fastcompany.com/90930137/shopifys-new-meeting-cost-calculator-is-well-intentioned-but-its-not-addressing-the-issue• Matt Martin on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/voxmatt/• Ramp: https://ramp.com/welcome• Corporate card start-up Ramp targets Bill.com with free payments software: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/26/corporate-cards-ramp-targets-billcom-with-free-payments-software.html• Bill: https://www.bill.com/• Velocity over everything: How Ramp became the fastest-growing SaaS startup of all time | Geoff Charles (VP of Product): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/velocity-over-everything-how-ramp-became-the-fastest-growing-saas-startup-of-all-time-geoff-charl/• Column Tax: https://www.columntax.com/• Propel: https://www.joinpropel.com/• Gamma: https://gamma.app/• Gamma brings in $7M to bring the slide deck into the 21st century: https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/28/gamma-brings-in-7m-to-bring-the-slide-deck-into-the-21st-century/• NewBank: https://www.newbankusa.com/• Backed by a16z, Relay races to market with Zapier in its crosshairs: https://techcrunch.com/2023/10/11/relay-a16z-zapier-google/• Zapier: https://zapier.com/• Rajiv Ayyangar’s thread on X about tag lines: https://twitter.com/rajivayyangar/status/1758179077629100482• Entropy: https://entropytechnologydesign.com/• Money 20/20: https://www.money2020.com/• Jim Bankoff on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimbankoff/• Ramping Up: https://www.notboring.co/p/ramping-up• Aaron Levie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/boxaaron/• Aaron Levie on X: https://twitter.com/levie• Duolingo on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@duolingo• Morning Brew: https://www.morningbrew.com/• Tech Brew: https://www.emergingtechbrew.com/• HR Brew: https://www.hr-brew.com/• Mark Zuckerberg on Morning Brew Daily: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQqsvRHjas4&t=1309s• How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence: https://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Mind-Consciousness-Transcendence/dp/1594204225• The Walking Dead on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/70177057• Yellowjackets on Paramount+: https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/yellowjackets/• The Last of Us on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-last-of-us• Apple Vision Pro: https://www.apple.com/apple-vision-pro• TNB Tech Minute: Startup Perplexity Challenges Google With AI Search: https://www.wsj.com/podcasts/tech-news-briefing/tnb-tech-minute-startup-perplexity-challenges-google-with-ai-search/984362d5-a8f0-48b4-8b55-ad7e570a74d2—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Noam Lovinsky has had a distinguished career in product, leaving an indelible mark at Facebook, YouTube, Thumbtack, and currently as the chief product officer at Grammarly. At Facebook, Noam helped establish the New Product Experimentation team; at Thumbtack, he was chief product officer; and at YouTube, he was one of the early product leaders overseeing the consumer experience. In our conversation, we discuss:• Challenges and lessons from reviving growth at YouTube and Thumbtack• Lessons from building Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team• Insights into Grammarly’s success• Knowing when it’s time to kill your project• Why diversifying your growth channels is critical• The power of visioning and storytelling in shaping product strategy• How to create space for innovation at large companies• The resilience and motivation of Grammarly’s team in Ukraine—Brought to you by:• Whimsical—The iterative product workspace• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security.• LinkedIn Ads—Reach professionals and drive results for your business—Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/the-happiness-and-pain-of-product—Where to find Noam Lovinsky:• X: https://twitter.com/noaml• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noaml/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Noam’s background(04:18) Noam’s lack of online presence(08:06) Lessons from YouTube: advocating for what’s best for yourself and the team(14:31) Prioritizing what’s best for the business(19:37) Knowing when it’s time to kill a project(21:47) Lessons from Thumbtack: diversifying growth channels and overcoming challenges(26:24) How Thumbtack turned growth around(31:44) Building Airbnb’s instant booking feature(35:28) Lessons from Thumbtack: team collaboration and product strategy(38:38) Lessons from Facebook: building the New Product Experimentation team(40:43) The importance of starting small and building community density(46:07) Advice for building a startup within a startup(48:52) Having an incentive system(49:34) Lessons from Grammarly: adapting to changing user needs and building for the masses(54:20) The scrappiness and profitability of Grammarly(56:56) The resilience and motivation of the Grammarly team in Ukraine(59:08) General career advice(01:01:02) When to pull back(01:02:58) Closing thoughts(01:03:56) Lightning round—Referenced:• Substack: https://substack.com/• Hunter Walk on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hunterwalk/• The rituals of great teams | Shishir Mehrotra of Coda, YouTube, Microsoft: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-rituals-of-great-teams-shishir-mehrotra-coda-youtube-microsoft/• Salar Kamangar on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/salar-kamangar-5a059712/• Grammarly: https://www.grammarly.com/• Thumbtack: https://www.thumbtack.com/• FRED on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/FRED• How Airbnb Proved That Storytelling Is the Most Important Skill in Design: https://www.inc.com/yazin-akkawi/the-surprising-technique-airbnb-uses-to-better-sell-an-experience.html• Google+: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google%2B• Marco Zappacosta