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Unsolicited Feedback

Author: Brian Balfour & Fareed Mosavat

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Tired of interview podcasts? Us too. That's why we created Unsolicited Feedback - the podcast that should have come out 5 years ago, but we're making it anyway. In this podcast, Brian Balfour (Reforge, HubSpot), Fareed Mosavat (Reforge, Slack) and friends provide unfiltered feedback on the products they actually use, along with key product lessons.


Essentially, we're taking the conversations that happen between experts at invite-only happy-hours and delivering them to the podcast platform of your choice.


Although no one asked for their opinions, they're sharing them. It's like eating Goodles when you want Kraft Mac n Cheese, or Olipop when you want Pepsi - it feels wrong, yet so right.


Each week, they analyze recent announcements, features, and releases across product and growth. The hosts make predictions about where Threads and Twitter will be in a year, and analyze unparalleled growth loops at LinkedIn. They give respect where it's due, but also deliver tear-downs when the writing’s on the wall. Sorry, not sorry!

50 Episodes
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AI Innovations & Growth Strategies with Andrew Chen | Unsolicited Feedback Live This is a special live episode of Unsolicited Feedback, as part of Reforge's ref:AI conference. Join Fareed Mosavat as he welcomes Andrew Chen from Andreessen Horowitz for an engaging discussion on AI's impact on product growth and innovation. This episode covers the significance of the S curve in technology adoption, the challenges and opportunities arising from rapid AI advancements, and what it means for startups and established companies alike. Andrew shares insights on how to differentiate in a competitive landscape, the evolving role of AI in various industries, and strategic approaches for maintaining relevance. Whether you're a product manager, designer, or tech enthusiast, this episode offers a wealth of knowledge to help you navigate the AI revolution. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this conversation at https://www.reforge.com/blog/strategies-to-beat-the-ai-s-curve Check out more from Unsolicited Feedback! https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/  00:00 Welcome  04:13 Understanding the S Curve 08:35 The Novelty Phase of AI Products 12:26 Challenges and Strategies in AI Product Development 23:19 The Future of AI and Product Innovation 27:44 Platform Shifts and AI Paradigms Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/
Real-Time Feedback: Apple's WWDC 2024 w/ Aaron White & Fareed Mosavat In this Real-Time Feedback Episode, Fareed Mosavat and AI thought-leader Aaron White unpack Apple's strategic moves announced during WWDC, focusing on their approach to AI, their hardware ecosystem, and their long-term vision. We analyze Apple's iterative process, their integration of machine learning and AI, the implications of Apple intelligence, and the unmet potential of the Apple Vision Pro. We also revisited how Apple stacks up against its competitors, contrasting its strategies with those of Google and Microsoft. There's a lot to unpack. We hope you enjoy! Show Notes:  Reforge has just launched a brand new AI product, the Reforge Extension, now in public beta. Ever wish you could get expert feedback from leaders like Fareed, Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen, and Elena Verna while working on your documents? Now you can! Next week, we're excited for ref:AI, a full-day virtual conference delving into all things AI, featuring a special episode of Unsolicited Feedback with the legendary Andrew Chen. Secure your spot now as spaces are limited. Register here today. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Introduction  00:40 Apple's Strategy and Market Position 05:23 Apple Watch and Health Ecosystem 12:58 Siri and Voice Interface Challenges 23:17 Apple's Vision for AI and Machine Learning 31:38 Apple's Strategic Integration of GPT and Siri 35:16 The Apple Ecosystem and User Experience 39:25 The Future of Apple Intelligence and Hardware 47:19 Apple's Approach to AI and Competitor Comparison 58:32 Advice for AI Startups in the Apple Ecosystem Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/
