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An interview with Chris Mason. Chris is an executive recruitment consultant who started his agency Intelligent People over 20 years ago. Chris is passionate about diversity & inclusion in recruitment, as well as helping product leaders in general land their next job. We speak about a lot, including: The state of the product hiring market today and how product management recruitment has changed over the last 20 years How product management has moved from IT to a strategic partner for product-led companies and when companies should hire a CPO Whether we're seeing more product practitioners getting a seat at the top table and how there are two main types of product leadership job Why you should be careful which job you wish for, and how to know when to stop trying to climb the career ladder Whether product job titles are getting more consistent and whether it's true that job titles don't matter Why women should consider not divulging their current salary as it can help to perpetuate gender biased salary and whether the gender pay gap is getting better or worse What hiring companies can do to make sure they're developing a diverse talent pipeline and the importance of hiring for "not fit" rather than culture fit And much more! Contact Chris You can find Chris at Intelligent People or check him out on LinkedIn.
An interview with Sarah Doody. Sarah is a former UX practitioner and leader who started out trying to help UX pros with their portfolios before realising there's an even bigger problem to solve; how to help designers & product managers optimise for success and give themselves the best chance of getting that next career move. We speak about a lot, including: The origin story behind Career Strategy Lab, how they can help you get a new job, and whether it's just designers or everyone in the product trio That chicken & egg scenario when you can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job, and whether this is just something that affects PMs or hits designers too Whether UX job descriptions are any better than Product Management job descriptions and some of the reasons we have poor job specs and poor interviewing process How job specs are really just wish lists and the importance of actually reading them rather than just clicking "Quick Apply" to anything with a matching job title The importance of customising resumes, CVs and cover letters, why this sounds controversial, and how to make it scale Why it might be OK to interview for jobs that you don't actually want to get some practice, and the benefits of taking an MVP approach to your job application Whether ATS systems are really the gatekeeping problem that some people make them out to be, and the importance of making personal connections where you can And much more! A brief interruption from my sponsor - me! I'm terrible at asking for money but if you would like to throw any spare change at me to prevent me having to read out tiresome generic podcast ads, you can buy me a coffee. If not, I love you all anyway! Contact Sarah You can find Sarah on her personal website or check out Career Strategy Lab. Sarah is also active on Twitter.
An interview with Russ Laraway. Russ was a Company Commander in the US Marines before entering Big Tech at Google, Twitter & Qualtrics. He also co-founded Radical Candor LLC with Kim Scott, and believes that anyone can be trained to be a good manager with the right approach. He wrote about this approach in his new book "When They Win, You Win". We speak about a lot, including: Why the world needs doesn't need another person's opinion on what makes a good manager, and how he wants to move away from opinions and move to data driven, measurable results How the US Marines set the stage for him to be a good manager, what moving to Big Tech taught him about focusing on results, and how the military can teach Big Tech a thing or two about Commander's Intent Why it was important to simplify the mission to make managers better, because most people aren't getting better and some are getting worse because there's so much conflicting information out there Why companies are so bad at developing managers, and how his STAC (Select, Teach, Assess, Coach) approach might help get us away from the best Individual Contributor getting thrown into the pit with no support How everyone wants to do great work & be totally psyched whilst doing it, and why people's direct managers are ultimately the key to making that happen The big three of Direction, Coaching, Career, how they can help managers thrive and the importance of helping managers not just concentrating on the stuff they're best at Whether managers are born or bred, and whether introverts or extrovert make the best managers And much more! A brief interruption from my sponsor - me! I'm terrible at asking for money but if you would like to throw any spare change at me to prevent me having to read out tiresome generic podcast ads, you can buy me a coffee. If not, I love you all anyway! Buy "When They Win, You Win" "Businesses everywhere are plagued by managers who seem to think that keeping their staff miserable is the best way to deliver profits. This is a failure of leadership that also hurts the bottom line; research has shown that maintaining a happy, engaged workforce consistently drives measurably better business results across the board."   Check the book out wherever you get your books, or check it out on Amazon or the book website. Check out my interview with Kim Scott I spoke to Russ's former colleague Kim Scott last year on the podcast about her book "Just Work" - it was a fantastic conversation and you can check it out here. Contact Russ You can find Russ on his website or check him out on LinkedIn or Twitter