on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcozappacosta/• Bryan Schreier on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanschreier/• Whitney Steele on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitneydsteele/• David Shein on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidshein/• The magic of thinking big, by Lenny Rachitsky: https://www.mindtheproduct.com/the-magic-of-thinking-big-by-lenny-rachitsky/• What Seven Years at Airbnb Taught Me About Building a Business: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/what-seven-years-at-airbnb-taught• New apps, new experiences: NPE Team, from Facebook: https://tech.facebook.com/engineering/2019/7/npe-team-from-facebook/• The Origin Story of the BRC Trash Fence: https://journal.burningman.org/2016/05/black-rock-city/leaving-no-trace/the-origin-story-of-the-brc-trash-fence/• Nike opens high-tech research and innovation lab: https://www.just-style.com/news/nike-opens-high-tech-research-and-innovation-lab/• ChatGPT: https://chat.openai.com/• Microsoft Copilot: https://copilot.microsoft.com/• How to grow a subscription business | Yuriy Timen (Grammarly, Canva, Airtable): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-grow-a-subscription-business-yuriy-timen-grammarly-canva-airtable/• “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”: https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/the-cave-you-fear-to-enter-holds-the-treasure-you-seek-d624e28c3848• Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making: https://www.amazon.com/Build-Unorthodox-Guide-Making-Things/dp/0063046067• For All Mankind on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/for-all-mankind/umc.cmc.6wsi780sz5tdbqcf11k76mkp7• Fargo TV series on Hulu: https://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/fargo• Arc browser: https://arc.net/• Competing with giants: An inside look at how The Browser Company builds product | Josh Miller (CEO): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/competing-with-giants-an-inside-look-at-how-the-browser-company-builds-product-josh-miller-ceo/—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Marty Cagan is a luminary in the world of product. He’s the author of two of the most foundational books for product teams and product leaders (Inspired and Empowered), he’s the founder of Silicon Valley Product Group (one of the longest-running product advisory groups), and he’s almost certainly worked with more product leaders and teams than any human alive. Now he’s releasing his newest book, Transformed, which is sure to become a staple of tech-powered companies worldwide. Marty’s previous appearance on our show remains one of the most popular episodes to date. In this conversation, we discuss:• The rise of “product management theater”• Changes in the PM role post-ZIRP and the shift from growth to build functions• The disconnect between good product companies and online product advice• How over-hiring has created challenges in the product industry• The most important skills for PMs to build• How to know if you’re on a “feature team”• The potential disruption of product management by AI• Marty’s new book, Transformed: Moving to the Product Operating Model• Four new competencies required for successful product organizations—Brought to you by:• Sprig—Build a product people love• Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments• Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security.—Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/product-management-theater-marty—Where to find Marty Cagan:• X: https://twitter.com/cagan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cagan/• Silicon Valley Product Group: https://www.svpg.com/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Marty’s background(04:46) His take on the state of product management(12:08) Product management theater(18:33) Feature teams vs. empowered product teams(24:48) Skills of a real product manager(29:27) The product management reckoning is here(32:05) Taking control of your product management career(34:59) The challenge of finding reliable product management advice(40:18) The disconnect between good product companies and the product management community(44:23) Top-down vs. bottom-up cultures(47:06) The shift in product management post-ZIRP era(49:44) The changing landscape of product management(52:05) The disruption of PM skills by AI(55:56) The purpose and content of Marty’s new book, Transformed(01:02:05) The product operating model(01:08:27) New competencies required for successful product teams(01:11:25) Marty’s thoughts on product ops(01:15:13) Advice for founders who don’t want product managers(01:18:06) Lightning round—Referenced:• Transformed: Moving to the Product Operating Model: https://www.amazon.com/Transformed-Becoming-Product-Driven-Company-Silicon/dp/1119697336• Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love: https://www.amazon.com/INSPIRED-Create-Tech-Products-Customers/dp/1119387507• Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products: https://www.amazon.com/EMPOWERED-Ordinary-Extraordinary-Products-Silicon/dp/111969129X• The nature of product | Marty Cagan, Silicon Valley Product Group: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-nature-of-product-marty-cagan-silicon-valley-product-group/• Product Leadership Theater: https://www.svpg.com/product-leadership-theater/• Product Management Theater: https://www.svpg.com/product-management-theater/• Linear: https://linear.app/• How Linear builds product: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-linear-builds-product• Brian Chesky’s new playbook: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/brian-cheskys-new-playbook/• Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be coders, Jensen Huang warns: https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/27/jensen_huang_coders/• Epic Waste: https://www.svpg.com/epic-waste/• What is scrum and how