The Future of AI in Marketing, Growth & Content: Season 2 Finale (Part 2) w/ Brian Balfour, Ravi Mehta, Joff Redfern, and Fareed Mosavat In part two of the Unsolicited Feedback Season 2 Finale, Brian Balfour, Joff Redfern, Ravi Mehta, and Fareed Mosavat return to discuss the challenges associated with marketing in the face of declining search trends. They also explore the growing significance of content licensing deals and contemplate the future as AI models become commoditized and our interactions with them (and expectations of them) evolve. Show Notes:  Fareed mentioned that Reforge has just launched a brand new AI product, the Reforge Extension, now in public beta. Ever wish you could get expert feedback from leaders like Fareed, Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen, and Elena Verna while working on your documents? Now you can! He also mentioned our free AI festival, ref:AI, a full-day virtual conference delving into all things AI, featuring a special episode of Unsolicited Feedback with the legendary Andrew Chen. Secure your spot now as spaces are limited. Register here today. And, last but not least, Rupa Chaturvedi & Polly Allen (renowned industry experts with expertise in Generative AI from Amazon’s Alexa, Google and Uber) are teaching Generative AI Products: How to get from Idea to MVP for the 3rd time starting on June 14. It's a 3-week course designed to get you started on your journey of leading AI initiatives and projects that involve Generative AI. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Season Finale Introduction (Part 2) 02:20 Decline of the S-Curve 07:10 SEO Unknowns 11:15 Modality Changes 13:05 Trouble Monetizing Traffic 14:15 Confusion Around Copyright Law 16:05 Licensing Content & Revenue Issues 17:30 LLMs In The Gray Area 19:08 Content As Supply for Generative Models 22:17 Hot Takes 22:40 AI Value Is Not In Foundational Models 24:42 AI Chatbots Are A Phase 27:56 What We Thought AI Would Be Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/
Key Takeaways from H1 2024: Reflecting on Hardware, Unstructured Data, and the Future of Product Management In the season 2 finale of 'Unsolicited Feedback,' co-hosts Brian Balfour, Ravi Mehta, and Joff Redfern join Fareed Mosavat to reflect on the most compelling topics of the season. They start with discussions on how trends diverge between hardware and software markets, and the distinctions between luxury and premium products. The episode takes a deep dive into AI's role in revolutionizing unstructured data and its far-reaching effects on product management. Touching on methodology changes, the hosts contemplate how AI might transform the software development life cycle and what it means for the future roles of product managers, designers, and engineers, giving some Unsolicited Feedback to our friend Lenny Rachitsky along the way. Show Notes: Fareed mentioned that Reforge has just launched a brand new AI product, the Reforge Extension, now in public beta. Ever wish you could get expert feedback from leaders like Fareed, Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen, and Elena Verna while working on your documents? Now you can! He also mentioned our free AI festival, ref:AI, a full-day virtual conference delving into all things AI, featuring a special episode of Unsolicited Feedback with the legendary Andrew Chen. Secure your spot now as spaces are limited. Register here today. And, last but not least, Rupa Chaturvedi & Polly Allen (renowned industry experts with expertise in Generative AI from Amazon’s Alexa, Google and Uber) are teaching Generative AI Products: How to get from Idea to MVP for the 3rd time starting on June 14. It's a 3-week course designed to get you started on your journey of leading AI initiatives and projects that involve Generative AI. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Season Finale Introduction 03:50 Luxury in Software and Physical Goods 18:16 AI's Impact on Product Management 30:29 AI vs Human Intuition in Strategy 38:11 The Role of AI in Communication and Empathy 41:19 Revolutionizing the Software Development Life Cycle 52:25 The Rise of Full-Stack Product Leaders Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/
