Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

By Lenny Rachitsky

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Description

Lenny Rachitsky interviews world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.

www.lennysnewsletter.com

Episode Date
The ultimate guide to SEO | Ethan Smith (Graphite)
5459

Ethan Smith is the CEO of Graphite, a boutique growth agency that’s helped companies like MasterClass, Thumbtack, Robinhood, Medium, and Honey develop and execute their SEO strategies. SEO is one of the least-understood levers for growth, while also one with the biggest payoff. This episode is a true master class on all things SEO. Ethan shares a wealth of information, including when you should begin investing in SEO, how to build an SEO team, and the three main buckets of SEO. He explains the difference between topics and keywords, gives the exact heuristics and tools to help you be successful in developing and implementing your own SEO strategy, and also goes deep on how to deal with roadblocks and advocate for resources.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-seo-ethan-smith-graphite/#transcript

Where to find Ethan Smith:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/ethan_l_s

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ethanls/

• Graphite: https://www.graphitehq.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Coda: https://coda.io/lenny

• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

• Lemon.io: https://lemon.io/lenny

Referenced:

• Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy https://a.co/d/2wkN4dx

• Topical Authority Analysis: https://bit.ly/topical-authority-tool

• SEO Link Analysis: https://bit.ly/diagnostic-internal-links

• SEO Links API: https://bit.ly/graphite-internal-links-api

• Screaming Frog: https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/

• Brandon Lee of Power: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonhli

• Similarweb traffic analysis: https://www.similarweb.com/

• MasterClass: https://www.masterclass.com/

• BetterUp: https://www.betterup.com/

• NerdWallet: https://www.nerdwallet.com/

• HubSpot: https://www.hubspot.com/

• Ahrefs: https://ahrefs.com/

• Semrush: https://www.semrush.com/

• Google Search Console: https://search.google.com/search-console/about

• Clearscope: https://www.clearscope.io/

• Yuriy Timen on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-grow-a-subscription-business-yuriy-timen-grammarly-canva-airtable/

• Gokul Rajaram on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/gokul-rajaram-on-designing-your-product-development-process-when-and-how-to-hire-your-first-pm-a-playbook-for-hiring-leaders-getting-ahead-in-you-career-how-to-get-started-angel-investing-more/

• Luc Levesque on Twitter: https://twitter.com/luclevesque

Search Off the Record: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/search-off-the-record/id1512522198

• GPT-3: https://gpt3demo.com/apps/openai-gpt-3-playground

In this episode, we cover:

(03:53) Ethan’s background

(07:53) Why technical audits are the biggest myth in SEO

(10:05) When to invest in SEO

(16:09) Heuristics to determine if SEO is worth it

(18:36) The three buckets of SEO: programmatic, editorial, and technical

(23:30) The process for creating an SEO strategy

(27:00) Why you shouldn’t be too formulaic 

(28:33) What is site engagement?

(29:31) Which pages need to be indexed

(31:49) Topics vs. keywords

(36:33) How to mine competitors’ sites for information

(37:41) Useful tools for developing your SEO strategy

(40:14) How long will it take to see results?

(45:16) Factors to consider when looking to hire an SEO person

(47:33) The functions of a programmatic SEO person

(49:19) How to do testing

(54:06) Editorial SEO strategy

(57:14) How to scale based on the size of the site

(59:51) Page types

(1:01:53) How to win in a topic category

(1:03:12) How to build solid hypotheses and test them 

(1:06:13) How to deal with roadblocks and advocate for resources

(1:08:54) How topical and domain authority are determined

(1:16:43) The power of internal links

(1:24:32) Why AI is not usually useful for content creation

(1:28:31) Final tips for getting started with SEO

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Dec 01, 2022
How to be the best coach to product people | Petra Wille (Strong Product People)
4337

Petra Wille is an independent product leadership coach who’s been helping product teams expand their skill sets since 2013. She’s also the author of Strong Product People, which she published in 2021. Alongside her freelance work, Petra curates and co-organizes Mind The Product Engage Hamburg. She started her career as a software developer and in 2008 went to work at Xing, a German social media site, where she learned from two incredible product leaders: Marty Cagan and Jason Goldberg. In today’s podcast, we talk about Petra’s book, and how to help your team grow as a product leader. Petra also shares how to improve your storytelling skills, get better at public speaking, and why community is so important for product managers.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-be-the-best-coach-to-product-people-petra-wille-strong-product-people/#transcript

Where to find Petra Wille:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/loomista

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petra-wille-b8b1329/?originalSubdomain=de

• Website: https://www.petra-wille.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

• AssemblyAI: https://www.assemblyai.com/?utm_source=lennyspodcast&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=nov27

Referenced:

• PMwheel framework: https://www.strongproductpeople.com/pmwheel

• Marty Cagan’s assessment: https://www.svpg.com/coaching-tools-the-assessment/

• PM Daisy: https://pmdaisy.com/

• The Eisenhower matrix for prioritization: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/eisenhower-matrix/

Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value: https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-Discovery-Habits-Discover-Products/dp/1736633309

• Mochary Method Curriculum: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18FiJbYn53fTtPmphfdCKT2TMWH-8Y2L-MLqDk-MFV4s/edit

• Matt Mochary on Lenny’s podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work-through-fear-and-nurture-innovation-matt-mochary/

• Hans Rosling’s Ted talks: https://www.ted.com/speakers/hans_rosling

• Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter: https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter?

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That is and What You Can Do About It: https://www.amazon.com/Nobody-Wants-Read-Your-Sh-ebook/dp/B01GZ1TJBI

Selling the Dream: https://www.amazon.com/Selling-Dream-Guy-Kawasaki/dp/0887306004

• Nancy Duarte’s website: https://www.duarte.com/

• The 72 Rules of Storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/72-rules-commercial-storytelling-jeremy-waite/

The Art of Thinking Clearly:https://www.amazon.com/Art-Thinking-Clearly-Rolf-Dobelli/dp/0062219693

Outcomes Over Output: https://www.amazon.com/Outcomes-Over-Output-customer-behavior/dp/1091173265

• Martin Erickson’s Decision Stack: https://martineriksson.com/the-decision-stack

Present Yourself Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/womentalkdesign/present-yourself-a-public-speaking-book

The Product Experience podcast: https://www.mindtheproduct.com/the-product-experience/

• Product podcast in German: https://www.produktmenschen.de/

• Watch New Amsterdam on Peacock: https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-tv/new-amsterdam

• Harvest bookkeeping and time tracking: https://www.getharvest.com/

• Qanto: https://qonto.com/en

In this episode, we cover:

(03:35) Petra’s background

(05:51) The things leaders of product teams don’t always understand

(09:33) Why Petra wrote the book Strong Product People to help managers of product teams 

(11:21) The five ingredient coaching method

(17:00) Why Petra usually recommends starting coaching with a development plan

(19:31) Why weekly time should be carved out for ‘people development’

(21:16) How to define a competent PM in your organization and tools to help you

(24:06) Petra’s PM Wheel and how she developed it

(27:36) Other info product leads will find useful in Petra’s book

(30:46) Tips for coaching your team

(35:17) How to improve your storytelling

(40:56) How to get better at public speaking

(44:45) Why it’s important to develop good storytelling and public speaking skills 

(53:36) The importance of a community of practice for product people

(56:14) Why people tend to stick around when they are supported and growing in a community

(57:53) What to look for in a community

(1:06:48) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Nov 27, 2022
What it takes to become a top 1% PM | Ian McAllister (Uber, Amazon, Airbnb)
3898

Ian McAllister is the Senior Director of Product for Vehicles at Uber. Before moving to Uber, Ian spent over a decade directing teams at Amazon, where he created and led Amazon Smile. He was also Director of Product Management at Airbnb, where I was lucky enough to have worked alongside him. In today’s episode, we discuss Ian’s famous document about the essential attributes of the top 1% of product managers. Ian outlines the most important skills to focus on for entry-level PMs and how to broaden your experience and diversify skills as you move up the ladder. He also shares what he learned working with Jeff Wilke, Jeff Bezos, and other leaders at Amazon, and goes in depth on Amazon’s working-backwards framework. 

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/what-it-takes-to-become-a-top-1-pm-ian-mcallister-uber-amazon-airbnb/#transcript

Where to find Ian McAllister:

• Newsletter: https://ianmcallister.substack.com/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/ianmcall

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ianmcallister/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

• AssemblyAI: https://www.assemblyai.com/?utm_source=lennyspodcast&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=nov20

Referenced:

• What distinguishes the top 1% of product managers from the top 10%, on Substack: https://ianmcallister.substack.com/p/what-distinguishes-the-top-1-of-product

• What distinguishes the top 1% of product managers from the top 10%, on Quora: https://www.quora.com/What-distinguishes-the-Top-1-of-product-managers-from-the-Top-10

• Amazon’s working-backwards method: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/working-backward-amazon-method/

• Jeff Wilke on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeffawilke

Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application: https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Real-Smarter-Successful-Application/dp/0578012812

Wool (Wool trilogy #1): https://www.amazon.com/Wool-Trilogy-Howey-25-Apr-2013-Paperback/dp/B011T7ACU0/

Energy and Civilization: A History: https://www.amazon.com/Energy-Civilization-History-MIT-Press/dp/0262035774

How I Built This podcast: https://www.npr.org/series/490248027/how-i-built-this

EV News Daily podcast: https://www.evnewsdaily.com/

Yellowstone on Peacock: https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-tv/yellowstone

Everything Everywhere All at Once on Showtime: https://www.sho.com/titles/3493875/everything-everywhere-all-at-once

• Gibson Biddle’s website: https://www.gibsonbiddle.com/

• Gibson Biddle on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/gibson-biddle-on-his-dhm-product-strategy-framework-gem-roadmap-prioritization-framework-5-netflix-strategy-mini-case-studies-building-a-personal-board-of-directors-and-much-more/

• Gibson Biddle’s Ask Gib newsletter: https://askgib.substack.com/

In this episode, we cover:

(03:54) What Ian expected from his initial post on product management

(05:30) How the post impacted Ian’s career

(07:06) How writing can help you crystallize your thoughts

(08:26) Ian’s background

(10:57) Attributes of the top 1% of PMs

(14:32) The top three skills for new PMs to perfect

(20:32) Tips on strengthening communication and prioritization

(23:06) How to level up as a PM

(26:37) What kind of impact should new PMs expect to make?

(29:36) How to broaden your view and think big

(33:06) How to earn the trust of others

(34:30) How Ian could have done more to earn trust at Airbnb

(37:27) Why people tend to stick around Amazon for a while 

(39:53) What Ian learned from Bezos and Wilke

(46:38) How teams get working backwards wrong

(53:51) The two parts of working backwards and how Ian utilizes it at Uber

(58:57) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Nov 20, 2022
Leaving big tech to build the #1 technology newsletter | Gergely Orosz (The Pragmatic Engineer)
4490

Gergely Orosz writes the #1 technology newsletter at Substack, called The Pragmatic Engineer. He started his career as a software developer in the U.K., spent three years at Skype, and followed that role with four years as an engineering manager at Uber before deciding to leave big tech and work for himself. Gergely began pursuing his newsletter full-time in September 2021 and in just one year has amassed 200,000 subscribers. He now makes more money than he did at his salaried tech job, and with freedom and flexibility. In today’s podcast, Gergely shares why he left his well-paying job at Uber, how he got his first 1,000 subscribers, why this kind of work can be stressful and lonely (but ultimately rewarding), and why it takes hard work to build authority and become a great writer. Working solo can be challenging, and in this episode, both Lenny and Gergely offer tips for structuring your unstructured time and finding your focus.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/leaving-big-tech-to-build-the-1-technology-newsletter-gergely-orosz-the-pragmatic-engineer/#transcript

Where to find Gergely Orosz:

• Website: https://www.pragmaticengineer.com/

• Newsletter: https://newsletter.pragmaticengineer.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/GergelyOrosz

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gergelyorosz/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Lemon.io: https://lemon.io/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Gergely’s books: https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/books/

• Centered: https://www.centered.app/

• The Pomodoro technique: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryancollinseurope/2020/03/03/the-pomodoro-technique/

• Coding Horror: https://blog.codinghorror.com/

• How to Achieve Ultimate Blog Success in One Easy Step: https://blog.codinghorror.com/how-to-achieve-ultimate-blog-success-in-one-easy-step/

• A Comment Is an Invitation for Refactoring: https://blog.pragmaticengineer.com/a-comment-is-an-invitation-for-refactoring/

• Kent Beck’s website: https://www.kentbeck.com/

• Steve Yegge’s famous rant on Google vs. Amazon: https://www.alexanderjarvis.com/steve-yegges-famous-rant-on-google-vs-amazon/

• Stevey’s Tech Talk: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZfuUWMTtMcC1DZF6HxJhqsGrBXu8Jzi7

In this episode, we cover:

(04:32) Gergely’s background

(07:19) The Pragmatic Engineer, growth and current subscribers 

(08:59) Compensation with a subscription-based newsletter vs. his salaried position at Uber