to get started: https://www.atlassian.com/agile/scrum• CSPO: https://www.scrumalliance.org/get-certified/product-owner-track/certified-scrum-product-owner• PSPO: https://www.scrum.org/courses/professional-scrum-product-owner-training• Jira: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira• Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products That Create Customer Value and Business Value: https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-Discovery-Habits-Discover-Products/dp/1736633309• Shreyas Doshi on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreyasdoshi/• Ben Erez’s LinkedIn post: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7168978777966891008/• Oracle: https://www.oracle.com/• The essence of product management | Christian Idiodi (SVPG): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-essence-of-product-management-christian-idiodi-svpg/• Making Meta | Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth (CTO): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/making-meta-andrew-boz-bosworth-cto/• Building a long and meaningful career | Nikhyl Singhal (Meta, Google): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-a-long-and-meaningful-career-nikhyl-singhal-meta-google/• Partners at SVPG: https://www.svpg.com/team/• Trainline: https://www.thetrainline.com/• Almosafer: https://global.almosafer.com/• Expedia: https://www.expedia.com/• Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/• Salesforce: https://www.salesforce.com/• The ultimate guide to product operations | Melissa Perri and Denise Tilles: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-product-operations-melissa-perri-and-denise-tilles/• Understanding the role of product ops | Christine Itwaru (Pendo): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/understanding-the-role-of-product-ops-christine-itwaru-pendo/• Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making: https://www.amazon.com/Build-Unorthodox-Guide-Making-Things/dp/0063046067• What’s Our Problem?: A Self-Help Book for Societies: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Our-Problem-Self-Help-Societies/dp/B0BVGH6T1Q• Rivian: https://rivian.com/• AI-1 airbag vest: https://www.klim.com/Ai-1-Airbag-Vest-3046-000• Leslie Lamport’s quote: https://quotefancy.com/quote/3702194/Leslie-Lamport-If-you-re-thinking-without-writing-you-only-think-you-re-thinking• Joan Didion’s quote: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/264509-i-don-t-know-what-i-think-until-i-write-it—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Ray (Jiayi) Cao is the global head of product strategy and operations for monetization product at TikTok. Prior to TikTok, Ray spent six years at Google helping scale Google Shopping globally. In our conversation, we discuss:• TikTok’s internal culture and core values• How TikTok’s product team operates• How working at TikTok is different from working at Google• How TikTok rolls out to new markets• TikTok’s core principle of “context, not control”• How their sales and product teams work together• Lessons (and mistakes) from building TikTok’s early go-to-market team• The importance of hiring for quality rather than quantity• Insights on being successful on TikTok as a creator, a business, and an advertiser—Brought to you by:• WorkOS—The modern API for auth & user identity• Eppo—Run reliable, impactful experiments• OneSchema—Import CSV data 10x faster—Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/inside-tiktok-culture-strategy-monetization—Where to find Ray Cao:• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jiayiraycao/—Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/—In this episode, we cover:(00:00) Ray’s background(04:55) Cultural differences between Google and TikTok(08:24) Fine-tuning the algorithm for different markets(12:15) Examples of fine-tuning the algorithm(15:11) Core principles and values of TikTok(19:34) Hiring at TikTok(21:38) Embracing the “always day one” mentality(25:09) Collaboration between teams(28:38) Amazon’s cultural influence(31:14) Setting up the product organization for speed and innovation(35:38) Building the go-to-market team(40:18) What makes people successful at TikTok(43:02) Thoughts on putting in long hours(44:40) OKRs and planning at TikTok(49:12) Tips for how to be successful on TikTok(53:49) Tips for advertising on TikTok(01:04:03) Getting started with TikTok Ads(01:08:42) Common mistakes to avoid with TikTok advertising(01:09:44) Ray’s favorite TikTok account(01:10:54) Where to find Ray—Referenced:• TikTok: https://tiktok.com/• Google Shopping: https://shopping.google.com/• Eugene Wei’s blog: https://www.eugenewei.com/• TikTok and the Sorting Hat: https://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2020/8/3/tiktok-and-the-sorting-hat• How Netflix builds a culture of excellence | Elizabeth Stone (CTO): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-netflix-builds-a-culture-of-excellence-elizabeth-stone-cto/• Inside OpenAI | Logan Kilpatrick (head of developer relations): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/inside-openai-logan-kilpatrick-head-of-developer-relations/• Brian Chesky’s new playbook: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/brian-cheskys-new-playbook/• Lead with Context not Control: https://www.svpg.com/lead-with-context-not-control/• Shuba on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@tiktokbrownchick• Duolingo on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@duolingo• Duolingo leagues: https://duolingo.fandom.com/wiki/League• CapCut: https://www.capcut.com/• Amanda Talijan (silent baby item reviews) on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@amanda_talijan/video/7321700482018233642—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.—Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed. Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
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