Product Q&A with David Cancel

AMA stands for ‘Ask Me Anything’ where you’ll have the chance to ask our featured guest any question you’d like. Our product guest of honor is:

David Cancel

About: David Cancel is the founder and CEO of Drift, a messaging app that helps sales and customer success teams connect with their customers. Prior to Drift, David was the Chief Product Officer at HubSpot where he hired most of the HubSpot engineering team — growing from 20 to 100 engineers after HubSpot’s acquisition of David’s last company, Performable. As a five-time founder, there’s been one common thread between all of the products David has built: the connection between businesses and their customers. Continue Reading

The Product Manager Interview Process at Large Tech Companies

This is a guest post from our PMHQ Advisor, Fernando Delgado.

Context

I worked at Google for 5+ years, where I interviewed over 150 PM candidates. I then worked at Yahoo for 3 years, where I interviewed over 100 PM candidates. At Yahoo, I was a member of the hiring committee for 2 years and co-founded the APM program. So the observations below mainly apply to those 2 companies and the Product Manager role.

When you apply for a job at a tech company, you formally enter their recruiting pipeline. That pipeline has a number of filters that cuts down the number of candidates at every step. At a high level, the process may look like this:

  1. Company receives resume
  2. Recruiter calls candidate
  3. 1 or 2 phone interviews (can be in-person campus interviews for college students)
  4. 3 to 6 in-person interviews
  5. Offer is extended

Note: occasionally, there are exceptions to these steps. For instance, if a candidate has an offer from a competitor with a tight deadline, the company may choose to skip step 3 altogether. Continue Reading

30 Questions to Determine if the Product Manager Job is Right For You

30 Questions to Determine if PM is Right For You

This is a guest post that was originally published by Stephanie Oh on StephOhSays.

Are you considering a career in Product Management, but feeling lost as to how you’re supposed to gauge whether or not the role would be a good fit for you?

Several people have asked me for advice on the topic, so before you jump into taking a pricey Product Management course — and for everyone who may not have a “PM friend of a friend” to ask for advice — here’s a list of 30 questions to ask yourself first. Answer them as honestly as possible, and by the end you should have a much better idea as to whether or not you’d be a good fit for a role in Product Management.

In a ‘former life’, were you:

1. That kid who did whatever it took to help your group finish a school project and get an A? Continue Reading

How Handshakes Predict How Fast You Ship

This is a guest post that was originally published by Madhu Punjabi on Medium.

A mathematical insight into how products get shipped.

I love the white board. I mean, I really love the white board. As a Product Manager, I love the part of my job that allows me to dream of a better future (with our product in it, of course) and then watch it all come true.

I always thought that fast growth would mean faster product development. I’ve worked at Google, TellApart, Pinterest, and even did a short stint at Amazon. For the most part, I’ve watched companies at least double in size. You would think that fast growth means faster development. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, by adding more people to a company, product development can actually slow down and take 2x or 3x as long to get something done. Strange, isn’t it? Continue Reading

The Myths of Product Management

This is a guest post that was originally published by Christina Wodtke on Medium.

There have been a bunch of articles lately from designers on product management in the Silicon Valley. It’s making me slightly crazy, so I’m going to write a short and sloppy essay from my perspective. I’ve been a designer, a design manager, a startup CEO, a product manager and a GM who managed multidisciplinary teams. I’ve got some insights.

Caveats! I have lived in Palo Alto/San Francisco for over 20 years, and worked at good companies (Yahoo back in the day, Linkedin, Zynga, and more) with really good PMs. So my view is skewed by both place and luck.

#1 Product Management Is a New Thing in Tech.

People, I got into the interwebs in 1995, and software already had PMs. Web design was all shiny and new and half the companies had PMs, half had producers, and many had Project Managers. But by the time we were partying like 1999, everyone around here had Product Managers. Continue Reading

How I Got Hooked on Product Management

This is a guest post that was originally published by Evgeny Lazarenko on Medium.

“I’m a Product Manager at TradeGecko, an inventory management SaaS company based in Singapore.

This post is a recollection of personal experiences which helped me figure out what I want to do in the foreseeable future, namely Product Management.

You might relate to some parts of it, especially if you’ve just become a product manager yourself, or currently in transition.”

In early 2010 I received Monbukagakusho Scholarship and moved to Tokyo from Moscow. I was a young and naive boy from a post-Communist country who just got out. And I didn’t have a plan. For years I’ve been preparing to leave Russia, and when my dreams came true, I was out of ideas what life to lead from now on. Continue Reading