(10:55) How the onset of Covid and layoffs at Uber prompted Gergely to start his newsletter

(23:10) What he did immediately after leaving Uber

(25:41) The day-to-day of writing a newsletter

(35:08) Tips for productivity

(41:19) Gergely’s favorite parts of entrepreneurship 

(43:15) The downsides of solo work

(50:39) Why Gergely stopped making long-term plans

(54:30) How to get started writing a newsletter

(1:04:48) Key advice on building a successful newsletter

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Nov 17, 2022
An inside look at how the New York Times builds product | Alex Hardiman (CPO at The New York Times)
4040

Alex Hardiman is Chief Product Officer at the New York Times, where she oversees the company’s news, cooking, games, audio and advertising products. Previously, Alex was Chief Business & Product Officer at The Atlantic, and before that she was Head of News Products at Facebook. We discuss how engineers and product people work with writers to create impactful stories, how teams build the incredible visualizations and experiences for NYTimes.com, how product teams are structured within the New York Times, and the good and bad about working at a company like the New York Times versus a FAANG tech company. We also talk about the details behind the New York Times’s acquisition of Wordle and uncover what the Times is dreaming up for its product over the next 10 years.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/an-inside-look-at-how-the-new-york-times-builds-product-alex-hardiman-cpo-at-the-new-york-times/#transcript

Where to find Alex Hardiman:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/alex_hardiman

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandrahardiman/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Miro: https://miro.com/lenny

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Jodi Kantor: https://www.nytimes.com/by/jodi-kantor

• Wordle: https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/

• Wordle Is a Love Story: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/03/technology/wordle-word-game-creator.html

• Josh Wardle on Twitter: https://twitter.com/powerlanguish

• Eric Kim’s recipes: https://cooking.nytimes.com/ourcooks/eric-kim/

• Wirecutter: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/

Framing Britney Spears: https://www.nytimes.com/article/framing-britney-spears.html

Hard Fork podcast: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/04/podcasts/hard-fork-technology.html

High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups from 10 to 10,000 People: https://www.amazon.com/High-Growth-Handbook-Elad-Gil/dp/1732265100

An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management: https://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Puzzle-Systems-Engineering-Management/dp/1732265186

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium: https://www.amazon.com/Revolt-Public-Crisis-Authority-Millennium/dp/1732265143

Giovanni’s Room: https://www.amazon.com/Giovannis-Room-James-Baldwin/dp/0345806565/r

The Daily podcast: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily

The Wire on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-wire

• Google Workspace: https://workspace.google.com/

• Slack: slack.com

• Figma: figma.com

• Mode: https://mode.com/

• GitHub: https://github.com/

• Fidji Simo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fidjisimo/

In this episode, we cover:

(04:48) Alex’s background

(07:37) How Alex fought disinformation on the news team at Facebook 

(11:11) How some product people thrive in chaos

(14:13) Alex’s return to the New York Times

(16:22) What product means at the New York Times

(20:42) How the product team at the New York Times is structured

(26:20) How the New York Times makes stories come alive with balanced creative and technical teams

(33:15) The acquisition of Wordle 

(42:00) What it was like to work at the New York Times during the onset of Covid

(47:11) How to avoid burnout on a product team

(49:26) How the New York Times has set itself apart with its subscription package

(52:21) How the New York Times’s products are rooted in helping in the real world

(52:54) Lenny’s tips for improving Wirecutter

(53:36) The differences and similarities on product teams in a news organization

(59:58) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Nov 13, 2022
How to fire people with grace, work through fear, and nurture innovation | Matt Mochary (CEO coach)
4267

Matt Mochary, CEO of Mochary Method, is a full-time executive coach who has worked with some of the biggest names in tech and finance, including investor Naval Ravikant and the CEOs of Notion, OpenAI, Coinbase, Reddit, and many others. In today’s podcast, we talk about the skill of firing people, why it’s so important, and Matt’s framework for approaching layoffs. We go deep on recognizing emotions like anger and fear, and what to pay attention to when you feel angry or fearful. He also shares how to build new products within a larger company, important tips on how to make sure everyone in the organization feels valued and heard, carving out time for your top goal, and how an energy audit can help you eliminate tasks that are draining your energy.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work-through-fear-and-nurture-innovation-matt-mochary-ceo-coach/#transcript

Where to find Matt Mochary:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattmochary

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-mochary-34bb4/

• Website: http://www.mochary.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• AssemblyAI: https://www.assemblyai.com/?utm_source=lennyspodcast&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=nov10

• Lemon.io: https://lemon.io/lenny

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building: https://www.amazon.com/Great-CEO-Within-Tactical-Building-ebook/dp/B07ZLGQZYC

• Mochary Method: https://mocharymethod.org/

• Leo Polovets on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lpolovets

High Output Management: https://www.amazon.com/High-Output-Management-Andrew-Grove/dp/0679762884

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business when There Are No Easy Answers: https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Thing-About-Things-Building/dp/0062273205

• Andrej Karpathy on Lex Fridman’s podcast: https://lexfridman.com/andrej-karpathy/

• Wei Deng on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dengwei/

Free Solo: https://films.nationalgeographic.com/free-solo

• Ryan Hoover on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rrhoover

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: https://gregmckeown.com/books/essentialism/

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day: https://www.amazon.com/Make-Time-Focus-Matters-Every/dp/0525572422

• Centered app: https://www.centered.app/

• Diana Chapman at Conscious Leadership Group: https://conscious.is/team/diana-chapman

• The Mochary Method curriculum doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18FiJbYn53fTtPmphfdCKT2TMWH-8Y2L-MLqDk-MFV4s/edit

In this episode, we cover:

(04:43) Matt’s background

(07:39) Areas where even very successful founders struggle

(12:24) How to address people to minimize defensiveness

(13:24) The destructive nature of anger and how to feel your feelings so you don’t hurt others

(15:02) Which books led Matt to his coaching journey and software platform

(19:03) When and how to let an employee go

(31:47) How to make people feel heard

(38:05) How Matt’s coaching has evolved to include psychological obstacles to success

(39:41) What is “top goal,” and how can it help you make massive gains?

(41:25) Why Matt has an accountability partner for his top goal time

(43:44) How to approach mass layoffs humanely

(53:21) Matt’s thoughts on the Twitter layoffs

(54:10) How to innovate within a large company

(1:01:53) How to do an energy audit

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Nov 10, 2022
How Snyk built a product-led growth juggernaut | Ben Williams (VP of Product at Snyk)
5494

Ben Williams is VP of Product at Snyk, an industry-leading security platform for developers, last valued at $8.5b. He’s also a product and growth advisor with over 20 years of experience building and scaling high-performing product and growth teams. Through product-led growth, product-led sales, and community, Snyk rapidly scaled and won over the lucrative developer audience. In today’s episode, Ben shares the successful growth levers that helped Snyk get started, all of the details of how Snyk has structured their growth, product, and marketing teams and set them up for success in terms of cross-collaboration—and also how their initial plan for self-serve monetization fell flat. We go into Ben’s many useful tips for product-led growth, including his thoughts on free vs. paid versions, trials, and how to build amazing growth teams.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-snyk-built-a-product-led-growth-juggernaut-ben-williams-vp-of-product-at-snyk/#transcript

Where to find Ben Williams:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/semanticben

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/semanticben/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Coda: https://coda.io/lenny

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Snyk: https://snyk.io/

• Weekly Team Impact & Learnings Review Template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GibNaJ4aONgp5Kg824NCionr1citHIDk3FLvMdkpX_Q/edit?usp=share_link

• Monthly Group Impact & Learnings Review Template: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1nQ18OTuRtc8urBnUWEObD_BlfdGDKlDDMFg8-G2GK7E/edit?usp=share_link

• Experiment Plan Template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18LiGXKphGe1tUpZCQA20i4bJqf-S3kDbYnY4Pls_9kQ/edit?usp=share_link

• Vision & Mission Framework: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1CiRwscu-50lBr2c7yRLY_zXVzv5DCnYqNnS5Au83WC8/edit?usp=share_link

• Ed Sim’s newsletter: https://whatshot.substack.com/

• Tamar Yehoshua on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tyehoshua

• Julian Shapiro on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/growth-tactics-retention-strategies-and-becoming-a-better-writer-julian-shapiro-demand-curve-hyper-webflow-techcrunch/

• Annie Duke’s website: https://www.annieduke.com/

• Elena Verna on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/elena-verna-on-how-b2b-growth-is-changing-product-led-growth-product-led-sales-why-you-should-go-freemium-not-trial-what-features-to-make-free-and-much-more/

• Growth loops: https://www.reforge.com/blog/growth-loops

• Brian Balfour on using learnings: https://brianbalfour.com/growth-machine/maximize-learning

• Adam Fishman on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/how-to-build-a-high-performing-growth-team-adam-fishman-patreon-lyft-imperfect-foods/

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• FullStory: https://www.fullstory.com/

• User Interviews: https://www.userinterviews.com/

• User Testing: https://www.usertesting.com/

• Sprig: https://sprig.com/surveys

• Airtable: https://www.airtable.com/home/toolkit

How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of “Intangibles” in Business: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0470110120/

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days: https://www.amazon.com/Sprint-Solve-Problems-Test-Ideas/dp/150112174X

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078QSCM3V/

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race: https://www.amazon.com/This-They-Tell-World-Ends/dp/1635576059

Acquired podcast: https://www.acquired.fm/

Turning Red on Disney+: https://www.disneyplus.com/movies/turning-red/4mFPCXJi7N2m

Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/curb-your-enthusiasm

• Christine Itwaru’s blog: https://prodops.blog/

In this episode, we cover:

(04:44) Ben’s background

(07:27) What is Snyk, and what’s the current scale?

(08:45) Why Ben joined Snyk

(09:29) How Snyk got their first 100 users

(15:14) How Snyk used developer conferences and in-person meet-ups to launch

(19:23) How Snyk used GitHub as a growth lever

(23:50) Snyk Advisor, and other growth loops Snyk successfully used

(26:56) Snyk’s failed attempt at self-serve monetization

(31:21) How to win the hearts and minds of developers

(33:38) How adding sales and marketing teams helped Snyk gain momentum

(35:11) The evolution of Snyk’s growth team

(37:26) Snyk’s key areas of growth and how Ben solved tension between teams

(39:32) What is Snyk’s decision science team?

(40:59) Why Snyk has a growth marketer embedded on each team

(43:39) The importance of having an amazing SEO person

(46:21) Advice on building growth teams

(51:32) Ben’s vision and mission framework

(53:53) More on the growth process and experimentation

(56:04) Using learnings as a path to impact

(57:32) Growth strategy

(1:02:26) Data in growth teams

(1:06:33) How Snyk socializes learnings

(1:10:05) How Snyk structures their product org

(1:13:15) Free vs. paid features and how to approach trials

(1:18:57) Activation milestones at Snyk

(1:23:05) The most valuable tools for Snyk’s growth team

(1:25:21) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Nov 06, 2022
Lessons from one of the world’s top executive recruiters | Lauren Ipsen (Daversa Partners, General Catalyst)
4131

Lauren Ipsen is one of the most well-known and respected executive recruiters in the industry, having placed over 90 senior product leaders at companies including Twitter, Reddit, Opendoor, Postmates, Nextdoor, and many others. She is currently the Director of Executive Talent at General Catalyst, and prior to that was a senior leader at Daversa Partners. In today’s podcast, Lauren shares advice for founders on hiring senior product leaders, tips for product leaders on finding better opportunities, and the most common mistakes recruiters make. She talks about how to play the long game of networking to find the best talent and about recruiting best practices, and we also dive deep on market mapping, LinkedIn, and how to approach reference checks.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-from-one-of-the-worlds-top-executive-recruiters-lauren-ipsen-daversa-partners-general-catalyst/#transcript

Where to find Lauren Ipsen:

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-ipsen-6a5a84113/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Retool: https://retool.com/lenny

• Miro: https://miro.com/lenny

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Gokul Rajaram on Lenny’s podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/gokul-rajaram-on-designing-your-product-development-process-when-and-how-to-hire-your-first-pm-a-playbook-for-hiring-leaders-getting-ahead-in-you-career-how-to-get-started-angel-investing-more/

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenmenthttps://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808

You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment: https://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Here-Discovering-Present/dp/1590308387/

Your Own Backyard podcast: https://www.yourownbackyardpodcast.com/

Top Gun: https://www.amazon.com/Top-Gun-Tom-Cruise/dp/B001K3K5MO

• BeReal: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bereal-your-friends-for-real/id1459645446

• Strava: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/strava-run-ride-hike/id426826309

• Spotify: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/spotify-music-and-podcasts/id324684580

• Joe Suliman at Daversa Partners: https://www.daversapartners.com/team/joe-suliman/

In this episode, we cover:

(04:46) Lauren’s background

(07:52) Why the best recruiters seem to be migrating to VC funds

(09:44) Mistakes founders make in searching for their first senior product leader

(13:26) Questions for founders to ask when thinking about who to hire

(16:07) The three main types of PMs

(18:27) What do job titles mean, and why are they more susceptible to change in a startup environment?

