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Helping people kick start their product management career at * Product person at Watchfinder

How a few minutes preparation can make all the difference to your future

The elevator pitch. Named because you’ve got 20–30 seconds (an elevator ride) to convince someone of the thing you need to convince them of. Usually focused on business ideas, the elevator pitch can come in handy when it comes to finding opportunities for your career.

What to include in your elevator pitch

There’s no real trick when it comes to the general areas to include in your elevator pitch, as the high level contents are who you are, what you do, and what you want to do.

The real trick is fine tuning it so that it is short, succinct, and effective at moving you towards your…

Why having some one to talk to and be accountable to might improve your career

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Let’s start with some questions:

  • Are you feeling unfulfilled in your current role?
  • Have you applied to multiple jobs without success?
  • Are you wondering if you are on the right career path?
  • Do you want to switch industries altogether?
  • Is your career not advancing in the way you want?

If you’ve answered “No” to all of these questions, congratulations. You can stop reading now and move on to the next interesting story that you’ve bookmarked.

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then the next question to ask yourself is “What am I going to do about it?”.

All about shaping your role how you want

I enjoy writing. I must do, or else I wouldn’t spend my Saturday mornings writing stories like this.

I haven’t always written, but I got into it when I headed up the Product & Operations side of a financial technology company, when we wanted to write some content that explained some of the financial concepts that our customers needed to know in order to improve their own financial situation.

Our marketing team didn’t have the domain knowledge to write the posts, so I stepped forward, and I found that I enjoyed it.

I enjoyed being able to put down in…

Success requires the asking of serious questions on why you exist as a business

If we truly want our companies to be successful then it is immensely important for our teams to be motivated to achieve this success with you.

Simon Sinek may be best known for popularizing the concept of WHY in his first TED Talk in 2010. It rose to become one of the most watched talks on, with over 55 million views and is subtitled in 48 languages.

The motivation for his own company:

To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.

In one of…

Speak the language of the public not the publicizer

A few years ago I wrote about the first time I walked into a Starbucks and looked up at the menu board, only to be greeted by a series of phrases that I didn’t actually understand, and so I asked for a “black coffee”.

I can confirm that despite having drunk thousands of cups of coffees, in coffee shops around the world, I am still intimidated by the menu board as I still don’t fully understand what it all means.

And the coffee shops are doing very little to help me understand what it is that they are selling.


Why understanding matters

But the lack of glamour doesn’t need to mean you can’t do real product management

When you think “Product Manager”, what do you immediately think of?

  • Someone who sets up A/B tests in order to maximize Life Time Value (LTV)?
  • Someone who is focused on increasing Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)?
  • Someone who is running focus groups with consumers in order to understand what’s happening with their retention rate?

Those are all examples of product managers whose core users are external to the organization.

There are a whole host of product managers whose core users are internal to the organization, i.e. …

How to getting your career where you want it to be

While confidence seems to come naturally to some people, for others it is a source of frustration and something that can seem to limit what’s possible. However, if we think of confidence as a ‘natural’ trait, then we limit what we can achieve, and we don’t need to.

I am not naturally a confident person. I’ve not had any psychoanalysis to give me any insight why I am this way, but am I.

However, confidence is a skill that can be developed and which we can use to progress our careers in the direction that we want.

The question is…

Join a community to gain insight, network, and find opportunities

Everyone knows Slack.

Even if you’re not using within your work environment, you know it exists, and you’re able to use if yourself outside of work.

Well, Slack is very fertile ground for product community, and if you’re serious about progressing your product management career, then joining a PM focused Slack group can give you the edge.

Some of the groups are free, and there are some paid, but I’ve included six of the best below, with a community that is approaching 200k members.

Mind The Product

At the time of writing, the Mind The Product Slack group has 48k members, with channels…

All you need to run a successful user feedback group

As product managers, we’re often called upon to run group sessions where we’re looking to gather feedback from our audience, whether that’s speaking to our support team about the challenges they’re facing, or standing in front of a group of customers who’ve been handpicked because they’re our power users.

Whatever the reason, we’ll need a range of tools at our disposal to run the session, record feedback, or facilitate discussions.

Here’s a run down on some of the most popular.

Running your session

There’s not much I need to say about the different systems there are to hold a virtual user session on…

Lessons from not focusing on value and just delivering stuff

My name is Rob and I’ve worked in a feature factory.

I’ve been part of the problem.

I’ve focused on release day and getting something out of the door.

Now that’s the confession out of the way, I can now focus on what this has left me with.

What is a Feature Factory?

For those that don’t know, “Feature Factory” is a derogatory term used to describe a business that is more concerned about shipping features than it is about delivering value.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

How do you know if you’ve worked in a Feature Factory?

Typically feature factories have the following characteristics:

  • They don’t measure very much — Features are released and their value isn’t verified and shared…

Robert Drury

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