About the Episode An interview with Martina Lauchengco. Martina is a product marketing guru who once worked on MS Office before a glittering career in a variety of tech companies led her into partnerships with SVPG and Costanoa Ventures. She's recently released her new book, "Loved" to try to help product managers & founders get good at product marketing. We speak about a lot, including: Why she wanted to write a book to help early stage founders and product managers understand how to market their products to make sure they make a difference How most tech companies are getting their marketing wrong, what it looks like when they do, and what they should be doing instead The problems companies can have using traditional marketing approaches led by traditional market folks, and how any initial successes inevitably fade out Whether you need to go all in and drink the Product Marketing Kool Aid or can iterate your way to product marketing success Some of the traits of a good product marketer, how they are similar to product managers, whether you need specialised product marketers or it's just a mindset issue How soon you need product marketers and whether there's value in fractional roles helping you out when you're early Top tips for product managers who want to work effectively with their product marketing team, and treat them as equal partners in their product success And much more! A brief interruption from my sponsor - me! I'm terrible at asking for money but if you would like to throw any spare change at me to prevent me having to read out tiresome generic podcast ads, you can buy me a coffee. If not, I love you all anyway! Buy "Loved" "The best products can still lose in the marketplace. Why? They are beaten by products with stronger product marketing. Good product marketing is the difference between “also-ran” products versus products that lead. And yet, product marketing is widely misunderstood. Although it includes segmenting customers, positioning your product, creating product collateral, and supporting sales teams, great product marketing achieves much more. It directs the best way to bring your product to market. It shapes what the world thinks about your product and category. It inspires others to tell your product’s story."   Check the book out wherever you get your books, or check it out on Amazon or the book website. Contact Martina You can find Martina on her personal website. Also, if you bought a copy of her book, you can send your receipt to info@svpg.com for a free chat!
An interview with Étienne Garbugli. Étienne is the lead instructor and CEO of Lean B2B, and a three-time startup founder. He's the author of three books: "Find your Market", "Solving Product" and "Lean B2B". The latter book is out for a second edition, and we decided to talk all about it. We speak about a lot, including: How the second edition has gone down, why there's a second edition at all and why this book matters to B2B entrepreneurs & product managers How the book can help both non-technical, subject matter expert startup founders as well as tech-first founders with little to no B2B experience The Lean B2B methodology, represented by its handy pyramid and key considerations at the various levels Vision: How to systematise your product vision, where to get started, and whether you need a Eureka moment Market: Working out who your target market is, the perils of going too wide, and how many people don't even really know what a market is Jury: Getting your buyers, approvers, users and even veto-ers together to ensure there's a good reception for your proposition Needs: The merits of good customer discovery and why we need to understand our buyers and sellers Offer: How to factor in risks, associated costs to your value proposition, and why it's important to separate the value from the specific solution Solution: How to get your MVP into the hands of early adopters, and whether all types of B2B customer are ready for MVPs What happens after the pyramid once you've validated your solution, and what product/market fit really means in a B2B sense And much more!   A brief interruption from my sponsor - me! I'm terrible at asking for money but if you would like to throw any spare change at me to prevent me having to read out tiresome generic podcast ads, you can buy me a coffee. If not, I love you all anyway! Buy "Lean B2B" "The second edition of Lean B2B is the result of years of research into B2B entrepreneurship. It builds off the unique Lean B2B Methodology, which has already helped thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators around the world build successful businesses. "   Visit The Book Website for more info, and links to Étienne's other books. Contact Étienne You can find Étienne on LinkedIn, Twitter or visit his website.
