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This Week #3: Finding product/market fit, interviewing for a Director of PM role, and structuring discussions with senior leaders

Lenny Rachitsky
Lenny's Newsletter
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I have a startup idea and I’ve started talking to potential customers about it. What should I be asking them to know if I have Product/Market Fit?

  • PMF means you’ve created something that people want. 
    • You never really know you have PMF until you’ve built the thing, gotten people to use it, and enough people continue to use it for an extended period. 
  • When talking to potential customers early on, here are the three things to look for to build confidence that you are heading towards PMF:
    • Passion 
    • Skin in the game 
    • A clear why
  • Pick the people you talk to carefully. 

Any advice on interviewing for a director-level PM position?

  • When interviewing or hiring for a director-level PM, the five most important traits to nail IMHO are:
    • Long-term strategic thinking
    • People leadership
    • Stakeholder management
    • Impact
    • Communication

When you were doing check-ins with senior leadership, did you often find decks were necessary to communicate? If so, curious if you found certain content/structures to be best.

  • Pick whatever you’re most comfortable with, tell the story you want to tell, see how it goes, and iterate
  • Watch to see if the leaders stay engaged and understand what you want them to understand. 
    • If not, ask for feedback from those leaders or your manager, and try something different next time.
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