Somehow I Manage Product Teams

Numberlock Labs

Somehow I Manage Product teams is about conversations with Product Leaders from organizations of all sizes (Growth Stage, Late Stage, super big companies) to uncover how each of them skillfully wield the art of managing people and products, what makes a good and successful product leader and finally zooming into the brass tacks of tactics, rituals and processes that’s worked for them - and can possibly work for each of you listening. read less
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Episodes

People-first Product Leadership and tactical advice for newly minted Group Product Managers | Diana Stepner (CPO at Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative)
Oct 10 2023
People-first Product Leadership and tactical advice for newly minted Group Product Managers | Diana Stepner (CPO at Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative)
I’m joined by Diana Stepner who is the Chief Product Officer at Chan-Zuckerberg initiative and has held product leadership roles at SimplePractice, Pearson, Kayak, Razorfish and Monster.com in the past. Diana also runs a cohort -based course on Maven called Product First Leadership - topic that talk about on this episode. We talk about : 1) What's unique about product leadership role 2) Tactical advice for things a newly minted group product manager : how to organize the team, conduct 1:1s, handle the hard conversations and manage your personal career as a product leader 3) Anti-patterns of product leader [00:00:00] Introduction [00:01:44] Diana's product journey [00:04:16] Diana's role as CPO at Chan and Zuckerberg Initiative [00:07:16] What's unique about product leadership? [00:09:50] Archectypes of Product Managers [00:12:56] Advice for getting started as a newly minted Group Product Manager [00:16:53] How to structure 1:1s? [00:21:06] How to create an environment that Product Managers on the team can thrive [00:24:45] Starting career planning for Product Managers on the team [00:28:28] Having the tough conversations with career progression [00:31:32] Anti-Patterns of product leadership [00:35:09] Managing personal growth as a product leader [00:37:25] Rapid Fire Where to find Naveen - Linkedin : https://linkedin.com/in/naveenpitchandi - Website : https://numberlock.me Where to find Diana - Website : https://www.dianastepner.com/ - Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianas/ - Maven Course - https://maven.com/diana-stepner/product-leadership 👉Episode page : https://Productleaders.fm/11
Story behind Instagram Shopping, scaling product teams, leadership lessons from resurgence of Airbnb | Sanchan Saxena (ex-VP Product Coinbase, Head of Product Airbnb, Instagram shopping)
Sep 2 2023
Story behind Instagram Shopping, scaling product teams, leadership lessons from resurgence of Airbnb | Sanchan Saxena (ex-VP Product Coinbase, Head of Product Airbnb, Instagram shopping)
Sanchan was most recently VP of Product at Coinbase. Before Coinbase, Sanchan was Head of Product and GM at Airbnb, founder and Head of Product of Instagram Shopping, Director of Product Management at Yahoo, and Lead PM at Microsoft. In this episode we talk about : 1️⃣ Story behind Instagram Shopping - Hypothesis, Pitch and Execution, Decision making frameworks 2️⃣ How Sanchan built the Product Org at Airbnb - scaling from 40 PMs to over 200 3️⃣ Airbnb COVID-19 war story and leadership lessons from the experience. This episode is absolute :fire. @sanchan's one of the best story tellers I know. [00:00:00] Introduction [00:02:18] Sanchan's Product Journey [00:07:00] Story of Instagram Shopping [00:11:09] PM Qualities to look for in Zero to One projects [00:15:20] How do you track execution effectively? [00:17:12] How do you impart clarity to your teams? [00:22:04] Difference between Strategy and Innovation [00:24:28] Managing stakeholders as Head of Product [00:28:44] Anti-patterns to cross-functional alignment [00:33:15] RAPID - Decision Making framework used at Coinbase [00:35:12] How Sanchan scaled Product Org at Airbnb [00:41:17] What to look for in hiring Product Leaders? [00:45:32] COVID-19 Airbnb War story [00:53:05] Rapid Fire Questions Where to find Naveen - Linkedin : https://linkedin.com/in/naveenpitchandi - Website : https://numberlock.me Where to find Sanchan - YouTube channel - https://youtube.com/@therealsanchan - Instagram -https://www.instagram.com/therealsanchan/ - Twitter/X - https://twitter.com/therealsanchan - TikTok - https://www.tiktok.com/@therealsanchan References - How decisions are made at Coinbase : https://www.coinbase.com/blog/how-we-make-decisions-at-coinbase