About the Episode An interview with Saielle DaSilva. Saielle is Director of User Experience at Cazoo, an online car marketplace. Saielle believes in "putting the soft back into software", is a well regarded conference speaker, and also came out as a transgender woman to her friends & colleagues a few months ago. We speak about a lot, including: Her work at Cazoo, helping to transform a traditional industry for the good of users & the planet, and what "putting the soft into software" really means The start of her journey, how long she's known she's a woman and how no one chooses to be transgender for fun or because of peer pressure Her disappointment with celebrities that she used to admire or support, how transgender people are unfairly labelled by people with zero knowledge, and how everyone should be humble enough to do the work and learn to be better The transition roadmap - how she got ready, the step-by-step approach she took, how she was happy to find people were generally supportive and not as hateful as the mainstream media often portray The letter she wrote to her colleagues when she came out at work, the level of detail she went into, types of inappropriate questions transgender women get and her desire to avoid living "reality TV" transgender How troublesome the "Hugh Grant" style bumbling apology for misgendering your colleagues can be, and why you should just apologise and move on What we can all do, both through our company culture and our own actions to ensure we foster a diverse, welcoming workplace and help our transgender colleagues feel accepted & safe And much more!   Donate to Saielle's fundraiser Saielle is undergoing further surgery to help with her transition. If you would like to donate, please check out Saielle's fundraiser. Donate to gender diverse charities If you want to donate to charities that support gender diverse charities, check out Mermaids in the UK, or The Trevor Project in the US. Contact Saielle You can reach out to Saielle on Twitter or visit her blog.
About the Episode An interview with Amogh Sarda. Amogh is a former Atlassian and Intercom product manager turned company founder with Eesel, a company that aims to take the pain away from managing your documents. He's also a keen improv comedian, and believes there are similarities between how you create an improv skit and how you make a winning product. We speak about a lot, including: The story behind founding Eesel, how they're trying to make finding your own documents as easy as finding President Obama's shoe size, and whether they can save us from Slack thread hell The pros & cons of starting a company with a founder who lives 10 hours' time difference away, and how to make it work for you The jump from big structured product company to startup life, how you have to identify your ground truths as well as accept the layers of uncertainty that will evolve as you go and making sure you don't change everything all the time How you should bring nuance to product principles, what this means and why sometimes it's worth spending some time in the solution space and working back to the problems His love of improv comedy, how he got into it, and how it maps to product management practices more than you might think: The base reality - working out where you're at and the unarguable truths of your situation The game - the key insights or ways that you can affect the base reality The funny scene / a great product - executing and bringing it all home The importance of keeping it simple, not getting sidetracked or going after everything you could And much more!   A brief interruption from my sponsor - me! I'm terrible at asking for money but if you would like to throw any spare change at me to prevent me having to read out tiresome generic podcast ads, you can buy me a coffee. If not, I love you all anyway! Contact Amogh You can find Amogh on Twitter or check his blog, The Paperclip.
An interview with Darby Maloney. Darby is a product manager and an avid TikToker who made an innocuous video about product management for her non tech friends and was all of a sudden centre stage for tech bros across TikTok and Twitter, getting criticised for being a woman in tech, for being a woman in a pool, for being a product manager and just about everything else. We talk about a lot, including: How she made the move into product management from customer support, got that tricky first product management job by putting extra hours in on top of her day job, and the importance of finding good mentors to help you along the way The story behind that video, why she was making a video about product management with a laptop in a swimming pool in the first place, and whether she stands behind her (and her colleague's) description of product management The three main types of criticism she got after the video went viral, how much of that was about her being a woman, how much was about her being a product manager and the crass double standards it exposed The effect of the abuse on her mental & emotional state, and how she started to worry about her job and the credibility that she had to work so hard for How young women in general have to work extra hard, in a way that young men don't tend to have to do, to prove that they're intelligent, reliable and good at their job How she tried to give due credit to engineers & designers for doing the "impressive" work and it why it was disappointing to be attacked in return The supportive comments that she got after the hate, how much this meant to her and how some people got in touch to admit wrongdoing and that they'd changed their minds Whether she's going to double down on tech videos in future, and if she does whether she'll do the next ones in a serious looking room with lots of books behind her And much more! A brief interruption from my sponsor - me! I'm terrible at asking for money but if you would like to throw any spare change at me to prevent me having to read out tiresome generic podcast ads, buy me a coffee. If not, I love you all anyway! The infamous swimming pool video and the rebuttals Here's the original video that started it all off. The swimming pool video Darby also posted two follow up videos: Rebuttal 1 Rebuttal 2 Contact Darby You can find Darby on TikTok or Instagram. We're also trying to get her to spend more time on Twitter!