(21:50) What should product leaders do ahead of hiring senior product leaders?

(23:14) How to network with great talent

(27:37) Why the timetable for recruiting is variable

(29:02) How to be productive with your time by tapping your network

(30:27) Why recruiting via LinkedIn might not be the best use of your time

(33:17) Lauren’s favorite placement of all time

(37:30) The importance of diversifying your experience

(40:16) The art and science of staying long enough to have a meaningful impact

(43:23) The importance of creating real impact as a leader

(47:57) Good questions to ask references and how to dig deeper

(49:35) Resume red flags and the importance of honesty

(53:39) Interview tips for product managers 

(57:29) Common mistakes recruiters make

(1:00:57) Advice for founders looking for a recruiter

(1:04:24) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Nov 03, 2022
Building Substack | Sachin Monga (Substack, Facebook)
3660

Sachin Monga is the Head of Product at Substack, a platform that I personally use every day, and love. Before Substack, Sachin co-founded an app called Cocoon, which he ended up selling to Substack. Before that, he spent over seven years at Facebook as a PM working on video and camera products, building out the developer platform, and leading the ads growth team. In today’s episode, we dive deep on all things Substack. Sachin shares what it’s like transitioning from a large product team at Facebook to a small growth team. He discusses how to work with a hands-on founder and why you must be comfortable with rapid change in a PM role. He also shares unique features of Substack that make it an optimized experience for readers and writers, how he’d like to see it improved, and tips for anyone wanting to get started writing online.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-substack-sachin-monga-substack-facebook/#transcript

Where to find Sachin Monga:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/sachinmonga

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sachinmonga/

• Email: Sachin@substackinc.com

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Retool: https://retool.com/lenny

• Stytch: https://stytch.com/lenny

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Substack: https://substack.com/

• Matt Taibbi on Substack: https://taibbi.substack.com/

• Bill Bishop on Substack: https://sinocism.com/

• Jasper: https://www.jasper.ai/

• DALL-E 2: https://openai.com/dall-e-2/

1000 True Fans: https://www.amazon.com/1000-True-Fans-Kellys-Simple-ebook/dp/B01N9P9O4G

• You Are Not Late: https://medium.com/message/you-are-not-late-b3d76f963142

The Timeless Way of Building: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Way-Building-Christopher-Alexander/dp/0195024028

Martyrmade podcast on Substack: https://martyrmade.substack.com/

• Colin Meloy on Substack: https://colinmeloy.substack.com/

• Ethan Strauss on Substack: https://houseofstrauss.substack.com/

• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Substack: https://kareem.substack.com/

• Dayne Rathbone: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daynerathbone/

For All Mankind on Apple TV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/for-all-mankind/umc.cmc.6wsi780sz5tdbqcf11k76mkp7

In this episode, we cover:

(04:34) Sachin’s background

(07:11) The evolution and structure of teams at Substack

(10:11) What it’s like working at a smaller company with a hands-on founder

(12:07) How to share in a founder’s vision

(14:02) Why the rate of change is the most challenging aspect of the job

(16:37) Why prioritization at Facebook worked differently than it does at Substack

(20:03) How Substack thinks about prioritizing for writers and readers

(22:17) Substack’s recommendation feature and how it came to be

(27:13) How recommendations have led to an increase of millions of subscribers

(31:34) Moving forward with network-driven discovery 

(32:17) The “build with” principle and the product lab at Substack

(35:02) How Substack deals with negative press

(36:45) The writer experience at Substack

(39:13) The reader-focused experience on Substack

(40:41) Advice for writers

(44:45) Substack’s vision for making creation easier

(46:39) Common mistakes creators make, and how product improvements could help in some cases 

(49:57) Why you’re not too late to join the game

(52:52) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Oct 30, 2022
Category creation and brand building | Barbra Gago (Pando, Miro, Greenhouse, Culture Amp)
3347

Barbra Gago is the founder and CEO of Pando, where she’s democratizing career progression. Previously she worked as the Chief Marketing Officer and Global Head of Marketing at Miro, where she helped create an entirely new software category for the space, and also served as VP of Marketing at Greenhouse, where she led go-to-market strategy. In today’s episode, we cover three main topics: category creation, branding and rebranding, and building opinionated software. Barbra discusses how she was able to rebrand Miro and launch a whole new category—and why her attempt to do that at Greenhouse failed. We cover the benefits of building your own category, and when it makes sense to do so and when it doesn’t. She also shares the importance of getting to know your users, why a great brand is informed by its values, and why Pando is built in an opinionated way.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/category-creation-and-brand-building-barbra-gago-pando-miro-greenhouse-culture-amp/#transcript

Where to find Barbra Gago:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbragago

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbragago

• Pando: https://www.pando.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• AssemblyAI: https://www.assemblyai.com/?utm_source=lennyspodcast&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=oct27

• Stytch: https://stytch.com/lenny

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

• G2: https://g2.com/

• Software Advice: https://www.softwareadvice.com/

• Marketo: https://www.marketo.com/

• HubSpot: https://www.hubspot.com/

• Gainsight: https://www.gainsight.com/

• Greenhouse: https://www.greenhouse.io/

• Miro: https://miro.com/

• Gartner: https://www.gartner.com/

• Forrester: https://www.forrester.com/research/product-management/

• Oyster: https://www.oysterhr.com/

• Deel: https://www.deel.com/

• Atlassian: https://www.atlassian.com/

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Revised-Kick-Ass-Humanity/dp/1250235375

The Art of War: https://www.amazon.com/Art-War-Sun-Tzu/dp/1590302257

Kafka on the Shore: https://www.amazon.com/Kafka-Shore-Haruki-Murakami/dp/0099458322

Cautionary Tales podcast: https://timharford.com/articles/cautionarytales/

The Sandman on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81150303

• Nancy Duarte on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyduarte/

• Al Gore’s TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_the_new_urgency_of_climate_change

In this episode, we cover:

(04:04) Barbra’s background

(05:06) Barbra’s startup

(06:07) Category creation vs. winning in existing categories

(07:49) What is an applicant tracking system, and why have they been problematic?

(09:57) What is a product category?

(13:06) Examples of product categories

(14:05) Greenhouse as an example of failed category creation 

(16:46) How Miro successfully created a new category

(18:37) Utilizing user feedback

(21:15) The mechanics of category creation

(21:22) How to advocate for your new category with directory sites

(25:53) The middle ground between new and existing categories

(29:37) When is it time to rebrand?

(38:51) How to create a lasting, global brand

(41:18) How values inform brands

(43:13) Insights into developing company values

(44:24) The elements of a brand

(46:37) What is opinionated software?

(47:57) The benefits of opinionated software, and why Barbra’s software is opinionated

(51:23) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Oct 27, 2022
How to build trust and grow as a product leader | Fareed Mosavat (Reforge, Slack, Instacart, Zynga, Pixar)
3909

Fareed Mosavat is Chief Development Officer at Reforge, where he leads production, content, and new-product experiences. Previously, he led growth and product teams at Slack and Instacart, was a GM at Zynga, and also served as VP of Product at RunKeeper. Before all of that, Fareed’s fascinating career began in engineering for Pixar, where he learned the art of storytelling and collaboration. In today’s episode, we talk about how his time at Pixar influenced the way he thinks about product, why it’s so difficult to become a better PM, and how to avoid the “manager death spiral.” Fareed shares important insights on how to earn the trust of your manager and coworkers, the four types of product work—and why you need to understand all four. He also provides solid examples of how to generalize your learnings and explains why this will expand your options, make you a better PM, and boost your chances of moving into a leadership role. 

Find the full transcript here: https://www.podpage.com/lennys-podcast/how-to-build-trust-and-grow-as-a-product-leader-fareed-mosavat-reforge-slack-instacart-zynga-pixar/#transcript

Where to find Fareed Mosavat:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/far33d

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fareed/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Naval Ravikant’s Twitter thread about specific knowledge: https://twitter.com/naval/status/1002104865919664128

• Merci Grace on Lenny’s podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/merci-grace-ex-head-of-growth-at-slack-on-plg-interviewing-storytelling-building-a-diverse-team-hiring-salespeople-building-a-growth-team-and-much-more/

• “Crossing the Canyon: Product Manager to Product Leader,” by Fareed Mosavat and Casey Winters: https://www.reforge.com/blog/crossing-the-canyon-product-manager-to-product-leader

• Casey Winters on Lenny’s podcast: https://www.podpage.com/lennys-podcast/how-to-sell-your-ideas-and-rise-within-your-company-casey-winters-eventbrite/

• Reforge: https://www.reforge.com/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:38) Fareed’s background

(03:55) Lessons from Pixar

(09:07) What Fareed does at Reforge

(11:57) The scale of Reforge at this time

(13:51) Why it’s so difficult to become a better PM

(18:03) A PM pie chart—execution, generalizing your solutions, communication, and scaling

(23:00) How creating trust helped Fareed’s career grow

(26:24) How to gain trust by leveraging your curiosity and communication skills

(33:50) How to move from PM to Product Lead

(36:43) The manager death spiral and how to avoid it

(40:43) The four types of product work

(44:13) Moving from IC to product manager 

(47:15) How to ask for the proper resources

(50:00) The trend of senior PMs diversifying into advising, teaching, and angel investing

(57:20) The downsides of being your own boss

(01:00:45) Advice for breaking into advising

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Oct 23, 2022
Humanizing product development | Adriel Frederick (Reddit, Lyft, Facebook)
4045

Adriel Frederick is VP of Product Management at Reddit X, where he helps incubate and scale new products. He is a former Product Lead at Facebook, as well as a former PM and Director of Product at Lyft. In today’s episode, we focus on what it takes to become a better product leader. Adriel shares anecdotes from his time at Lyft and Facebook, insights about how to lead through tough times, why there isn’t an algorithmic solution to everything, why R&D teams need to be a part of the core mission, the tangible benefits of working on diverse teams, and his thoughts on the future of AI. He also introduces the concept of cannonballs, why you should focus on the marginal user, why organization and empathy are the most important PM skills, and so much more.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.podpage.com/lennys-podcast/humanizing-product-development-adriel-frederick-reddit-lyft-facebook/#transcript

Where to find Adriel Frederick:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/drellf

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrielfrederick/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Linear: https://linear.app/lenny

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/

Referenced:

• Jules Walter on Twitter: https://twitter.com/julesdwalt

• Jules Walter’s guest post on Lenny’s newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/product-sense

• Mark Zuckerberg on The Joe Rogan Experience: https://open.spotify.com/episode/51gxrAActH18RGhKNza598

• Sam Harris’s TED Talk on AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nt3edWLgIg

• Facebook’s 7 friends in 10 days: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-chamath-palihapitya-dramatically-improved-user-malinda-senanayake/

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power: https://www.amazon.com/Prize-Epic-Quest-Money-Power/dp/1439110123/

The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nationshttps://www.amazon.com/New-Map-Energy-Climate-Nations/dp/0143111159/

Revisionist History podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/revisionist-history/id1119389968

Tuned In podcast: https://www.hpacademy.com/blog/tuned-in-high-performance-academy-podcast/

Mo on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81134264

• Radiant Nuclear: https://www.radiantnuclear.com/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:40) Adriel’s background

(06:13) What he does at Reddit X

(07:27) Reddit X’s avatar marketplace and NFTs

(08:33) Why R&D teams need to be a part of the core mission

(11:12) What it’s like to be the first black PM at Facebook

(14:58) How to foster diversity

(19:40) Being a PM at controversial companies, and how to evaluate criticism

(28:25) Adriel’s most stressful time at Lyft

(30:35) The importance of operational control and what it means

(32:35) Why there isn’t always an algorithmic solution to everything

(37:47) Thoughts on AI

(42:42) Growth hacking and algorithms at Facebook

(48:18) Cannonballs in growth—fundamental changes in the product for optimization

(49:07) Facebook’s “7 friends in 10 days” push

(51:30) What is a marginal user, and what can you learn from their experience?

