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Lessons Learned From Product Management Experts - Successfully Navigating Your New Role
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Lessons Learned From Product Management Experts - Successfully Navigating Your New Role

Lessons Learned From Product Management Experts - Successfully Navigating Your New Role

Building Great Products
August 9, 2021
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9 Jogs
Why it matters?

Product management is a challenging role that requires strong leadership skills, creativity, and strategic thinking. How better to hit the ground running and improve fast than to learn from the mistakes of others who have successfully navigated their new roles in product management.

This collection of content will save you time as you navigate the beginnings of your new role. Get up to speed quickly using Joggo summaries and then dig in where you see the most value to improve your product management career the most.

The Content

Each link contains a summary produced by one of Joggo's geniuses so you can decide where to spend your time learning more

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Jeremy Olson
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I learned at least 6 things in my first week as a Product Manager

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The Summary

Different paths to Product Management

  • Don’t change anything first: talk to the team and learn more context before making changes based on that understanding
  • Take notes and use actions to build trust
  • Clarify ambiguity to boost productivity and morale
  • Focus on Problems, Solutions, How, Execute (PSHE): channel your energy to improve weaknesses
  • Seek honest feedback to grow your career
  • Prioritize your to-do list and weigh trade-offs before taking actions
February 22, 2020
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Motasim Zawawi
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Medium

4 Learnings From My First Year as a Product Manager at an Early-Stage Startup

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The Summary

The job of a PM includes defining and prioritizing product features, making decisions based on qualitative and quantitative data and working with research teams to test hypotheses.

Adopt a Scientific Mindset

  • Start with a hypothesis
    • Create assumptions about the target audience based on information available and selectively target customer
  • Data collection
    • Selectively choose tools that quantify important metrics to measure the hypothesis
    • Use tools such as Usertesting, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager etc. 
  • Analysis and next steps
    • Question the legitimacy of the data
    • Conduct experiments to achieve product-market fit

Product Management is a team sport

You need to: - Meet with the engineering team to prioritize features and discover challenges - Meet with the designer to work on UX/UI - Write product development documents to ensure the product development process is clear to everyone

Prioritization

  • Prioritize features and experiments that lead to learning
  • Grasp company strategy, goals and risks

Determine your non-revenue product-market fit metric

  • Optimize this metric over time by iterating the product
  • Understand the core value of the product and the problem being solved
  • Quantify the core value through surveys, interviews etc. Being a PM requires an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving and a strong sense of strengths, weaknesses and motivations. 
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Noah Weiss
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Medium

Five Dangerous Myths about Product Management

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The Summary

Most people learn product by apprenticeship, and so there are myths about what a PM role actually is.

The Myths

  • PMs are mini CEOs
    • PMs lead a team, but they don't have CEO responsibility
  • PMs are decision makers
    • PMs facilitate decision making and coordinate ideas but they don't make calls.
  • PMs are idea generators
    • Brainstorming is a team exercise. PMs are judged on the output of the team.
  • PMs play company politics
    • PMs unite their team around a shared mission
  • PMs need technical degrees
    • It can help, but all they need is curiosity and the ability to work with engineers Great PMs focus on customer and business impact, and amplify their teams. 
July 19, 2013
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Josh Elman
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Medium

A Product Manager’s Job

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The Summary

The primary job of a product manager is to help the team and company ship the right product to customers.

Teamwork

  • Ensuring the team is working effectively towards a goal
  • Outlining clear expectations
  • Ensuring everyone has input and feels a sense of ownership

Company

  • Understanding company vision, goals and objectives
  • Strategic thinking
  • Having top-down support for executing goals

Shipping

  • Understanding the balance between getting it right, and getting it out the door
  • Driving testing and listening to customer feedback
  • Having a good feel for what the customer wants

Product

  • Getting a sense from founders to make sure the product feels right
  • Ensuring the product shipped is the right one
  • Reading data after shipping to understand what may need improvement

Users

  • Having a deep understanding of product users
  • Understanding how product delivers value to users
  • Listening to user feedback
June 20, 2016
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Sachin Rekhi
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3 Types of Product Managers: Builders, Tuners, Innovators

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The Summary

Product management specializations are emerging

  • Hiring managers look for product managers with skill sets depending on the specific product stage and challenges they are solving for

The 3 main specializations are:

  • Builders: drive the roadmap for an existing product in order to build ever more useful, usable, and delightful experiences. The recommended first step for product managers. Super powers:
    • Customer empathy
    • Ruthless prioritization
    • Sweat the details
  • Tuners: have an unwavering focus on a specific north star and do everything in their power to move that metric. Super powers:
    • Analytical ninja
    • Hypothesis-driver
    • Relish moving the needle 
  • Innovators: tasked with the incredibly challenging job of finding product/market fit for a brand new product. Super powers: 
    • Product intuition
    • Market understanding
    • Comfortable with ambiguity 

How to find the right PM specialization for you:

  • All of these types of product managers exist
  • At smaller startups, product managers’ specialization depends on product’s stage
  • Every product manager does work embodied in all 3 roles
  • Junior product managers should seek out experiences in all 3 roles to round out their product expertise
April 1, 2021
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Melissa Daimler
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Forge

Three Things You Must Do Immediately As a New Leader

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The Summary

The first 30 days as a new leader are critical. Though these early days are packed with stress and obligations, there are a few strategies that can be followed to ensure an impactful beginning to your role.

Strategies

  • Control pace and space: Prioritize what is most important and create space in your schedule by insisting on clear agendas and understanding long-term goals take time. 
  • Take time to learn: Understand what the team needs and work with them, rather than attempting to bend the organization to you. Prioritize listening to and working with your colleagues.
  • Integrate the team’s best ideas with your own: Use specific exercises to understand your team as a new leader.
    • Without the leader in the room, the team shares their expectations, concerns and goals, then, the leader re-joins to clarify and understand each of these topics. By using these strategies, the transition from new addition to trusted leader can be accelerated.
January 9, 2020
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Justin Gage
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Technically

What's an API?

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The Summary

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) take inputs and produce predictable outputs

E.g. Lyft Driver API takes in a start and finish addresses and outputs the best driver. Backend APIs process information according to method functionality. Frontend APIs process information from backend APIs and then present in a visually aesthetic way. - E.g. take email data and present in rows in inbox of mail app

In practice there are three types of APIs:

  1. Internal Company APIs
    1. Used for building app or product.
  2. Public APIs
    1. Provided to external users and developers.
  3. Code Interfaces
    1. Takes in lower level inputs and produces outputs.
July 8, 2011
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Andrew Chen
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Andrew Chen

Simple is Marketable

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The Summary

Simple products have better designs and are easier to market. The impact of simple products on consumers is more desirable and well-optimized.

Why simplicity is more preferable

  • Simplicity and optimization of flows make it easier for consumers to use/manage the product. Consumers can simply figure out the question “what do I do next?”
  • Since the product is usable by a variety of consumer types, the product is exposed to more data, thus more improvement opportunity.
  • Simple products with convenient usage will get better signup rates, and this helps the designers or producers to put their attention to improve and innovate more, rather than focusing on low-impact features. Simple and highly optimized products are more marketable because they have the tools to communicate their impact to users, soft onboarding flows, easy to understand call to action methods, and drive a lot of values.