An interview with Daniel Elizalde. Daniel is a Product Advisor to ClimateTech product teams and long time IoT guru. He's also recently decided to tackle some of the problems B2B product managers have getting their ideas to market. He's tackling this with his own podcast as well as new book "The B2B Innovator's Map". We speak about a lot, including: Why he decided to write his new book now, and how he tried to make it actionable and fresh with numerous real world examples from his own career and long experience consulting with B2B firms How the vast majority of B2B innovations fail, how his book aims to offer a solution to this and give a process to enable B2B product leaders to get from zero to their first ten customers (and who those ten customers should be) How his experience in Climate Tech has helped him come up with recommendations on how to frame seemingly esoteric B2B products in ways that resonate with those customers' real problems and drawing a line back to real world ROI The six stages of the B2B Innovators' Map (Strategic Alignment, Market Discovery, User Discovery, Solution Planning, Prototyping, Early Adopters), what they involve and when to double back The importance of cutting your losses with Early Adopters, and not succumbing to the temptation to do absolutely anything to keep a customer on board if you've proved it doesn't make sense for you in the wider context of your product The risks of coming to the end of the process with a niche product for a limited audience, and how to make sure that the things you're building are made generic for an entire market What comes after the B2B Innovator's Map and the importance of aligning next steps with your leadership team to take your learnings to the big time And much more!   Buy "The B2B Innovator's Map" "Most new enterprise software products fail to generate a profit. They fail not because of technical challenges, lack of funding, or market conditions. Instead, new products fail because most companies build products that don’t satisfy a market need, so customers don’t buy them. The B2B Innovator’s Map is your practical guide to taming uncertainty and discovering opportunities to develop products your customers will be eager to buy."   Visit The Book Website for more info. Contact Daniel You can find Daniel on LinkedIn or DanielElizalde.com.
A message from our sponsor Do you struggle with communicating with dev teams and understanding technical terminology and concepts? On episode 98, I hosted Irene Yu, founder of Skiplevel, an on-demand training program that helps professionals and teams become more technical in just 5 weeks... All without learning to code. Learn the knowledge and skills you need to better communicate with devs and become more confident in your day-to-day role with the Skiplevel program. Go to Skiplevel.co and use code OKIP75 to get $75 off the program by 15th June, 2022. About this Episode An interview with Andy Budd. Andy is the founder of Clearleft, one of the UK's original design consultancies. He's now an in demand speaker, thought leader and advisor on the topics of design & entrepreneurship. We speak about a lot, including: The story behind his departure from day-to-day operations at Clearleft, how he believes that startup founders have a shelf life as CEO, and the importance of bringing new blood into the company as you scale The problems with getting design practices changed in established companies and why he's focusing now on going back to basics with early stage startups and working with founders to instill good design practices from the beginning Why it's important to get design into the startup as early as possible to apply structure and rigour, but how many founders have done more product discovery than we give them credit for How early product managers in founder-run startups are often brought in as the equivalent of short order chefs and the folly of trying to turn McDonalds in to a Michelin starred restaurant The common situation when early founders being people into the company to help apply process, get frustrated when everything slows down but how it's fair enough for founders to feel this since it's ultimately their business on the line How most companies should probably do more research but how most product designers should be more pragmatic and realise that ultimately they can help to sustain the business with less-than-perfect designs The trouble that product & design people can have getting to the top table, the things they might need to do to get there and how product & design teams are playing chess while the rest of the leadership team are playing poker And much more! Contact Andy You can find Andy on Twitter or check out andybudd.com