(56:06) How to think about doing experiments

(59:10) Why organization and empathy are the most important skills 

(1:02:59) Lightning round 

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Oct 20, 2022
Building better product roadmaps | Janna Bastow (Mind the Product, ProdPad)
3219

Janna Bastow is a former product manager, and currently the CEO and co-founder of ProdPad. She also co-founded Mind the Product, a community for PMs, which has grown to 300,000 members across the world. In today’s podcast, Janna discusses the limitations of timeline-based Gantt charts and her “Now/Next/Later” framework. She also shares stories about hosting conferences and gives some great tips on how to improve your presentation skills and cope with performance anxiety.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-better-product-roadmaps-janna-bastow-mind-the-product-prodpad/#transcript

Where to find Janna Bastow:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/simplybastow

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jannabastow

• The ProdPad newsletter: https://www.prodpad.com/newsletter/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Formsort: https://formsort.com/lenny

• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

Referenced:

• Mind the Product: https://www.mindtheproduct.com/

• The Trouble with Traditional Roadmaps: https://www.prodpad.com/resources/guides/ditch-the-timeline-roadmap/the-trouble-with-traditional-timeline-roadmaps/

• ProdPad’s Sandbox: https://www.prodpad.com/sandbox/

• Geoffrey Moore’s product vision template: https://www.prodpad.com/blog/product-vision-template/

The Art of Profitability: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Profitability-Adrian-Slywotzky/dp/0446692271

The Sandman on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81150303

Startups for the Rest of Us podcast: https://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/

• Christina Wodtke on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cwodtke

In this episode, we cover:

(01:10) Janna’s background

(05:28) How the community evolved at Mind the Product

(08:22) The tricky logistics of putting together a conference

(10:48) Are conferences profitable?

(13:00) How Janna developed her storytelling and presentation skills

(16:44) How to fight performance anxiety

(19:25) Mistakes are humanizing—how to power through and deliver your presentation

(22:11) The limitations of traditional timeline roadmaps

(25:00) Janna’s Now/Next/Later framework

(28:08) How to work without the structure of dated timelines, and why soft launches are important

(32:57) What great product teams are doing well

(35:05) The importance of retrospectives

(36:45) How to shift the culture at larger companies

(39:43) How ProdPad creates better product management practices

(42:04) How to learn the Now/Next/Later framework

(46:59) Geoffrey Moore’s product vision template

(48:36) Lessons for PMs interested in becoming founders

(50:48) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Oct 16, 2022
How to build a high-performing growth team | Adam Fishman (Patreon, Lyft, Imperfect Foods)
3945

Adam Fishman has decades of experience building and scaling some incredible businesses, like Lyft, Patreon, and Imperfect Foods. He is currently an Executive in Residence at Reforge and an advisor to numerous companies on growth, product, strategy, and company building. In today’s episode, Adam shares his growth PM competency model to help founders identify specific skills when hiring growth leaders, how to structure feedback, and how to identify gaps in your growth team. He also discusses the role of onboarding in retention and how to evaluate a company as a prospective employee.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-build-a-high-performing-growth-team-adam-fishman-patreon-lyft-imperfect-foods/#transcript

Where to find Adam Fishman:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/fishmanaf

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamjfishman/

• Website: https://www.adamfishman.com/

• Adam’s newsletter: https://www.fishmanafnewsletter.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Linear: https://linear.app/lenny

• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/

Referenced:

• Stream Super Pumped on Showtime: https://www.sho.com/super-pumped

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber: https://www.amazon.com/Super-Pumped-Battle-Mike-Isaac/dp/0393652246

•  HitRecord: https://hitrecord.org/

• Adam’s growth competency model: https://www.reforge.com/blog/the-growth-competency-model

• Adam’s LinkedIn series: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/adamjfishman_ive-now-published-my-complete-series-on-activity-6979198793992802305-VtCu/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:18) Adam’s background

(06:16) Lyft’s launch press release 

(09:56) Adam’s newsletter and growth competency framework

(10:34) Myths and mistakes founders make

(15:12) The growth competency model 

(18:47) Customer knowledge and user psychology

(21:23) Why strategy and communication are more advanced competencies

(25:45) Why to hire a junior-level growth executive and how to support them

(31:20) Why Adam skews toward internal hiring

(33:25) Generalists vs. specialists

(35:59) The importance of onboarding

(41:49) Opinionated defaults

(45:03) Balancing conversion and retention with successful onboarding

(48:46) Guidelines for redesigning onboarding

(52:22) The PMF criteria for candidates

(57:57) What Adam would have done differently at Imperfect Foods

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Oct 13, 2022
Developing a growth model + marketplace growth strategy | Dan Hockenmaier (Faire, Thumbtack, Reforge)
3845

Dan Hockenmaier is an expert on marketplace strategy and growth. He was previously the Director of Growth at Thumbtack as well as a partner at Reforge, where he co-created the monetization track. Currently, he is the Head of Strategy and Analytics at Faire. In today’s episode, Dan shares the building blocks of a growth model, important considerations when building your growth model, and how to get started. We also chat about retention best practices, the complexity of building a marketplace, the future of marketplaces, and when it makes sense to add a SaaS business to a marketplace, and vice versa.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/developing-a-growth-model-marketplace-growth-strategy-dan-hockenmaier-faire-thumbtack-reforge/#transcript

Where to find Dan Hockenmaier:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/danhockenmaier

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-hock/

• Website: https://www.danhock.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/

Referenced:

• Reforge: https://www.reforge.com/

• Casey Winters on Lenny’s Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-sell-your-ideas-and-rise-within-your-company

• Faire: https://www.faire.com/

• Dan’s blog post on the future of marketplaces: https://www.danhock.com/posts/the-future-of-marketplaces

• Careers at Faire: https://www.faire.com/careers

In this episode, we cover:

(00:43) Dan’s background

(04:01) What is a growth model?

(07:20) The building blocks of a growth model for your own business

(10:22) The value in building your own model

(11:12) The importance of retention over growth 

(14:49) Getting started building your model

(19:18) The growth model at Thumbtack

(20:36) The importance of the early user experience for retention

(25:02) Why is a marketplace a good business?

(28:23) Health metrics for marketplaces

(33:47) Supply and demand, and why you shouldn’t neglect demand

(36:23) The role of ROI equations and how to use them

(39:16) Why you should tread lightly when working with marketplaces

(42:43) Expanding marketplaces

(46:50) How marketplaces can add a SaaS offering, and why adding a marketplace to a SaaS business is trickier

(49:47) When is there an opportunity to unbundle?

(54:43) B2B marketplaces 

(56:36) What is fragmentation?

(58:46) The future of marketplaces

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Oct 09, 2022
Using behavioral science to improve your product | Kristen Berman (Irrational Labs)
3374

Kristen Berman is the CEO and co-founder of Irrational Labs, where she helps companies like Google, Airbnb, PayPal, Microsoft, and LinkedIn improve their products and services through behavioral design research. She is also the co-founder of Common Cents Lab, a Duke University initiative dedicated to improving the financial well-being of low- to middle-class Americans. In today’s episode, Kristen shares the 3B Framework of Behavioral Design and uses real-life examples to illustrate what influences behavior change and the common biases that get in the way of building successful products. She also explains how to keep users engaged and how you can implement behavioral design research to drive innovation and growth.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/using-behavioral-science-to-improve-your-product-kristen-berman-irrational-labs/#transcript

Where to find Kristen Berman:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/bermster

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristenberman/

• Website: https://irrationallabs.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Whimsical: https://whimsical.com/lenny

• Lenny’s Job Board: https://www.lennysjobs.com/talent

Referenced:

Learn more behavioral science:

• 3B Behavioral Design Framework https://miro.com/miroverse/3b-behavioral-design-framework

• Irrational Labs newsletter, with latest BE and behavioral design insights: https://irrationallabs.com/newsletter/ 

• Join the Behavioral Design Online Bootcamp (use code “Lenny” for 10% off): https://behavioraleconomicsbootcamp.com/

• Get the 3B Framework: https://irrationallabs.com/3bs-download/

• Behavioral Design & Diagnosis Cheat Sheet: https://irrationallabs.com/download-behavioral-design-guide/

• The 16 Critical Cognitive Biases (Plus Key Academic Research): https://irrationallabs.com/blog/cognitive-biases-and-academic-research/

• Behavioral Game Design: 7 Lessons: https://irrationallabs.com/blog/behavioral-game-design-7-lessons-from-behavioral-science-to-help-change-user-behavior/

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisionshttps://www.amazon.com/Predictably-Irrational-Revised-Expanded-Decisions/dp/0061353248/

• Prolific testing platform: https://www.prolific.co/

• Kristen’s guest post on Lenny’s Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/people/23170097-kristen-berman

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: https://www.amazon.com/Influence-New-Expanded-Psychology-Persuasion/dp/0062937650

The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good: https://www.amazon.com/Darwin-Economy-Liberty-Competition-Common/dp/0691156689/

The Science of Change podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-science-of-change/id1587407079

No Stupid Questions podcast: https://freakonomics.com/series/nsq/

• Stream The Rehearsal on HBO Max: https://www.hbo.com/the-rehearsal

• Chris York’s website: https://www.chrisyork.co/

Case studies mentioned: 

• Budgeting fintech: https://irrationallabs.com/case-studies/budgeting/

• TikTok: https://irrationallabs.com/case-studies/tiktok-how-behavioral-science-reduced-the-spread-of-misinformation/

• One Medical: https://irrationallabs.com/case-studies/one-medical-case-study/

• Credit Karma: https://irrationallabs.com/case-studies/behavioral-design-credit-karma-money/

• TytoCare: https://irrationallabs.com/case-studies/tytocare-virtual-medical-visits/

• Kiva: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/the-deadline-made-me-do-it/

• When to Make Your Sign-Up Flow Harder: https://irrationallabs.com/blog/its-not-always-about-making-things-easier-when-to-make-your-sign-up-flow-harder/

In this episode, we cover:

(03:54) What is Irrational Labs, and what do they do?

(05:45) What are behavioral economics and behavioral design?

(06:50) The fintech budgeting experiment

(10:46) What drives behavior change?

(11:35) Why increasing friction can sometimes increase conversion

(13:51) How to ask the right questions for user engagement

(16:09) How Kristen got her start in behavioral economics

(18:10) The 3B model of behavior change

(20:37) Cognitive barriers

(22:02) The importance of building products with immediate benefits to the user

(24:20) How exploitation can occur

(26:45) How to set customer-friendly incentives

(29:15) How Kristen reduced the sharing of misinformation on TikTok

(31:58) Tips for researching and solving problems

(35:36) The One Medical case study 

(38:31) Rules of thumb for improving flow

(41:46) What is right-for-wrong?

(47:00) How to get started using behavioral design

(49:33) The Behavioral Design Bootcamp

(52:01) Lightning round!

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



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Oct 02, 2022
Customer-led growth | Georgiana Laudi (Forget The Funnel)
4007

Georgiana Laudi is the co-founder and CEO of a consulting agency called Forget The Funnel, where she helps SaaS companies scale and improve conversion rates through customer-led growth. She’s also a marketing and growth advisor to companies like MarketerHire, SparkToro, and Sprout Social. Previously, she was the VP of Marketing at Unbounce and has worked in growth marketing for over 20 years. In today’s episode, Gia speaks about how to identify your ideal customer, how to map their user flows in order to find the biggest growth opportunities, and examples of product changes she’s recommended that have led to the largest growth unlocks. She shares the exact process she works through with founders to uncover opportunities, as well as how to increase subscriptions and retention for SaaS businesses.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/customer-led-growth-georgiana-laudi-forget-the-funnel/#transcript

Where to find Georgiana Laudi:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/ggiiaa

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgianalaudi/

• Website: https://www.forgetthefunnel.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

• Maven: https://www.maven.com/lenny

Referenced:

• How SaaS Marketers Can Hold High-Impact Customer Research Interviews: https://www.forgetthefunnel.com/resources/saas-customer-research-interviews

• Jobs To Be Done: Email Invite Template & Interview Questions by Forget The Funnel: https://docs.google.com/document/d/183PzYjQi2vsIRlPMUrtzRwZF1VdnZWNDAZsrJ4MRT4Q/edit

• The Growth Framework for Customer-Obsessed SaaS Teams: https://www.forgetthefunnel.com/resources/saas-customer-journey-mapping

• Project Snow White: https://marker.medium.com/what-seven-years-at-airbnb-taught-me-about-building-a-company-e1d035d49c56#:~:text=middle%2C%20an[…]0White,-was%20one%20of

• Startupfest: https://startupfestival.com/for-startups/

• Pirate Metrics: https://fourweekmba.com/pirate-metrics/

• How Airbnb Proved That Storytelling Is the Most Important Skill in Design: https://www.inc.com/yazin-akkawi/the-surprising-technique-airbnb-uses-to-better-sell-an-experience.html

• Jobs to Be Done: https://jtbd.info/

Demand-Side Sales 101: https://www.amazon.com/Demand-Side-Sales-101-Customers-Progress/dp/1544509987

When Coffee and Kale Compete: https://www.amazon.com/When-Coffee-Kale-Compete-products-ebook/dp/B07C7HH662

Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning So Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It: https://www.amazon.com/Obviously-Awesome-Product-Positioning-Customers/dp/1999023005

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products: https://www.amazon.com/Hooked-How-Build-Habit-Forming-Products/dp/1591847788

Forget the Funnel: https://www.forgetthefunnel.com/customer-led-growth/book

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Thousand-Weeks-Management-Mortals/dp/B08XZY5ZF7

• Shine Theory: https://www.shinetheory.com/

• April Dunford’s website: https://www.aprildunford.com/

• SparkToro: https://sparktoro.com/

In this episode, we cover:

(04:33) Georgiana’s background

(07:03) Why funnels are antiquated 

(08:52) Better positioning and messaging to find the ideal customer

(13:59) How Gia was inspired by Airbnb’s storytelling

(19:23) How to analyze what’s successful and what to invest in

(21:54) The ideal customer to learn from

(26:37) How to choose which customer job to prioritize 

(32:21) Value moments in the customer relationship

(36:45) Applying customer feedback 

(44:40) Metrics for measuring the customer’s meaningful engagement 

(49:45) What’s included in the messaging and positioning guidebook

(51:15) Tips for messaging

(54:13) Example of a customer job at SparkToro

(55:58) What is the Jobs to Be Done framework?