Microsoft’s Game-Changing Releases: Is Windows Poised to Dominate the AI Era? w/ Kurt Schrader In this episode of 'Unsolicited Feedback,' host Fareed Mosavat and guest Kurt Schrader, CEO and founder of Shortcut, dive into Microsoft's latest AI announcements, including the Copilot+ PC initiative and Windows Recall. We explore the potential impact of these innovations on the consumer market and reflect on how Apple should respond at the upcoming WWDC. We also debate the strategic strengths and weaknesses of both tech giants in the evolving AI landscape.  Before we dive in, Fareed mentioned in the podcast that Reforge has just launched a brand new AI product, the Reforge Extension, now in public beta. Ever wish you could get expert feedback from leaders like Fareed, Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen, and Elena Verna while working on your documents? Now you can! Install it for free today and elevate your work with Reforge experts by your side. Join us for refAI, a full-day virtual conference delving into all things AI, featuring a special episode of Unsolicited Feedback with the legendary Andrew Chen. Secure your spot now as spaces are limited. Register here today. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Introduction 01:11 Microsoft's Big AI Announcements 04:46 Microsoft's AI-Powered Future 07:00 Copilot Plus PCs: A Full Stack Experience 17:59 Windows Recall: A Game Changer? 21:06 The Future of AI and Privacy 25:41 Speculations on Apple's Upcoming Surprises 27:34 Microsoft's Strategic Moves and Apple's Response 29:41 Apple's Potential AI and Voice Integration 31:30 The Developer Ecosystem: Microsoft vs. Apple 35:45 Hopes and Predictions for WWDC
Sonos' Redesign Debacle: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Product Upgrades w/ Kurt Schrader Join host Fareed Mosavat on 'Unsolicited Feedback' as he delves into the latest Sonos app controversy with guest Kurt Schrader, CEO and founder of Shortcut, a platform that helps product and engineering teams unify to build collaboratively. This episode covers the major issues faced by Sonos power users, strategies for effective feature deprecation, the risks of big product redesigns, and how to manage user feedback and trust. Additionally, the episode touches on strategic pre-mortems, real-world scenarios from Slack and Shortcut, and insights into balancing innovation with user experience. Before we dive in, Fareed mentioned in the podcast that Reforge has just launched a brand new AI product, the Reforge Extension, now in public beta. Ever wish you could get expert feedback from leaders like Fareed, Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen, and Elena Verna while working on your documents? Now you can! Install it for free today and elevate your work with Reforge experts by your side. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons from this episode at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Introduction 01:44 Diving Into the Sonos App Update Controversy 05:16 The Challenges of Redesigning with Power Users in Mind 15:49 Learning from Slack's IRC Gateway Deprecation 18:26 Strategies for Managing Feature Deprecation and User Transition 24:31 Navigating the Challenges of Product Redesigns 26:18 Evaluating Redesign Feedback: Timing and Approach 28:50 The Pre-Mortem Strategy: Anticipating User Feedback 34:00 The Lock-In Factor: Navigating Customer Loyalty and Alternatives 37:33 Innovating in a Market Dominated by Incumbents
Evaluating AI Models, Unlocking Unstructured Data, and Achieving Reliability w/ Ben Kus Today on "Unsolicited Feedback," Fareed Mosavat dives deep into the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence with tech expert and Box CTO, Ben Kus. As AI continues to reshape industries, understanding its core mechanisms and potential applications has never been more critical. Ben sheds light on how AI can enhance productivity and decision-making within organizations while also sharing technical strategies he’s implemented to ensure reliability for Box’s enterprise customers. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Introduction 02:19 Rapid Fire Advice for AI Product and Technology Teams 05:25 Understanding and Navigating the World of AI Models 08:21 The Challenges of AI Change Management and Model Selection 14:29 Evaluating AI Quality and Performance in the Enterprise 25:23 Unstructured Data: The Next Frontier for AI 29:15 The Future of AI in Structuring Unstructured Data 43:55 Exploring the Potential of AI Agents and User Experience Thank you for listening to Unsolicited Feedback! Don’t forget to hit subscribe on the podcast network of your choice: Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unsolicited-feedback/id1706701340 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7FzVEIBamWnExyJpJ2LCwF And sign up for our mailing list at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ If you love this show, please leave us a 5-Star Review and tell a friend about the podcast!