A message from our sponsor Do you struggle with communicating with dev teams and understanding technical terminology and concepts? On episode 98, I hosted Irene Yu, founder of Skiplevel, an on-demand training program that helps professionals and teams become more technical in just 5 weeks... All without learning to code. Learn the knowledge and skills you need to better communicate with devs and become more confident in your day-to-day role with the Skiplevel program. Go to Skiplevel.co and use code OKIP75 to get $75 off the program by 15th June, 2022. About this Episode An interview with Nicole Reineke. Nicole is a strategist and author with 75 patents to her name. She wanted to help others unlock the innovator within them and wrote "Compassion Driven Innovation" with a cross-functional group of co-authors. The book aims to give business owners and product leaders a proven methodology to defeat the Innovator's Dilemma and get the best innovation results. We speak about a lot, including: Some of the early reception for her book, how people have started to adopt it and use in within their organisations, and how she wrote it very cross-functionally with 2 co-authors from different fields Why she needed to "write the book she needed to read" after having been granted 75 patents and realising that there was a method to drive true innovation How she started off researching a number of companies to work out the four core root causes of innovation failure: Exclusivity, Missing the most pressing challenges, Overestimated value and Unsupported moon shots How this book tackles some of the gaps left behind by the classic Innovator's Dilemma and offers innovators a way to solve it The tale behind the compassion driven innovation methodology, how can it help mitigate the 4 different types of innovation failure, and the 4 stages of the compassion driven innovation process: Include, Discover, Enlighten & Activate. The importance of transparency and openness, using artifacts to ensure everyone knows why decisions are being made, and having political nous to make sure you get buy in and nip dissent in the bud Why it's essential to be able to pivot based on new information or data throughout the innovation cycle, not falling in love with your ideas and the perils of discovery theatre And much more! Buy Compassion Driven Innovation "This book is for pathfinders— product, services, business, and nonprofit managers searching for ways to reach beyond the artificial barriers that constrain innovation and make “work” harder. Inspired by real life trailblazers and their own experiences, the authors decode the secrets of achieving breakthrough success at both organizational and interpersonal levels. Learn to use their methodology with the help of checklists and detailed examples that will transform your thinking and skills."   Visit the book website or check it out on Amazon or Goodreads. Contact Nicole You can find Nicole on Twitter or LinkedIn
A message from our sponsor Do you struggle with communicating with dev teams and understanding technical terminology and concepts? On episode 98, I hosted Irene Yu, founder of Skiplevel, an on-demand training program that helps professionals and teams become more technical in just 5 weeks... All without learning to code. Learn the knowledge and skills you need to better communicate with devs and become more confident in your day-to-day role with the Skiplevel program. Go to Skiplevel.co and use code OKIP75 to get $75 off the program in the next 30 days. About this Episode An interview with Radhika Dutt. Radhika is a product leader, consultant & author of "Radical Product Thinking". This is actually the third time I've spoken to Radhika about some of the themes from her book, and product vision in general and on this episode we go deep on vision vs survival. We speak about a lot, including: How the book's going international these days into various markets, how it's going down there and whether she has plan for world domination Why she's not making the mistake of some product companies and avoiding getting seduced by expanding market share or increasing revenue by going to international markets unprepared Why revenue can never be your North Star or part of your vision at all, and how product companies need to learn to prioritise vision against survival The concept of vision debt where you just build stuff to survive, how much vision debt is healthy and how you're always going to have to pay it back The importance of storytelling when trying to sell the benefits of a vision-led approach and a lesson from the different strategic approaches Marvel & DC took with their films The idea of an ethical line in the sand which product people don't want to cross but how easy it is to accidentally cross it, not with one big mistake but many small ones Why you should examine your personal vision and survival metrics, make sure you stay true to yourself and take an ethical stand where you can And much more!   Buy Radical Product Thinking "Iteration rules product development, but it isn't enough to produce dramatic results. This book champions Radical Product Thinking, a systematic methodology for building visionary, game-changing products."   Visit the book website or check it out on Amazon or Goodreads. Listen to Radhika's other episodes We covered some of the broader themes from Radhika's book in our first episode Episode 82 - Curing Product Diseases with a Radical Product Vision or our second episode Episode 92 - Digital Pollution & The Product Hippocratic Oath. Contact Radhika You can find Radhika on Twitter or LinkedIn