(59:50) Lightning round

(1:04:18) How Gia manages her time

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Sep 29, 2022
Growth tactics, retention strategies, and becoming a better writer | Julian Shapiro (Demand Curve, Hyper, Webflow, TechCrunch)
3567

Julian Shapiro is widely known as the founder of Demand Curve, where he’s helped thousands of companies figure out their growth strategy. He also wrote the growth marketing column at TechCrunch, was CMO at Webflow, and even created an animation engine called Velocity that’s now used in apps like Uber and WhatsApp. In today’s episode, Julian dives deep on product-led acquisition (PLA) and why he believes it’s the best way to grow your company. He shares specific marketing strategies for growth and retention and speaks about his framework for creating novel, engaging content, and how to choose topics for that content. He also discusses a framework called the Curiosity Faucet, inspired by prolific creators such as Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, and Neil Gaiman, to help you unlock your own creativity.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/growth-tactics-retention-strategies-and-becoming-a-better-writer-julian-shapiro-demand-curve-hyper-webflow-techcrunch/#transcript

Where to find Julian Shapiro:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/Julian

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julian-shapiro/

• Website: https://www.julian.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/

Referenced:

• Paul Graham’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/paulg

• Julian’s guide on startup growth channels: https://www.julian.com/guide/startup/growth-channels

• Topic selection: https://www.julian.com/guide/write/ideas

• Product-led acquisition: https://www.julian.com/guide/startup/product-led-acquisition

• Novelty: https://www.julian.capital/growth-strategy/content-marketing

• Julian’s example of counter-narrative novelty: https://twitter.com/julian/status/1348001396277186560

• Julian’s example of counterintuitive novelty: https://twitter.com/julian/status/1348001397753532416  

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction:   https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Well-Classic-Guide-Nonfiction/dp/0060891548/

• Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling: https://www.masterclass.com/classes/neil-gaiman-teaches-the-art-of-storytelling

• Ed Sheeran, Songwriter: https://music.apple.com/us/music-movie/songwriter/1411353855

• John Mayer describes his songwriting process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cNRDWEXnrQ

In this episode, we cover:

(03:42) Julian’s background

(04:46) Why Julian hasn’t been tweeting frequently

(07:43) Advice for building a Twitter following

(09:53) The main reason Julian creates handbooks

(11:33) The difference between e-handbooks and newsletters

(13:25) What is product-led acquisition?

(16:20) The categories of product-led acquisition

(22:31) What is billboarding, and how can you take advantage of it?

(25:56) UGC—leveraging user-generated content for free advertising

(29:33) Strategies for retaining users

(38:36) How to keep novelty high in writing

(45:50) Julian’s framework for choosing writing topics

(54:35) The creativity faucet—how to unclog your pipes and get it going

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Sep 25, 2022
Building a meaningful career | Jason Shah (Airbnb, Amazon, Microsoft, Alchemy)
4214

Jason Shah has led product teams at Amazon, Airbnb, Microsoft, and Yammer and currently leads the product team at Alchemy (one of the most important web3 infrastructure companies). In addition, he’s an advisor, investor, and two-time founder. In today’s episode, Jason discusses what it’s like to be a PM in web3, why his role at Amazon made such a big impact on his life and career, what makes a great leader, and how to hire well. He also shares his unique perspective on building a meaningful career and life.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-a-meaningful-career-jason-shah-airbnb-amazon-microsoft-alchemy/#transcriptWhere to find Jason Shah:• Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasonyogeshshah• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonyogeshshah/• Website: https://www.jasonshah.me/Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:• Whimsical: https://whimsical.com/lenny• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/Referenced:Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs: https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Selection-Inside-Apples-Process/dp/1250194466• Casey Winters on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-sell-your-ideas-and-rise-within#details• Jason Shah in Lenny’s newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-product-managers-guide-to-web3The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers: https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Thing-About-Things-Building/dp/0062273205• Polygon: https://polygon.technology/• Solana: https://solana.com/• MoonPay: https://www.moonpay.com/The Vietnam War series by Ken Burns: https://www.pbs.org/show/vietnam-war/• Alchemy: https://www.alchemy.com/In this episode, we cover:(04:31) Jason’s background(08:19) The current state of web3(12:44) The evolution of product management in web3(15:27) The value of a great product manager(18:11) Why Amazon was a great learning experience (20:25) A look into Amazon’s process on working backward(23:55) How to communicate clearly(28:17) Working backward from excitement(32:46) What makes a great leader(38:26) How to influence a CEO or founder’s direction (46:19) The career ladder vs. career map framework(52:27) When to follow a new opportunity vs. when to stick it out(58:50) How to hire the right people(1:03:47) What skill is most important for product managers(1:06:49) Lightning round!—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquires about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Sep 18, 2022
When and how to invest in new acquisition channels | Adam Grenier (Uber, MasterClass)
4191

Adam Grenier is the former Head of Growth Marketing and Innovation at Uber, where he helped build Uber’s growth infrastructure from the ground up. He is also the former VP of Product and Marketing at LambdaSchool, and former VP of Marketing at Masterclass. These days, Adam is a growth and marketing advisor to many companies, as well as a teacher through Reforge. In today’s episode, Adam shares how to determine whether a new channel is worth exploring, the rise of the growth CMO, and how improv classes can improve team bonding and create a more positive ‘yes’ culture. He also speaks candidly about his own struggles with burnout and depression and shares some incredible tools that have helped him along the way.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/when-and-how-to-invest-in-new-acquisition-channels-adam-grenier-uber-masterclass/#transcriptWhere to find Adam Grenier:• Twitter: https://twitter.com/AKGrenier• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/akgrenier/Where to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:• Whimsical: https://whimsical.com/lenny• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/Referenced:• OOT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_media_service• Grin: https://grin.co/• Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers: https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-Marketing-High-Tech-Mainstream/dp/0060517123Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative:  https://www.amazon.com/Hacking-Marketing-Practices-Smarter-Innovative/dp/1119183170• Adam’s twitter thread about burnout: https://twitter.com/akgrenier/status/1285275433282359296Why Buddhism is True: https://www.amazon.com/Why-Buddhism-True-Philosophy-Enlightenment/dp/1439195455In this episode, we cover:(00:35) Adam’s background(05:34) How improv can improve creativity and collaboration(13:09) What we’ll cover in this episode(13:52) Determining when an acquisition channel is a good match(25:38) Advice for how long to test a new channel(30:11) Emerging platforms that are worth exploring(36:53) Influencer marketing tools(37:55) When to broaden your audience(41:22) What is a Growth CMO?(49:36) Why marketing leaders should learn product development(51:32) Red flags that your CMO isn’t a good fit(55:33) Dealing with depression and burnout(1:03:00) Tools to help you through difficult times(1:05:20) Signs you’re facing burnout(1:07:15) What’s next for Adam—Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquires about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Sep 15, 2022
How to build a powerful marketing machine | Emily Kramer (Asana, Carta, MKT1)
4254

Emily Kramer led and built the marketing teams at Asana, Carta, Ticketfly, and Astro (acquired by Slack). These days, she’s the co-founder of MKT1, where she helps founders and marketers build and scale their marketing functions. Emily is also a well-respected angel investor and writes my favorite marketing newsletter (MKT1). In today’s episode, she shares her insights on when to hire marketers, how to determine which type of marketing hire is best for your team, how to best work with marketing, and what red flags to look for. Emily shares actionable templates and some incredible frameworks that are sure to expand your marketing knowledge.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-build-a-powerful-marketing-machine-emily-kramer-asana-carta-mkt1/#transcript

Where to find Emily Kramer:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilykramer

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilykramer/

• MKT1 Newsletter: https://mkt1.substack.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Lenny’s Job Board: https://www.lennysjobs.com/talent

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Building an efficient marketing machine: the fuel & the engine: https://mkt1.substack.com/p/fuel-engine

• The GACC Marketing Brief: https://mkt1.substack.com/p/the-gacc-marketing-brief-the-best

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference: https://www.amazon.com/Tipping-Point-Little-Things-Difference/dp/0316346624

Crossing the Chasm: https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-3rd-Disruptive-Mainstream/dp/0062292986/

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable: https://www.amazon.com/Purple-Cow-Transform-Business-Remarkable/dp/014101640X

All the Light We Cannot See: https://www.amazon.com/All-Light-We-Cannot-See/dp/1501173219/

The Daily podcast: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily

• Stream Yellowjackets on Showtime: https://www.sho.com/yellowjackets

CODA on Apple TV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/movie/coda/umc.cmc.3eh9r5iz32ggdm4ccvw5igiir

• Ashley Mayer’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleymayer/

• Kevan Lee’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevanlee/

In this episode, we cover:

(03:44) Emily’s background

(06:08) Hiring a marketing team

(11:26) Examples of fuel and engine in marketing

(16:00) What is a product marketer?

(18:20) Why you should start with a marketing generalist 

(20:30) The difference between a growth person and a product person 

(23:57) What to look for in a product marketer

(26:58) When to hire a marketing person

(30:45) The role of a brand marketer

(33:24) Marketing for PLG startups

(36:22) What is product-led growth?

(39:23) How to get product and marketing to collaborate 

(43:38) What is the GACC framework?

(47:58 ) How to know if your marketing team is effective

(54:33) Why founders need angel investors with functional expertise

(1:00:23) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquires about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



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Sep 11, 2022
The role of AI in product development | Ryan J. Salva (VP of Product at GitHub, Copilot)
3899

Ryan J. Salva is the VP of Product at GitHub, where he led the incubation and launch of Copilot. Copilot uses OpenAI’s ML engine to suggest code and entire functions in real time, right from your editor, and is changing the way we build software. Ryan is an experienced developer and product manager, with over a decade of experience working for Microsoft before moving to lead the GitHub product team. In today’s episode, he shares how Copilot got its start, how it moved from prototype to live product, and how he structures R&D teams within larger companies. He also discusses the ethical questions surrounding AI use and how to build a successful product team, and shares the inside story of the development of Copilot.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-role-of-ai-in-new-product-development-ryan-j-salva-vp-of-product-at-github-copilot/#transcript

Where to find Ryan J. Salva:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanjsalva

• LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanjsalva/

• Website: http://www.ryanjsalva.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

• Modern Treasury: https://www.moderntreasury.com/

Referenced:

• GitHub Copilot: https://github.com/features/copilot

Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction: https://www.amazon.com/Make-So-Interaction-Lessons-Science/dp/1933820985

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: https://www.amazon.com/Brief-Interviews-Hideous-Foster-Wallace/dp/0316925195

The Memory Palace podcast: https://thememorypalace.us/

Arrival: https://www.hulu.com/movie/arrival-6ec67b11-b282-4383-85ac-38c4731b40e4

• Oege De Moor’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oegedemoor/

In this episode, we cover:

[04:39] Ryan’s background and how he became involved in development

[10:46] What is GitHub Copilot?