Box CTO's Approach to Enterprise AI Tools & Insights from Google and OpenAI's Latest Releases w/ Ben Kus In the latest episode of "Unsolicited Feedback," Fareed Mosavat chats with Ben Kus, CTO of Box, to delve into the dynamic world of AI advancements and their implications for technology companies and users alike. This episode offers rich insights into how multimodal AI is transforming the tech landscape, driven by recent announcements from OpenAI and Google. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Introduction 02:07 Ben Kus: From Technologist to CTO of Box 04:08 AI Week Highlights: OpenAI and Google's Diverse Approaches 06:21 The Real-Time Magic of AI Demonstrations 11:43 OpenAI's Strategy: A Broad Yet Focused Approach 16:30 Google's AI Integration Strategy 19:49 Exploring the Potential of AI in Everyday Tools 23:39 The Enterprise Side of AI: Tailoring Technology for Business 32:39 Navigating Enterprise Needs and AI Innovation: A Case Study with Box
MVPs are Officially Dead: Here's How to Launch and Find Market Fit in 2024 w/ Sachin Rekhi Welcome back to "Unsolicited Feedback," where Product-Market Fit (PMF) expert, Sachin Rekhi joins Fareed Mosavat to discuss the evolving thinking on Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) and their impact on achieving PMF in competitive markets. We discuss Linear, Dropbox, and Airbnb, and reflect on this post by Linear co-founder, Tuomas Artman. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 From MVP to Magical: Rethinking Product Launch Strategy 06:46 Narrowing the Market: A Key to Success 07:34 The Dropbox Story: A Lesson in Product Polish and Narrow Focus 14:00 The Importance of Craft, Taste, and Target Audience in Product Development 18:25 Linear's Approach: Strong Convictions and Narrow Focus 24:01 The Power of Closed Betas and Waitlists 27:48 Case Study: LinkedIn Sales Navigator's Journey from Zero to One 31:20 Validating Product Market Fit Before Building 36:06 Narrowing the Target Audience for Precise Market Fit 39:04 Key Takeaways on Product Development and Market Fit
This week on "Unsolicited Feedback," Fareed Mosavat welcomed Sachin Rekhi to explore the shifting landscape of media, focusing on the evolution from traditional, slower media forms to what's increasingly being termed "dopamine culture." We analyze how this change is not only profoundly affecting how we consume content but also how we should build and launch products. Sachin has created multiple Reforge courses, is the founder & CEO of NoteJoy, and the creator of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a now $1B ARR business. And, he has a new video-native podcast you can watch on YouTube! Check out a full summary at UnsolicitedFeedback.co! We're back Thursday to discuss finding Product-Market Fit without MVPs!