A message from our sponsor Do you struggle with communicating with dev teams and understanding technical terminology and concepts? On episode 98, I hosted Irene Yu, founder of Skiplevel, an on-demand training program that helps professionals and teams become more technical in just 5 weeks... All without learning to code. Learn the knowledge and skills you need to better communicate with devs and become more confident in your day-to-day role with the Skiplevel program. Go to Skiplevel.co and use code OKIP75 to get $75 off the program in the next 30 days. About this Episode An interview with James Mayes. James is the co-founder and former CEO of Mind the Product, one of the world's leading product communities. James came on to talk about the recent acquisition of Mind the Product by Pendo, his new role as Product Evangelist for Pendo, and some of the themes he's talking about on his travels. We talk about a lot, including: Why the Mind the Product team decided to sell themselves to Pendo in the first place, why they did it now and whether they've maintained editorial independence post-acquisition Whether there was any concern that they might be doubling up or treading on each others' toes with the two sets of product conferences, podcasts and online communities His new role as a Product Evangelist, what that means for Mind the Product and for Pendo, and whether he's an evangelist for product management as a whole or for Pendo's solutions Whether he's the Pendo answer to John Cutler, the prospect of an arms race of content creation and whether James could beat John in an arm wrestle Whether there's a growing need for product advocacy to help product people be successful & some of the similarities with developer relations teams His continuing desire to support the growth of product teams and product processes but also the fundamental craft of product management Some of the thoughts on his mind right now about scaling product teams through technology & the missed opportunities of many attempted digital transformations And much more! Contact James You can email James at james@mindtheproduct.com or connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.
A message from our sponsor Do you struggle with communicating with dev teams and understanding technical terminology and concepts? On episode 98, I hosted Irene Yu, founder of Skiplevel, an on-demand training program that helps professionals and teams become more technical in just 5 weeks... All without learning to code. Learn the knowledge and skills you need to better communicate with devs and become more confident in your day-to-day role with the Skiplevel program. Go to Skiplevel.co and use code OKIP75 to get $75 off the program in the next 30 days. About this Episode An interview with Tessa Kriesel & Wesley Faulkner. Tessa & Wesley are passionate advocates for the craft of Developer Relations (DevRel), building communities and supporting users of products aimed at developers. We talk about a lot, including: What DevRel is, what they love about it and how there's not one boring DevRel person in the world Their journeys into DevRel and whether there's a standard career path for people trying to get into the trade The types of companies that need DevRel teams and how the concept of "developer-first" and "developer plus" products informs when you need to spin up a DevRel team Where DevRel sits within the organisation, the other functions it intersects with and whether it's really just a part of marketing Why it matters that business leaders understand the true value of DevRel rather than seeing them as one team to do just about anything that comes up Whether we need DevRel at all when the vast majority of PMs claim to be technical enough to talk to developers anyway The ways that DevRel and Product teams can work together, some of the things that DevRel teams need from PMs & what they can give back in return And much more! Contact Tessa or Wesley (or both!) If you want to catch up with Tessa, you can reach out to her on Twitter, on Polywork, at TessaKriesel.com or check out Devocate If you want to catch up with Wesley, you can reach out to him on Twitter, on Polywork or check out his podcast Community Pulse.