[14:44] How GitHub Copilot can be utilized for education

[17:46] How GitHub incorporated AI models with computer languages

[27:24] Project horizons: delegating tasks based on confidence levels

[30:39] How to put together a development team for “moonshots”

[35:22] When and how to transition your R&D team smoothly

[38:28] Dealing with ethical issues surrounding AI

[44:40] The future of AI in development

[48:48] Challenges with scaling Copilot

[54:23] Allocating your energy as products scale

[58:17] Lightning round 

Production and marketing: https://penname.co/



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Sep 04, 2022
How to grow a subscription business | Yuriy Timen (Grammarly, Canva, Airtable)
4096

Yuriy Timen was Global Head of Marketing and Growth at Grammarly, and is now a full-time growth advisor, having worked with more than a dozen companies, including Canva, Airtable, Whimsical, Otter.ai, Oyster, Flo Health, and Clay. In today’s episode, Yuriy discusses the ever-changing world of growth, emerging growth tactics, and how to find your growth engine. You’ll learn the most effective strategies for driving user acquisition, how to balance and diversify organic and paid channels, when it’s time to change plans, how to vet new growth channel opportunities, and much more.—

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-grow-a-subscription-business-yuriy-timen-grammarly-canva-airtable/#transcript

Where to find Yuriy Timen:• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuriytimen/• Twitter: https://twitter.com/thetimenatorWhere to find Lenny:• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny• Modern Treasury: https://www.moderntreasury.com/• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/Referenced:• Casey Winters: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseywinters/• Elena Verna: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elenaverna/• Lyka Pet Food: https://lyka.com.au/• Ethan Smith’s LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ethanls/• Graphite: https://www.graphitehq.com/• Recast: https://getrecast.com/• Measured: https://www.measured.com/• INCRMNTAL: https://www.incrmntal.com/Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: https://www.amazon.com/Essentialism-Disciplined-Pursuit-Greg-McKeown/dp/0804137382/ Man’s Search for Meaning: https://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl/dp/0807014273/The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz: https://www.amazon.com/Splendid-Vile-Churchill-Family-Defiance/dp/0385348711/• The All-In Podcast: https://www.allinpodcast.co/Hustle: https://www.netflix.com/title/80242342• Mark Fiske at H.I.G.: https://higgrowth.com/team/mark-fiske/In this episode, we cover:[03:49] Yuriy’s background[09:46] Different paths to growth for subscription-based products[13:21] When to lean into virality[15:39] What are network effects?[16:32] SEO strategy and timeline: how long can it take to see results?[24:22] The shifting landscape of paid media[28:09] The return of media mix modeling[32:01] How can you tell if media spending equates to business results?[33:44] Don’t spread yourself too thin[36:01] How to tell if you’ve taken a strategy far enough[38:02] When to lean into a strategy that’s working vs. when to think about diversification[42:13] Is there a shift from growth to survival?[46:19] Two reasons to do paid media[56:45] Why you shouldn’t dismiss TikTok (and other channels you might be overlooking)[59:36] Lightning round!—Production and marketing: https://penname.co/



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Sep 01, 2022
Persuasive communication and managing up | Wes Kao (Maven, Seth Godin, Section4)
3188

Wes Kao has worked with Seth Godin (where she co-founded the altMBA and served as executive director), David Perell on his Write of Passage course, Professor Scott Galloway on Section4, and Morning Brew. Currently, she’s the co-founder of Maven, a cohort-based learning platform where I taught my own course. Wes is passionate about telling stories that stay true to the creator’s intentions while keeping your audience listening. In today’s episode, you will learn how to use state changes to keep your audience engaged, how to communicate more clearly by focusing on the how more than the why, how to manage up for success, and how to communicate your priorities to set a boundary.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/persuasive-communication-and-managing-up-wes-kao-maven-seth-godin-section4/#transcription

Where to find Wes Kao:

• Website: https://www.weskao.com/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/wes_kao

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/weskao/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Modern Treasury: https://www.moderntreasury.com/

• Berbix: https://www.berbix.com/start

• Makelog: https://www.makelog.com/lenny

Referenced:

• The Super Specific How: How to make your cohort-based course more rigorous: https://www.weskao.com/blog/super-specific-how

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer’s Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences: https://www.amazon.com/Was-Best-Sentences-Worst-Crafting/dp/158008740X

Guide to Better Business Writing (HBR Guide Series): https://www.amazon.com/HBR-Guide-Better-Business-Writing/dp/142218403X

• Seth Godin’s blog: https://seths.blog/

The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, and Problem Solving: https://www.amazon.com/Minto-Pyramid-Principle-Writing-Thinking/dp/0960191038

Doctor Foster: https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Foster/dp/B01DT0WQ2C

• Suzy Batiz: https://www.suzybatiz.com/

• Amanda Natividad’s Marketing 201 course: https://maven.com/amandanat/content-marketing

• Dr. Marily Nika’s course:  https://maven.com/marily-nika/technical-product-management

In this episode, we cover:

[03:39] Wes’s early career

[07:08] How to land a job with Seth Godin

[09:56] What makes Seth Godin stand apart

[14:50] Wes’s framework for better writing: the super-specific how

[18:08] Writing and teaching without the BS

[21:45] State changes: how to keep your audience engaged when teaching

[25:51] The data of “eyes light up” moments

[29:27] What managing up can do for you

[32:51] How to manage up effectively

[34:17] Lenny’s template for proactive communication

[36:19] The skills you need to communicate clearly through writing

[43:50] How to protect your bandwidth (without having to say no to your boss)

[47:32] How Lenny sets priorities and communicates them

[48:24] Lightning round!

Production and marketing: https://penname.co/



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Aug 28, 2022
The nature of product | Marty Cagan, Silicon Valley Product Group
3590

What are common diseases of product teams, and how do you avoid them? Why should you focus less on problem discovery and more on solution discovery? How do you maintain your product mojo? After working as a product leader for over 20 years, Marty Cagan started Silicon Valley Product Group to help product teams operate at a higher level. In this conversation, Marty shares what Steve Jobs can teach you about building product, how to structure your teams for innovation, how to improve your product culture, which trends in PM to ignore, and much more. After this, you’ll never think about building teams the same way. Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-nature-of-product-marty-cagan-silicon-valley-product-group/#transcript

Where to find Marty Cagan:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/cagan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cagan/

• SVPG: https://www.svpg.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Whimsical: https://whimsical.com/lenny

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Modern Treasury: https://www.moderntreasury.com/

Referenced:

• The Nature of Product: https://www.svpg.com/the-nature-of-product/

• Devolving From Good To Bad: https://www.svpg.com/devolving-from-good-to-bad/

• Shreyas Doshi: https://twitter.com/shreyas

• The Lost Interview: https://www.amazon.com/Steve-Jobs-Lost-Interview/dp/B01IJD1BES

• Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value by Theresa Torres: https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-Discovery-Habits-Discover-Products/dp/1736633309

• Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp: https://www.amazon.com/Sprint-Solve-Problems-Test-Ideas/dp/1442397683

• Patrick Collison on User Research: https://twitter.com/patrickc/status/1443215022029619200

In this episode, we cover:

[03:46] The biggest misconceptions about what a good product team does and looks like 

[07:49] The qualities that separate the best product teams

[16:20] The downfall of innovation in great product teams

[17:43] The gap between the best and the rest

[19:23] The pitfalls product teams can fall into

[27:46] The role of user research in building a great product

[35:26] What individual contributors can do to shift product culture

[41:04] How PMs can set themselves up for success when trying to change product culture

[44:06] How product management is changing

[55:33] The pitfalls Marty warns to watch out for in product management

Production and marketing: https://penname.co/



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Aug 21, 2022
The art of building legendary brands | Arielle Jackson (Google, Square, Marketer in Residence at First Round Capital)
4954

What makes a great brand? After working at Google and Square, Arielle Jackson has spent the past eight years consulting startups on how to create powerful messaging that works. In this jam-packed episode, she shares how to pick a winning name for your company, create a brand purpose that excites your team and customers, and position your company and its products for success. You don’t want to miss this one!

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-art-of-building-legendary-brands-arielle-jackson-google-square-marketer-in-residence-at-first-round-capital/#transcript

Where to find Arielle Jackson:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/hiiamarielle

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariellerjackson/

• Course: https://maven.com/arielle/startupbrandstrategy

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Unit: https://unit.co/lenny

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

Referenced:

• Positioning Your Startup Is Vital—Here’s How to Nail It: https://review.firstround.com/Positioning-Your-Startup-is-Vital-Heres-How-to-Do-It-Right

• Three Moves Every Startup Founder Must Make to Build a Brand That Matters: https://review.firstround.com/three-moves-every-startup-founder-must-make-to-build-a-brand-that-matters

• What I Learned from Developing Branding for Airbnb, Dropbox, and Thumbtack: https://review.firstround.com/what-i-learned-from-developing-branding-for-airbnb-dropbox-and-thumbtack

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind: https://www.amazon.com/Positioning-Battle-Your-Al-Ries/dp/0071373586

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life: https://www.amazon.com/Alchemy-Curious-Science-Creating-Business/dp/006238841X

The Vanishing Half: https://britbennett.com/the-vanishing-half

The Mothers: https://britbennett.com/the-mothers

• Nik Sharma’s weekly newsletter: https://www.nik.co/subscribe

How I Built This: https://www.npr.org/series/490248027/how-i-built-this

In Depth: https://review.firstround.com/podcast

Unseen Unknown: https://unseen-unknown.simplecast.com/

Luca: https://movies.disney.com/luca

Encanto: https://movies.disney.com/encanto

Old Enough!: https://www.netflix.com/title/81506279

• The Sociology of Business with Ana Andjelic: https://andjelicaaa.substack.com

• David Ogilvy: https://www.oneclub.org/hall-of-fame/-bio/david-ogilvy

• Rory Sutherland: https://twitter.com/rorysutherland

• Seth Godin: https://seths.blog/

In this episode, we cover:

[04:04] From making jewelry as a side hustle to launching products for Square: Arielle’s background[12:32] What makes a good name for a product or a startup[19:17] How to come up with a great name[24:59] How to run a naming brainstorm for the best results[31:09] Bad names and naming mistakes[34:17] Arielle’s brand development framework and when founders should implement it[36:02] How do you know when brand development is completed?[41:17] How long should branding take?[42:42] How to build a brand purpose that ignites excitement[48:51] Specific tactics for building your brand purpose[51:12] How to master your positioning[55:22] Why it’s important to stay niche when you’re mastering your positioning[59:15] The process of positioning and Arielle’s bar test[1:02:38] How to build a brand personality using the five big brand descriptions[1:07:39] Where to put brand and product positioning documents so they’ll actually get used[1:09:14] How startups can get PR[1:14:49] When should you hire a marketer?—Production and marketing: https://penname.co/



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Aug 18, 2022
The rituals of great teams | Shishir Mehrotra of Coda, YouTube, Microsoft
5509

Shishir Mehrotra is the co-founder and CEO of Coda, and formerly head of product and engineering at YouTube. In this episode, he shares his insights on growth strategy, how he evaluates talent, a peek at his upcoming book The Rituals of Great Teams, why reference checks are the most important step in the interview process, and so much more. Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-rituals-of-great-teams-shishir-mehrotra-coda-youtube-microsoft/#transcript

Where to find Shishir Mehrotra:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/shishirmehrotra

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shishirmehrotra/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/Referenced:

• The Rituals of Great Teams Braintrust: https://coda.io/@shishir/join-the-rituals-of-great-teams-braintrust

• Bing Gordon: https://www.kleinerperkins.com/people/bing-gordon/

Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath: https://www.amazon.com/Switch-Change-Things-When-Hard/dp/0385528752

• PSHE diagram: https://coda.io/@shishir/pshe

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud: https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-Scott-McCloud/dp/1627652736

Only Murders in the Building: https://www.hulu.com/series/only-murders-in-the-building-ef31c7e1-cd0f-4e07-848d-1cbfedb50ddf

WandaVision: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WandaVision

• Fidji Simo: https://twitter.com/fidjissimo

• Daniel Ek: https://twitter.com/eldsjal/

• Reid Hoffman: https://twitter.com/reidhoffman?

• Mamoon Hamid: https://twitter.com/mamoonha

• Quentin Clark: https://twitter.com/quentinclark

• Sarah Guo: https://twitter.com/saranormous

In this episode, we cover:[4:13] Shishir’s background at Google and current role at Coda[7:53] How Shishir got on the board of Spotify[8:58] Black loops and blue loops and how Coda uses this internal diagram [9:52] The black loop is how a product is naturally shared[12:15] The blue loop is the emotional loop on why products are shared[14:55] Why you should think in loops instead of funnels[18:20] Mining for your business’s loops by looking at what you tell job candidates[24:37] Shishir’s upcoming book The Rituals of Great Teams [26:30] The 3 golden rituals of teams[27:10] Coda’s golden ritual: Dory and Pulse[31:29] Shishir’s most impactful rituals: Arianna Huffington’s reset, Gusto’s incredible hiring call, and Coinbase’s Rapids[40:38] How you find your own team’s rituals[42:50] How to change things when change is hard[45:01] Airbnb’s unique rituals[46:45] A backstory on YouTube, and valuing consistency over comprehensiveness[53:00] Eigenquestions: What they are, how to use them, and examples[59:05] One of Shishir’s favorite retired interview questions [1:03:11] How to evaluate talent, a story about YouTube, and breaking down PSHE[1:15:20] How to approach reference checks and what questions to ask[1:24:33] Favorite books[1:25:50] Favorite TV shows and movies[1:26:50] Favorite interview questions[1:28:44] Who in the industry Shishir respects as a thought leader[1:30:10] His go-to karaoke song[1:30:40] Where you can find Shishir— Production and marketing: https://penname.co/



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Aug 14, 2022
How to launch and grow your product | Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt and Weekend Fund
4178

Thousands of new products launch each year, but very few make it. Ryan Hoover has seen thousands of products launched over the course of his time running Product Hunt, and through his investing, and in this episode you’ll hear what Ryan has learned about launching products, growing products, and raising capital. Plus, we play a made up game called “What would you rather upvote?” Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-launch-and-grow-your-product-ryan-hoover-of-product-hunt-and-weekend-fund/#transcript

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• RevenueCat: https://www.revenuecat.com/

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Lenny’s Giveaway Bonanza: https://lennyspodcast.com/bonanza

Where to find Ryan Hoover:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/rrhoover

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanrhoover/

• Website: https://www.ryanhoover.me/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

[03:23] On being a tech celebrity 

[09:02] Using Twitter DM’s as a content machine

[11:15] The questions most founders ask 

[14:48] When should you start a company?