Incubating 0 to 1 Products and story behind GameSnacks | Ani Mohan (GenAI Product Lead, Google. ex-GM Game Snacks)
May 20 2023
Incubating 0 to 1 Products and story behind GameSnacks | Ani Mohan (GenAI Product Lead, Google. ex-GM Game Snacks)
Description I’m joined by Ani Mohan from Google. Ani leads the product team at Google Labs building three new generative AI products across (1) software development, (2) video, and (3) 3D. Previously, Ani was co-founder and general manager of GameSnacks, a web gaming platform reaching 35M+ monthly players. GameSnacks was funded by Area 120 and acquired by Google Ads in Jan 2022. Ani was also featured in Forbes 30 under 30 under the games section during his time leading the GameSnacks products and business. In this episode we talk about 1) Ani’s experience building GameSnacks as part of Area120 - Google’s incubator 2) Tips for folks looking to build 0-1 Products 3) Building products for Generative AI This was recorded weeks before Google I/O and understandably why we couldn’t talk much about what Ani was working on. But goes without saying that Google took the challenge came out dancing and had some impressive announcements. This has got everything - great success story and actionable advise on the hottest topic right now. Chapters [00:00:00] Introduction [00:02:27] Ani's Product Journey [00:03:27] Inception of GameSnacks [00:07:17] Incubating products within a large company vs Building a Startup [00:10:48] Pivots in GameSnacks to reach Product Market Fit [00:16:34] Advice on building 0->1 products [00:20:38] What excites Ani about GenAI [00:23:24] Building AI products [00:30:00] Rapid Fire Where to find Naveen Twitter : twitter.com/@numberlock11 Linkedin : linkedin.com/in/naveenpitchandi Instagram : instagram.com/@numberlock11 Where to find Ani Twitter : twitter.com/ani_c_mohan Linkedin : linkedin.com/in/anirudhmohan/
"She is not strategic enough" | Shelly Kalish (Head of Partner Product and Design, Ex-Meta)
May 5 2023
"She is not strategic enough" | Shelly Kalish (Head of Partner Product and Design, Ex-Meta)
Shelly built the product & design team focussed on Partners at Meta. We’ll definitely talk a lot of about how she went about building this team in the episode. Prior to Meta, Shelly spent sometime at American Express in a product leadership position building the consumer mobile app that had over 17M+ monthly active users. Shelly recently started a 4 part blog series on LinkedIn sharing her thoughts on Product Strategy, Women in tech called You Belong Here. We explore some of those topics in this episode. We touch on 4 key areas : Talk a about building a team from scratch, and how Shelly built product and design team at Meta Product Strategy definition, an example of how Shelly built product at Amex (prior to Meta) Giving feedback about how you can be strategic. Shelly got feedback during her career about how she’s not strategic enough - without any real guidance on what that means and what the expectation was. This is a great section for managers to listen in. Finally, talking about growth. contrary to conventional wisdom, Lateral growth is also career growth [00:00:00] Introduction [00:08:14] Benefits of Product and Design under one leader [00:10:00] How Shelly defined Product Strategy at Meta and Amex [00:12:29] An example of how Shelly shipped product at Amex [00:18:05] "She is not strategic enough" [00:22:00] What could leaders be doing better [00:28:33] Tips for Women in Product to level up [00:39:10] Preparing context for collaborative strategy excercise [00:41:25] Lateral growth is also career growth [00:43:58] Rapid Fire Questions Where to find Shelly Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/shellykalish/ Where to find Naveen Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/naveenpitchandi/ Twitter : https://twitter.com/numberlock11