A message about mentoring I'm passionate about mentoring & think it is a high leverage activity for product managers as they develop in their careers. I mentored 76 people in Q1 2022 but have realised I don't scale so am working with a buddy to match mentors & mentees. Sign up here to be a mentor, mentee or both! About this Episode An interview with Jim Morris. Jim's a product discovery & experimentation coach who wants teams to stop wasting their time with discovery if they're not going to do anything with it. He's currently running Product Discovery Group out in Silicon Valley. We talk about a lot, including: The goals of Product Discovery Group, the problems he helps to solve, how he got started as a product discovery coach and that time he hung out with Jeff Bezos How many companies see funding as the ultimate validation of their idea but forget to talk to their customers and check if the idea is actually viable for the business Why we need to remember that product discovery is not just there as an artificial stage gate to delay decision making and should always serve the overall business goals How there are bad product companies with good product managers and good product companies with bad product managers, and how Silicon Valley startups are in the same boat as the rest of us when it comes to good product discovery practices How we can bed product discovery in with leadership, how to persuade them that there's a different way to lead, and how to skill up product teams that have never done product discovery before The concept of a Solution Test, the importance of presenting multiple solutions, why you have to get interactive rather than just show stuff, and why you should never concentrate on usability first How to apply structure to your discovery data collection to make it easier to extract insights from the data and turn them into action And much more! Contact Jim You can reach out to Jim on Twitter, on LinkedIn or check out Product Discovery Group.
A message about mentoring I'm passionate about mentoring & think it is a high leverage activity for product managers as they develop in their careers. I mentored 76 people in Q1 2022 but have realised I don't scale so am working with a buddy to match mentors & mentees. Sign up here to be a mentor, mentee or both! About this Episode An interview with Sophia Höfling. Sophia is a former Head of Product at Babbel and now co-founder and Head of Product at Saiga, a Berlin-based productivity startup where they're aiming to save people from life admin. Sophia's passionate about life-centred design and collaborative product discovery. We talk about a lot, including: The mission behind Saiga and how they have started with a Wizard of Oz product as they try to work out the most important problems to solve The tricky transition from established product companies to new startup foundership and having to do everything yourself The concept of life-centred design and why we can't just listen to users but have to consider the holistic impact of our products on all stakeholders What to do when your customers don't care about the ethical merits of your product but you want to do the right thing anyway The importance of collaborative, rather than cooperative, product discovery and how to include people from outside the classic product trio in your discovery journey Whether doing all this discovery slows you down, whether that's OK and the importance of timeboxing discovery efforts to avoid getting caught in an infinite loop How to get buy-in for product discovery from sceptical leadership and convince them of the benefits of a good discovery flywheel And much more! Sophia's on Medium Check out Sophia's articles on Medium, including It’s time we move to life-centered product development The importance of collaboration in product discovery (and how to get it right) Contact Sophia If you want to catch up with Sophia, you can reach out to her on LinkedIn.
An interview with Anna Maste. Anna is a software developer turned company co-founder who set up Boondockers Welcome with her mum. Having never owned an RV or had any dealings with the community, Anna engaged with said community via her mum's influencer status and ended up scaling the business and exiting. She's now back with her second company and going for it again in another industry. We talk about a lot, including: Explaining what the heck a "boondocker" is to this Brit, the problems they where having that were worth solving, and how they created a mix of Airbnb and Tinder to solve it Whether starting a company with your mum is the ultimate Mom Test and the pros and cons of working with close family members How she had no experience with the RV community, but used her RV influencer mum's experience to understand the needs that the community had and how they might solve them Some of the challenges of creating a digital platform for people that are by definition "off grid" and how the platform grew over time as mobile technology improved Whether playing the long game and working to build community relationships would have been possible if they'd been forced down the growth at all costs VC route How their successful exit came about, how they had to pick a company that they could trust to carry on their good name, and whether the community felt it was a betrayal or sell out How she's started a new company to solve a problem she had in her first company, and how she's going about engaging with a brand new community for the second time And much more! Contact Anna If you want to catch up with Anna, you can reach out to her on Twitter or check out Subscribe Sense.