Revolutionizing Productivity: Feedback on Loom, Linear, and Even LaunchDarkly w/ Claire Vo In part two of our "Unsolicited Feedback," host Fareed Mosavat and our esteemed guest, Claire Vo (CPO at LaunchDarkly, Founder of ChatPRD), explore significant advancements in AI and collaboration tools, with a spotlight on Loom and Linear's latest innovations. The episode delves into how these tools are not only enhancing productivity but also potentially reshaping communication norms in professional environments. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/ 00:00 Introduction 02:17 Exploring Loom's Innovations and Atlassian Integration 06:57 The Future of Collaboration: Video, Audio, and AI 14:42 Loom's Role in Atlassian's Ecosystem and Future Directions 17:33 Linear's Approach to Enhancing Product Development 20:55 The Challenge of Integrating Docs and Tasks 30:41 The Power of Being Your Own Customer 35:47 Embracing New User Experience and Onboarding Thank you for listening to Unsolicited Feedback! Don’t forget to hit subscribe on the podcast network of your choice! And sign up for our mailing list at ➡️ https://www.unsolicitedfeedback.co/
Building ChatPRD and 🌶️ Takes on the Future of Product Management in the AI-Era w/ Claire Vo In this week’s episode of "Unsolicited Feedback," we're excited to welcome back Claire Vo, CPO of LaunchDarkly and the founder of ChatPRD. As a repeat guest, Claire delves into the intricacies of building her AI tool, ChatPRD, and shares her incisive perspectives on the evolving roles in product management as AI reshapes the industry in 2024 and beyond. Check out a full summary of her hot takes at Unsolicitedfeedback.co! 00:00 Introduction 02:22 Rethinking the 'No' Mantra in Product Management 06:42 Leveraging ChatPRD for Career Growth and Efficiency 20:29 Navigating the Challenges of Building AI Products 26:50 The Accessibility of Software Engineering for PMs 31:01 The Impact of Low Friction Analytics on Deep Analysis 46:39 Efficiency and Organizational Design in Product Teams
Critiquing Disney's Strategic Moves & Bundling Choices; Navigating the Future of Streaming In this episode of 'Unsolicited Feedback,' host Fareed Mosavat and guest Mariah Muscato, a Director of Product at HubSpot, dive into a detailed discussion about Disney Plus, its bundle strategy, and the broader challenges facing streaming services. They explore Disney's transition from content creation to embracing technology, its battles with activist investors, and strategic decisions against the backdrop of evolving consumer expectations and the competitive landscape of streaming services. The conversation also touches upon the principle of the perfect bundle, Disney's potential shifts in strategy, the impact on and from platforms like YouTube, and broader discussions on the future of streaming content. Finally, the dialogue covers the pricing and packaging strategies of streaming, and speculates on the future direction of Disney Plus and its competitors. Check out a full summary of the takeaways and lessons at unsolicitedfeedback.co. Timestamps: 00:00 Welcome 01:00 The Evolution and Challenges of Disney's Streaming Strategy 02:27 The Superfan vs. Casual Fan Dilemma in Content Strategy 03:20 The Impact of Content Strategy on Subscriber Growth and Retention 06:59 Disney's Strategic Shift and the Role of Bundling 10:54 The Streaming Wars: A Battle for Content and Subscribers 19:00 The Future of Streaming: Consolidation, Content, and Consumer Choice 27:48 Disney Plus and the Challenge of Tech Transformation 30:41 The Challenges of Content Distribution and Monetization 39:49 YouTube and the Evolution of Content Consumption 50:24 The Streaming Wars: Predictions and Strategies for Survival Show Notes: ➡️ Shishir Mehrotra's Four Myths of Bundling ➡️ Disney's Original Bundling Strategy
Tinder's New Safety Feature Delivers More Than Just Security to the Legendary Swiping App 🎉 In this episode of 'Unsolicited Feedback', host Fareed Mosavat and guest Mariah Moscato (Director of Product, HubSpot) discuss the intricacies of dating apps, with a focus on Tinder's new safety feature, 'Share My Date'. This feature allows users to share their location and date details for safety purposes. They explore how it not only enhances user safety but could open Tinder to new user groups and potentially drive network effects. Mariah shares her personal journey of moving to Dublin, her experiences with dating apps, and insights into how dating behaviors are evolving, especially around ethical non-monogamy. They also touch on how dating apps like Tinder could evolve to include non-dating functionalities and improve user engagements.  Check out a full summary here, and stay tuned as our Deep Dive this week covers the magical world of Disney!
Feedback on Humane, Limitless, and AirChat: Positioning and Strategy Insights For Early Stage Companies In Part 2 of our conversation with Kieran Flanagan, CMO behind Zapier & HubSpot, we wanted to get back to our roots with some Unsolicited Feedback on the product launches of Humane AI, Limitless, and AirChat. Along the way, we uncovered a few key lessons for any early stage company navigating the complexities of market entry and product development. If you think we’re wrong about any of this, we hope you’ll tell us on LinkedIn! As always, a full summary is available at Unsolicitedfeedback.co!