Crafting the Product Manager Growth Equation and Building Fintech Products | Bandan Jot Singh, Business Unit Lead Riverty (ex-Booking.com, Gojek)
Apr 15 2023
Crafting the Product Manager Growth Equation and Building Fintech Products | Bandan Jot Singh, Business Unit Lead Riverty (ex-Booking.com, Gojek)
Bandan is a Financial services and Payments product leader, has directly led financial services products and teams for tech companies and regulated financial institutions. Bandan currently leads the Buy Now Pay Later Business Unit for Riverty (Europe’s second largest BNPL player) leading Product Development, Product Management and UX teams. Prior to Riverty Bandan led Product at Booking.com, Gojek and Aditya Birla Capital. Bandan also manages a subtack newsletter - Productify - collection of high quality product case studies, innovation & growth articles, product upskill narratives and more In this episode we covered 3 main topics , starting with Product Manager Growth equation that Bandan formulated based on his experience and coaching teams under him How Bandan defines product strategy with a case study from his experience at Gojek (highly recommend this section) Bandan’s global point of view of BNPL - an area that he’s spent better part of the last decade building. References : Top 1-5% product manager growth equation : https://productify.substack.com/p/the-top-1-5-pm-growth-equation Gibson Biddle Strategy : https://gibsonbiddle.medium.com/2-the-dhm-model-6ea5dfd80792 Where to find Bandan Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/bandan/ Twitter : https://twitter.com/bandanjot Substack : https://productify.substack.com Where to find Naveen Linkedin : https://linkedin.com/in/naveenpitchandi Twitter : https://twitter.com/numberlock11
Building product against Big Fish in Red Ocean | Faraz Jamal, Director of Product at Banyan Security
Mar 26 2023
Building product against Big Fish in Red Ocean | Faraz Jamal, Director of Product at Banyan Security
I’m joined today by Faraz Jamal - Director of product at Banyan Security Faraz and I were colleagues at VMware and someone that I’ve worked closely with for few years and even watched him transition into Product Management. Faraz left VMware to join an enterprise B2B security startup few years back and has symbiotically grown with the startup in it’s early stage growth. We spoke about how to go against the Big Fish being an early stage startup in the enterprise space, how they prioritize, make decisions and some hot takes on making gut based decisions. I wanted to get Faraz on this podcast as I felt like he was poised to share stark differences and challenges and he’s seen it on both sides of being with the Big Fish and now swimming as a small fish in the red ocean of enterprise B2B. Chapters: 00:05:53 The Challenges Of Being A Product Manager: Prioritizing And Problem Solving 00:10:42 Balancing Urgency And Team Growth In Product Development 00:15:14 Leaders Should Remember The Purpose Of Their Company 00:18:44 The Importance Of Gut Instinct In Startups For Career Success 00:23:36 Selling What You Build vs Building What You Sell 00:26:20 Mitigating Risk And Validating Functionality In Product Management 00:29:33 Balancing Customer Segments And Upsell Opportunities For Sales 00:33:22 Prioritizing Outcomes, Pragmatism, And Happiness In Startup Culture 00:35:13 Importance Of Knowing If Employees Are Committed For The Right Reasons Key Takeaways 1. Prioritization frameworks should start with the company vision and strategy, but also incorporate gut instinct from product leaders to make the right calls. 2. Startups should focus on building for a big shift in the market, rather than trying to compete with larger incumbents on features alone. 3. It's important to identify early on whether team members are aligned with the company's mission and vision, and manage them out if necessary. Where to find Faraz Linkedin : ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/fjamal15/⁠ Where to find Naveen Linkedin : https://linkedin.com/in/naveenpitchandi Twitter : @numberlock11 Instagram : @numberlock11