An interview with Dan Chapman. Dan is a British export to the US where he's busy building internal products to help make smart scientists more successful. Dan's strong on product principles but flexible on the details as he tries to transfer book talk into action for one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. We talk about a lot, including: His work with Merck, how there are actually two Mercks and a summary of the differences between them and why they diverged The challenges & opportunities of working in product management when your end users are hardcore scientists, and whether this is the one time you actually do need to be an industry expert to be an effective product manager Whether situations like the Theranos scandal loom large over the medical research industry, and how "move fast & break things" doesn't work when people's lives are on the line That tricky balancing act where you're trying to be agile and move fast whilst working for a company (and an industry) that values process, predictability & compliance Whether working for a big multinational means he's defaulted to having to use SAFe and why legacy waterfall companies are attracted to such frameworks Whether being an introvert in product management is a barrier or a superpower, and how to survive all the meetings & presentations when your natural tendency is not to want to be in the room Why idealistic product principles only get you so far, how to work out which ones matter, which don't, and why waterfall might actually be the better option sometimes (🤢) And much more! Contact Dan If you want to catch up with Dan, you can reach out to him on LinkedIn or on Twitter.
An interview with David Dylan Thomas. David is a product designer and self-taught expert in cognitive bias. He's now consulting with companies to help them make ethical product design decisions and is the author of "Design for Cognitive Bias", a book that aims to help us all understand the implicit biases that underpin our decision making when we design products. We talk about a lot, including: How he got into writing and consulting about cognitive biases in the first place, whether you need to go back to college to learn about this stuff and whether it's intimidating having your work reviewed by academic experts Why we have cognitive biases, how our brains are constantly lying to us, and how we'd struggle to cope with having to make a trillion decisions a day without them The importance of taking complicated scientific concepts back to a human level and making sure you can explain things like you would to a five-year-old How cognitive biases can manifest themselves when we're designing products, the most common biases that we might come across, and why the framing bias is by far the most dangerous bias of all Why it's sometimes important to insert speed bumps into our products rather than continuously trying to optimise for speedy decision making Some of the ways to interrupt cognitive biases in product design, including the red team / blue team approach and the Black Mirror test The importance of participatory design and giving the people most affected by bias the power to decide when something that affects them is actually ready to go And much more! Buy "Design For Cognitive Bias" "We humans are messy, illogical creatures who like to imagine we’re in control—but we blithely let our biases lead us astray. In Design for Cognitive Bias, David Dylan Thomas lays bare the irrational forces that shape our everyday decisions and, inevitably, inform the experiences we craft. "   Visit the book website or check it out on Goodreads. Contact David If you want to catch up with David, you can reach out to him at https://www.daviddylanthomas.com
An interview with Moustapha Seck. Moustapha is a seasoned product professional and entrepreneur who cut his teeth in Canada before being inspired to go back to Africa to use his product management skills to build solutions for the poorest Africans. He's doing this with his new startup, Fluid, which aims to help derisk financial inclusion for marginalised communities. We speak about a lot, including: How he started out in engineering and moved into product management after finding that he got more joy out of working with & designing solutions for his users The core elements of product management, how they're not complicated individually but difficult to execute consistently, and how mentors can help you understand what's OK and what's not His journey from Canada to Africa to Canada to Africa and how the classic book Zero to One inspired him to tackle meaningful problems for Africa's poorest communities How Africa has a lot of opportunities to fix things as so many basic things don't work, how he identified the key problem to solve and the research he had to do to validate his idea The importance of leaving technology out of it when dealing with marginalised communities & how you have to do way more listening than talking in order to build trust His desire for entrepreneurs and investors to look across Africa, not just concentrate on the biggest markets and how to pick the right markets to enter into there Why it's important to enlist power users to build advocacy and help you co-create solutions in traditional industries that are not used to trying out new solutions The need to keep your power users close, but not too close as you try to work out how to build for the wider market and prepare to scale the business And much more! Check out Saeed Khan's episode Moustapha called out some mentors that have shaped his product management career, including my good friend & previous podcast guest Saeed Khan. Check out Check out Saeed's episode here! Check out Fluid If you're interested in Moustapha's company or the mission behind it, you can check out fluidfinance.co. Contact Moustapha You can find Moustapha on LinkedIn.
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