10 things I learned in my first 10 episodes of podcasting

February 11, 2022
I’ve had the opportunity to interview talented, driven and successful leaders in Indy tech. We often don’t get to hear how software products get built and what it took to make them a reality. These stories of success and challenge have been encouraging for me to hear so I summarized some of my biggest takeaways.  

1. Don’t let your title stop you from jumping into a role you want, like product management.

2. It is critical for great product managers to balance long-term vision and tactical day-to-day needs to keep their teams on track.

3. Sometimes you just need to sit down and have quality conversations with your customers to make the best decisions for your product

  • It’s easy to overthink the strategy for having a customer interview. When you let the enemy of good be perfection, you might miss the opportunity to connect and learn.

4. Leading a software engineering team is more than the craft. Developing well-rounded people is often more important and crucial for success. 

  • When leading people, it’s critical to focus on the whole person, not just the technical skills they bring. Building a well functioning team is also about developing people.

5. When adding a new practice to your company, sometimes you can use existing tools to find the best path. 

  • Sometimes the tools you use to solve problems for your customers can also be used inside your organization.

6. With AI products, you can still provide a great service while the tech catches up.

  • Sometimes with SaaS products, the technology isn’t completely built out before people start using it. Oftentimes with AI products, you need a higher quantity of data to make the product more useful. This shouldn’t stop you from providing that service to your customers because you can still add value while the technology catches up over time.

7. Sometimes taking the unconventional approach yields great results. 

  • When you go against the norm of fundraising it can set you apart and powerful provide insights. You may not have been fortunate to see these with a traditional path. Having a scarcity mindset can be a forcing-function for product discovery and growth. This can be very powerful.

8. Highly regulated and ‘older’ industries can bear innovation, sometimes you need a fresh perspective

  • When an industry has been around for decades or is highly regulated, changing how that industry ‘does things’ can be hard. Sometimes a new lens can see things that ‘experience’ misses. When we’re all used to the rhythm of our work we tend to take new thinking for granted or tell ourselves that something won’t work in our world. Having a person from outside the norm can bring new ideas to existing groups.

9. If you’re going to innovate as a BigCo, spin it out of your main business to allow it to grow.

  • The fastest place to kill a good idea is to make it someone’s part-time job. If you want to see the potential of an idea, give it the focused financial and time investment it needs.

10. The challenges of prototyping with hard dependencies and the balance of new features in a long-standing product.

  • In some industries it can be challenging to prototype and test because there are strict dependencies that are not easy to turn on
  • With products that have been around for a very long time, getting new features out to users is a balancing act. Users can be very set in their ways.
I’m excited about the guests we have planned out for the rest of 2022 and hope you’ll subscribe to Behind the Product. 

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