The New AI Marketing Playbook Amid Google's Stumbles  This week on Unsolicited Feedback, Brian Balfour & Fareed Mosavat welcomed Kieran Flanagan, and within 30 seconds of taping, Kieran dropped a 💣 on us! He’s leaving his role as CMO of Zapier and rejoining HubSpot to lead initiatives at the intersection of marketing and AI! Kieran is driven by the opportunity to define the future of marketing in an AI-driven world, and that naturally became our first topic. As Kieran prepares to dive back into HubSpot, Brian mentions that a lot of HubSpot’s success has been accelerated by its ability to conquer Google. So, naturally, we questioned what lies ahead for this behemoth amidst the rise of AI and what the implications of Google’s latest SEO decisions are, given the broad dependency of marketing strategies on Google's search capabilities. Fareed optimistically suggests that Google will adapt and continue to thrive. However, Kieran presents a compelling counterargument, starkly stating, "Google will not be fine." 🔥🔥🔥 After some spicy 🌶️ Unsolicited Feedback for Google, Kieran builds a "AI Marketing Playbook," a fascinating framework for navigating the new realities of an AI-driven marketing world. The initial four pillars are: Personalization PLG 2.0 Multimodal Focus Creator Partnerships Visit us at UnsolicitedFeedback.co for a full summary!
Product Lessons from Netflix's "Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul" with Penelope Talbot-Kelly In a fascinating episode of our podcast, Penelope Talbot-Kelly & Fareed Mosavat dove deep into the Netflix documentary "Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul." The discussion revealed critical insights that resonate far beyond the e-cigarette industry, touching on fundamental issues relevant to all tech companies. But first, Fareed and Penelope discuss the broader tech landscape, discussing trends such as AI, layoffs, and how these elements influence the current work culture. Penelope shared firsthand experiences and observations about the changing dynamics in recruitment and employee experiences, especially during times of economic downturns. The tech labor market discussion starts immediately, and the Big Vape / Juul analysis begins at 15:30. Join us at UnsolicitedFeedback.co for a full summary of the spiciest hottakes and most compelling lessons derived from the conversation!
Unpacking the Google-HubSpot Acquisition Rumors: Implications for the Future of CRM This week on "Unsolicited Feedback," host Fareed Mosavat welcomed Penelope Talbot-Kelly, GM of Platform & Services at DoorDash, and Austin Hays, a veteran in CRM and Martech, to discuss the buzzing rumors about Google potentially acquiring HubSpot. Austin previously joined us to chat about HubSpot’s acquisition of Clearbit. Well, he’s back to help us delve deeper into what this new merger could mean for the CRM landscape and digital marketing tools. Join us at Unsolicitedfeedback.co for a full summary!
Ever wondered how a game as old as chess could become a global sensation in the digital age? The answer lies in the power of product, growth, and, more recently, AI. In our latest episode of Unsolicited Feedback, Joff Redfern and Fareed Mosavat had an insightful conversation with Erik Allebest, CEO of Chess.com. This episode explores the intersection of technology, human behavior, and ethics in the world of online chess, focusing on how Chess.com leverages AI to revolutionize the game while confronting challenges like cheating and maintaining a fair competitive environment. Insights from the platform's journey illuminate broader lessons in innovation, user engagement, ethical considerations, and growth strategy.
In today’s episode of Unsolicited Feedback, Fareed Mosavat, Joff Redfern, and Kipp Bodnar delve into the meteoric rise of Martech tools and the transformative role of AI, with a special focus on the innovative video creation platform, HeyGen. This discussion is very valuable for anyone leading marketing efforts in 2024 and beyond. 🌠 The bottom line: We're currently optimizing AI tools to enhance conversion rates, yet we're still waiting for a new distribution channel to emerge. Could this change be on the horizon? Full summary is available at UnsolicitedFeedback.co
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