[18:28] Would Ryan raise money for Product Hunt if he could do it again?

[21:48] When should companies launch products?

[24:52] What makes a launch successful versus not?

[26:27] How to get to the top of Product Hunt

[30:01] What skill is most helpful for moving into investing and venture capital?

[31:39] What Ryan would do differently if he could re-build Product Hunt

[38:57] What matters most in life

[43:13] Which ideas Ryan would upvote

[48:05] What founders of consumer companies do to succeed

[55:33] Deciding to serve a niche or broad market

[58:03] The surprising parts of angel investing

[1:02:12] Advice for folks wanting to get into angel investing



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Aug 07, 2022
How to own your career growth and become a powerful product leader | Deb Liu, Ancestry (ex-Facebook, PayPal)
4279

Do you put as much time into your career planning as you do into your product planning? Deb Liu has had an extraordinary career path, from Ebay and PayPal, to Facebook, and now Ancestry. She’s sat in on, mentored, and managed hundreds of product managers. In this episode, she shares poignant advice on how to intentionally find growth opportunities and drive your career forward. Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-own-your-career-growth-and-become-a-powerful-product-leader-deb-liu-ancestry-ex-facebook-paypal/#transcript

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Makelog: https://www.makelog.com/lenny

Where to find Deb Liu:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/debliu_

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deborahliu/

• Substack: https://debliu.substack.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Referenced:

• Take Back Your Power: 10 New Rules for Women at Work (Deb’s Book): https://www.amazon.com/Take-Back-Your-Power-Rules/dp/031036485X

• How To Change Your Life Through Resolutions: https://debliu.substack.com/p/resolve-to-progress

In this episode, we cover:

[04:32] What it was like when eBay acquired PayPal

[07:31] Quirky culture clashes as the companies merged

[09:46] How incentives drive employee behavior

[14:43] How Deb took on a product management role at a young age

[17:51] PayPal’s hiring strategy for early growth

[20:03] How to succeed as an introverted leader

[25:29] What sets successful Product Managers apart from one’s who plateau

[27:09] Specific tactics for unlocking growth in your Product Management career

[32:06] How to find and create mentorship circles

[36:30] The most important skill for early Product Managers to focus on

[43:58] How to grow your confidence in communication

[46:55] Deb’s upcoming book "Take Back Your Power"

[50:35] One tactical tip from Deb’s upcoming book on how to improve your Product Management

[52:09] How to get involved with Women In Product

[57:11] How companies can recruit more diverse Product Managers

[1:00:04] How Deb built Facebook marketplace from scratch

[1:06:03] The blessing and curse of gaining a lot of users quickly



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Aug 04, 2022
How to scrappily hire for, measure, and unlock growth | Crystal Widjaja, Gojek and Kumu
3790

You don’t need lots of employees to achieve impressive growth—but you do need a unique approach to hiring and structuring your team, and accurately measuring your growth efforts. Crystal Widjaja has used scrappy tactics to unlock massive success for Gojek (a wildly successful ride-share app in South East Asia) and is currently the Chief Product Officer at Kumu. In this episode, she shares the exact strategies she’s used as a product leader to hack growth, hire the best, and perfect data collection. Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-scrappily-hire-for-measure-and-unlock-growth-crystal-widjaja-gojek-and-kumu/#transcript

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/

Where to find Crystal:

• Website: https://www.crissyw.com/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/crystalwidjaja

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/crystalwidjaja/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Referenced:

• Generation Girl: https://www.generationgirl.org/

• Experiment Design Question Example: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tSrEGpvg19OMKrRg45HGvsZBGz8BkeVc/edit#gid=1841057518

In this episode, we cover:

[00:00] Crystal’s path to product

[09:40] How Crystal decided to join a risky startup 

[11:31] Why haven't super apps emerged in the U.S.? 

[13:15] What startups in the U.S. can learn from companies in Asia

[16:35] How to get intentionally scrappier in your organization

[18:28] How to get and utilize scrappy and small data sets 

[21:26] How to increase retention

[22:28] What does and doesn't work in growth?

[25:01] The conversion rates Crytsal looks for to determine viability and success

[28:03] How founders should think about approaching growth

[32:44] Figuring out how to grow and the resources you have at your disposal

[34:53] Optimizing the funnel to make growth happen faster

[37:40] Crystal's biggest lessons on unlocking growth

[40:07] Why most analytics efforts fail and how to avoid failure

[44:24] Signs your organization is getting analytics wrong

[46:17] The best resources for figuring out how to do analytics right

[47:05] Crystal's recommendations for metric tracking stacks.

[48:37] How you should set up your growth team originally

[51:38] Integrating growth teams or separating them?

[52:43] Who should be the first growth hire?

[53:55] How to hire a great growth person for your organization

[56:55] How to help women and young girls get into STEM (a non-profit that you started)

[1:02:07] Where to reach Crystal 



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Jul 31, 2022
How to create a winning product strategy | Melissa Perri
3222

Every company wants to develop a winning strategy—but what are signs your strategy isn’t working, and how do you change course? Melissa Perri has worked trained PMs and product leaders at nearly all the Fortune 100 companies, and in this conversation shares how to reset a struggling strategy, align your team, and build winning strategy. Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.podpage.com/lennys-podcast/how-to-create-a-winning-product-strategy-melissa-perri/#transcript

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• RevenueCat: https://www.revenuecat.com/

• Makelog: https://www.makelog.com/lenny

Where to find Melissa:

• Website: https://melissaperri.com/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lissijean

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissajeanperri/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Referenced:

• Melissa’s Book: https://melissaperri.com/book

In this episode, we cover:

[00:00] What to expect with guest Melissa Perri

[02:57] Melissa’s incredibly vast experience working with product manager’s 

[04:20] Melissa’s current focus: training and education of PM’s

[05:59] The most common problems that product teams face

[09:48] When to hire your first CPO

[14:27] What to do before hiring a CPO

[16:16] When to bring an interim CPO consultant like Melissa

[21:26] Signs your team doesn’t have a strategy

[22:59] Identifying your vision, strategy and intentions as a company

[27:48] Signs you’re doing a bad job as a PM

[30:30] The process of defining strategic visions

[33:28] How to hone your craft as a PM

[43:55] Melissa’s Book — Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value 

[48:43] How to avoid burnout 

[52:19] Where to find Melissa



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Jul 28, 2022
How to unlock your product leadership skills | Ken Norton, Ex-Google
4441

Advancing as a product leader requires new skills and a new mindset. Ken Norton is an executive coach who works with some of the top people in product to help them get unstuck and find creativity again in their approach to problems and their careers. After 14 years as a Product Manager at Google, Ken brings deep experience in leadership and shares with us the lessons he most often offers his clients to unlock growth. Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.podpage.com/lennys-podcast/how-to-unlock-your-product-leadership-skills-ken-norton-ex-google/#transcript

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Lenny’s Job Board: https://www.lennysjobs.com/talent

• Unit: https://unit.co/lenny

Where to find Ken Norton:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/kennethn

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennethnorton/

• Product Leadership Coaching: https://www.bringthedonuts.com/coaching/

Where to find Lenny:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Books and Resources Recommended By Ken:

Dare To Lead by Brene Brown  • 15 Commitments of Conscious LeadershipMastering Leadership by Bob AndersonImmunity to Change by Robert KeganStop Telling Women They Have Imposter SyndromeInnovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen 

In this episode, learn:

[00:00] What to expect in this episode with Ken Norton[03:10] Why Ken will never get tired of donuts[05:05] Ken’s career path and what he does with executive coaching now[08:00] What Ken learned from his own executive coach[12:02] Driving a car and the metaphor of learning a new skill[16:20] How Ken’s helping leaders shift their mindset[19:41] Creative vs reactive leadership mindset[22:15] How your underlying beliefs impact your leadership style[33:50] Mindset and authenticity and their role within leadership[39:00] What you can do if you can’t spend a lot on coaching[42:05] Resources Ken recommends (linked in notes)[44:22] Biggest blindspots people have[48:10] Why doing the hard thing, may be the best thing[49:20] What to do with imposter syndrome[58:40] Ways to find a coach[1:01:03] 10x vs 10%[1:05:35] Ken’s one piece of advice for hiring a product manager[1:13:00] How to find Ken



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jul 24, 2022
How to sell your ideas and rise within your company | Casey Winters, Eventbrite
3305

The people who rise fastest in product know how to sell their ideas to customers, and also to their coworkers. Casey Winters, the Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite (previously at Grubhub, Pinterest, and advisor to dozens of companies) shares what it takes to be successful as you rise in the ranks within product. In this episode we’ll talk about how to land presentations, how to win over executives with strategic communication, the skill sets that are most in demand in product, and new growth trends. Join us.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.podpage.com/lennys-podcast/how-to-sell-your-ideas-and-rise-within-your-company-casey-winters-eventbrite/#transcript

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny

• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

• Whimsical: https://whimsical.com/lenny

Where to find Casey Winters:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/onecaseman

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseywinters/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, learn:

[00:00] What to expect in this episode with Casey Winters 

[03:23] An overview of Casey’s career  

[06:18] A look into the most-fulfilling and challenging roles Casey has energized 

[06:50] Communicating upward

[11:18] How to derisk meetings

[13:53] Are you properly preparing for your meetings?

[19:09] Striving for perceived simplicity 

[24:22] Justifying non-sexy product improvements 

[27:47] Protecting what you’ve built vs continuously scaling 

[31:03] The downfall of functional ops roles

[35:21] The CPO role: what it is and how to get there

[40:44] The spectrum of product people

[45:11] How to level up your skills

[47:01] New growth trends, tactics, and strategies 

[50:32] Casey’s two stages of growth: kindle strategies and fire strategies

[51:51] Under appreciated growth strategies 

[54:02] Where to find Casey  



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Jul 21, 2022
Nickey Skarstad (Airbnb, Etsy, Shopify, Duolingo) on translating vision into goals, operationalizing product quality, second-order decisions, brainstorming, influence, and much more
3654

Nickey Skarstad is a Director of Product Management at Duolingo, where she is leading a stealth 0 → 1 product. Prior to Duolingo, she was VP of Product at The Wing, Product Lead at Airbnb, where she led much of the Experiences product team, Product Lead at Shopify, and Director of Product Management at Etsy.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

Dovetail: https://dovetailapp.com/lenny

Unit: https://unit.co/lenny

In this episode:

[3:32] An overview of Nickey’s career

[7:39] What she learned from building product at Airbnb

[8:42] How to maintain and operationalize product quality

[9:44] Metrics that help you maintain quality

[20:08] Which company has most informed her product development approach

[21:57] How to structure your product org

[24:47] Should you go GM vs. functional

[27:18] How you set vision, translate that into goals, and then execute on it

[32:30] Brainstorming advice

[35:04] How to use OKRs effectively

[37:57] How to get better at influence as a PM

[41:23] How to know if a decision is a one-way or two-way door

[42:29] Second-order decisions, and second-order thinking

[46:35] Operationalizing principles

[47:17] Getting your team on board with your strategy

[49:39] Designing a product review meeting

[54:08] Tips for working remotely as a PM

[56:44] Lightning round

Where to find Nickey:

• Newsletter: https://nickey.substack.com/

• TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@nickeyskarstad

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickeyskarstad/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickeySkarstad

Referenced:

Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows

Anne Helen Petersen

Superhuman

Loom



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jul 18, 2022
Manik Gupta (ex-CPO Uber, Google Maps) on how to build consumer apps, why it’s useful to be optimistic about technology, creating inflections in your PM career, the changing CPO role, and more
3896

Manik Gupta has led two of the most successful consumer products in history—Google Maps, where he was Director of product for the Maps team, and Uber, where he was CPO. After leaving Uber, he spent some time working on a product to help people avoid getting COVID called CVKey, and most recently he took on a role at Microsoft as Corporate Vice President leading many of their consumer efforts.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny

Unit: https://unit.co/lenny

In this episode, we cover:

[3:55] Patterns for career success

[7:19] Why it’s valuable to be optimistic about technology

[13:54] Challenges and mistakes through Manik’s career

[17:28] How you learn the most about yourself through challenges

[20:25] What Manik’s learned about building successful consumer apps

[26:18] The importance of company-product fit

[30:02] “The consumer stack”—what your company needs to have in place to build a successful consumer product

[36:22] The path from PM to CPO

[39:19] Evolution of CPO role

[44:40] What leads to promotions in a PM career

[47:58] What creates inflections in one’s PM career

[52:05] How PMs shoot themselves in the foot

[55:05] What it’s like to work at Google vs. Uber vs. Microsoft

[1:01:35] What he wished he built into Google Maps

Where to find Manik:

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manikg/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/manikgupta



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jul 14, 2022
Merci Grace (ex-Head of Growth at Slack) on PLG, interviewing, storytelling, building a diverse team, hiring salespeople, building a growth team, and much more
3546

Merci Grace has been a founder, an investor (at Lightspeed Ventures), head of product and growth (at Slack), and is now a founder again (Panobi). She’s also one of the co-founders of Women in Product, and Fast Company named her one of the Most Creative People in 2017.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

Dovetail: https://dovetailapp.com/lenny

Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/startups

Whimsical: https://whimsical.com/lenny

In this episode, we cover:

[3:41] Merci’s path to Head of Product and Growth at Slack

[4:42] What Merci learned from being a VC that helps her be a better founder

[6:50] How to tell a compelling story

[9:43] What most people don’t know about Slack

[10:27] Why Slack hasn’t created a consumer/social product

[15:14] How Slack innovated the PLG motion

[17:14] Slack’s early growth strategy

[19:57] Slack’s activation point

[22:10] Why it’s important to find connectors within a company

[26:40] Lessons from optimizing Slack’s onboarding flow

[32:12] Most common mistakes in going PLG

[35:56] Signs you can go PLG

[38:10] PLG vs. bottom-up

[40:23] Importance of day-zero value in your tool

[42:17] When to bring in your first salesperson

[44:47] How to hire amazing people

[50:21] Storytelling and Slack’s culture

[51:04] How and when to build a growth team

[52:08] How to build a more diverse team

Where to find Merci:

• Panobi: https://panobi.com/

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merci/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/merci

• Website: https://mercigrace.co/

• Women in Product: https://www.womenpm.org/



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jul 11, 2022
Sanchan Saxena (VP of Product at Coinbase) on the inside story of how Airbnb made it through Covid; what he’s learned from Brian Chesky, Brian Armstrong, and Kevin Systrom; much more
3674

Sanchan Saxena is VP of Product at Coinbase. Before Coinbase, Sanchan was Head of Product and GM at Airbnb, founder and Head of Product of Instagram Shopping, Director of Product Management at Yahoo, and Lead PM at Microsoft.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Dovetail: https://dovetailapp.com/lenny

• Persona: https://withpersona.com/lenny

• Productboard: https://www.productboard.com/

In this episode, you’ll learn:

[3:50] How Sanchan worked his way up to VP of Product at Coinbase

[6:15] Sanchan’s best advice to early-stage PMs

[9:41] What to look for in a company to join

[12:09] What Sanchan learned from Airbnb

[16:40] Behind the scenes of how Airbnb survived the Covid downturn when travel completely stopped

[21:49] How Airbnb tactically planned in two-week cycles

[25:00] How to keep morale up during a disaster

[29:00] What Sanchan learned from Brian Chesky, Brian Armstrong, and Kevin Systrom

[36:08] How to know when to trust your gut vs. A/B testing

[41:57] How Coinbase makes decisions

[46:30] How teams use the RAPID decision-making process

[47:00] How to operate in an ambiguous industry like web3

[49:00] How to know if you should get into web3

[51:46] How to hire and close amazing candidates

[54:40] What to look for in product leaders

[57:13] Lightning round

Where to find Sanchan:

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanchans/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/sanchans



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jul 05, 2022
Teresa Torres on how to interview customers, automating continuous discovery, the opportunity solution tree framework, making the case for user research, common interviewing mistakes, and much more
2852

Teresa Torres is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and coach. She teaches a structured and sustainable system for continuous discovery that helps product teams infuse their daily product decisions with customer input. She’s coached hundreds of teams at companies of all sizes, from early-stage startups to global enterprises, in a variety of industries. She has taught over 11,000 product people discovery skills through the Product Talk Academy and hundreds through her coaching practice, and is the author of Continuous Discovery Habits.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Persona: https://withpersona.com/lenny

• Dovetail: https://dovetailapp.com/lenny

• Stytch: https://stytch.com/

In this episode, we cover:

[3:37] How Teresa is in the top 5 people in the world who’s helped the most PMs.

[5:25] What is the “opportunity solution tree framework”?

[8:19] What’s an example of an opportunity solution tree, for Netflix?

[14:17] Why do we usually approach opportunity finding wrong?

[18:10] What should you do if your company is a feature factory?

[21:00] What is continuous discovery, and why is it so important?

[23:13] What do you do if your leaders tell you there’s no time for user research?

[25:55] How can you automate weekly conversations with customers?

[29:04] How do you stay unbiased as a PM about a potential solution?

[31:23] Should a PM have more say over other functions?

[35:33] What are Teresa’s best tips for how to interview customers?

[39:57] What’s the most common mistake people make while interviewing customers?

[40:25] How does discovery change as your company grows?

[43:27] When should you do user research and when should you run an experiment?

Where to find Teresa:

• Product Talk: https://www.producttalk.org/

• Opportunity solution tree: https://www.producttalk.org/opportunity-solution-tree/

Continuous Discovery Habits: https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-Discovery-Habits-Discover-Products/dp/1736633309

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teresatorres/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/ttorres



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Jun 30, 2022
Brandon Chu on building product at Shopify, how writing changed the trajectory of his career, the habits that make you a great PM, pros and cons of being a platform PM, how Shopify got through Covid
2989

Brandon Chu is VP of Product at Shopify, where he leads the app platform ecosystem, new initiatives group, and M&A investments. Brandon helped scale Shopify’s PM team from five to hundreds, and worked his way up from an IC Senior PM. Prior to Shopify, he was a Director of PM at FreshBooks and, before that, a founder. Brandon might be best known for his writing on the art and science of product management as part of a collection on Medium he calls “The Black Box of Product Management.”

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Stytch: https://stytch.com/

• Persona: https://withpersona.com/lenny

• PostHog: https://posthog.com/lenny

In this episode, we cover:

1) Brandon’s path to VP of Product at Shopify.

2) What has Brandon found to be the most important skill set for super-successful PMs?

3) What is it like to build product at Shopify?

4) How did Shopify adjust after the shock to e-commerce during Covid?

5) How did Shopify build a one-click team offsite flight/hotel/activity booking platform?

6) How did Brandon motivate himself to start, and keep, writing?

7) As a PM, why is writing one of the highest-ROI uses of your time?

8) What’s Brandon’s favorite piece of writing?

9) What are the biggest surprises, pros, and cons about being a platform PM?

Where to find Brandon:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandonmchu

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonmchu/

• Brandon’s writing: https://blackboxofpm.com/

Making Good Decisions as a Product Manager: https://blackboxofpm.com/making-good-decisions-as-a-product-manager-c66ddacc9e2b



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 27, 2022
Elena Verna on how B2B growth is changing, product-led growth, product-led sales, why you should go freemium not trial, what features to make free, and much more
3556

Elena Verna has led growth at some of today’s most successful B2B businesses, including Miro as CMO, Surveymonkey as SVP of Growth, and now at Amplitude as interim Head of Growth. She’s also worked closely with over a dozen companies on growth and product strategy, including companies like MongoDB, Clockwise, and Netlify (where she sits on the board of directors). Elena is undoubtedly one of the smartest people on growth strategy in the world.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Persona: https://withpersona.com/lenny

• Stytch: https://stytch.com/

• PostHog: https://posthog.com/lenny

In this episode, we cover:

1) How did Elena go from an analyst at Safeway to Head of Product at Amplitude?

2) What’s changing in B2B growth?

3) What exactly is “product-led growth,” and how can you apply it at every stage of growth?

4) How is PLG already transforming itself?

5) Why do you need to be both product-led and sales-led?

6) Why does PLG often get crushed when you move upmarket, and how do you avoid this?

7) What it looks like when your PLG motion is dying.

8) Why product-led is the future of sales.

9) Why is freemium the way to go, over trial?

10) Why should you hire internally for your first growth hire?

Where to find Elena:

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elenaverna

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/elenaverna



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 23, 2022
Gibson Biddle on his DHM product strategy framework, GEM roadmap prioritization framework, 5 Netflix strategy mini case studies, building a personal board of directors, and much more

Before getting into teaching full-time, Gibson Biddle was VP of Product at Netflix and CPO at Chegg (a textbook rental and homework help company). He now spends his days speaking, writing, and hosting workshops on product leadership, strategy, and culture. There are very few people in the world who’ve worked with, and had an impact on, more product managers.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Flatfile: flatfile.com/lenny

• Coda: coda.io/lenny

• PostHog: posthog.com/lenny

In this episode, we cover:

1) Gibson’s career path to VP of Product at Netflix, CPO at Chegg, and eventually teaching full-time.

2) The DHM model: The 3 factors of a product strategy for consumer companies, how you can apply it to your product strategy, and how Gibson used this model for decisions made at Netflix.

3) Five mini case studies of the DHM model that could be applied to Netflix’s strategy.

4) The GEM prioritization model: What are the 3 areas a company can optimize on? What is the fundamental misalignment that destroys startups? 

5) How could you start building your product strategy muscle, even when you’re only two weeks into your new role?

6) Building your personal board of directors.

7) What does it take to become a CPO someday?

8) What specifics in a daily routine separate a good product manager from a great product manager?

9) What’s the one piece of advice Gibson has for product managers in their early career?

Where to find Gibson:

• Ask Gib Product Newsletter: https://askgib.substack.com/

• Gibson’s baby website: www.gibsonbiddle.com

• Intro to product strategy: https://gibsonbiddle.medium.com/intro-to-product-strategy-60bdf72b17e3



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Jun 20, 2022
Jackie Bavaro on getting better at product strategy, what exactly is strategy, PM pitfalls to avoid, advancing your career, getting into management, and much more

Jackie Bavaro is the author of the best-selling books Cracking the PM Interview and Cracking the PM Career. She was most recently at Asana, where she joined as its first product manager and later became the head of product. Earlier in her career, Jackie was a PM at Google and Microsoft, where she worked on high-impact products such as Google Search and Microsoft SharePoint.

In this episode, we cover:

1. How did Jackie become head of product at Asana? Start writing the best-selling PM books on interviews and the career ladder?

2. How and why to find a product coach.

3. What are the downsides of being a manager? How do you know if you want to go into management?

4. Can you stay an IC vs. becoming a manager?

5. What is “strategy”? What are the 3 components of a strategy?

6. What makes a good/bad strategy?

7. What are some ways to get better at strategy?

8. When should you start to invest in building your strategy muscle?

9. What are signs that your strategy is off?

10. What’s Jackie’s best piece of career advice?

11. Why is it smart to join a big company?

12. What are some of the most common mistakes PMs make early in their career?

13. What is the one thing Jackie thinks every PM should do regardless of their level?

Where to find Jackie:

- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackiebo 

- Books: Cracking the PM Interview and Cracking the PM Career: https://amzn.to/3If6X9U

- Medium: ​​https://jackiebo.medium.com

References:

- Jackie’s book rec: Getting Things Done, by David Allen

- Current favorite app, Paprika: https://www.paprikaapp.com

- Favorite Twitter: https://twitter.com/hels 

- PEARL framework: https://jackiebo.medium.com/interview-tips-for-senior-pms-2424f7b7c967

- Eigenquestions: https://coda.io/@shishir/eigenquestions-the-art-of-framing-problems

Thank you to our amazing sponsors:

* Flatfile: www.flatfile.com/lenny

* Amplitude: www.amplitude.com

* PostHog: www.posthog.com/lenny



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 16, 2022
Gokul Rajaram on designing your product development process, when and how to hire your first PM, a playbook for hiring leaders, getting ahead in you career, how to get started angel investing, more
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Gokul Rajaram serves on the executive team at DoorDash, where he leads the Caviar product line. Previously he worked at Square, where he was also on the executive team and led a number of key product lines, and as a product director at Facebook, where he helped the company transition its advertising business to become mobile-first. Earlier in his career, Gokul was a product director for Google AdSense, where he helped launch the product and grow it into a substantial portion of Google’s business.

Gokul also serves on the boards of Coinbase, Pinterest, and The Trade Desk and is a prolific angel investor, having invested in companies like Airtable, Khatabook, and 100+ more.

In this episode, you will learn:

1. How to navigate your next career

- What should you focus on in order to improve your optionality?

- What should you consider as you look for your next career adventure?

- Why join winners in a space?

- Why should people entering the workforce join mid-stage companies?

- Why there are many paths to success.

2. How to build a product development process at early-stage companies

- What does the best product development process typically look like at different company stages? 

- What are some common pitfalls when building these processes?

3. Hiring PMs

- When should you hire your first PM? What should you look for?

- When should you wait longer to hire a PM?

- What’s the number one secret for hiring a product leader, regardless of industry? 

- How much time should you allocate for hiring as a founder?

- How might job titles impact your company’s work culture?

4. How to start angel investing 

- How did Gokul start investing in startups? What would he have done differently?

- What does he look for in a startup pitch? 

- How much time should you spend as a part-time investor? 

- How do you find deals as a new investor?

Where to find Gokul:

- Twitter: https://twitter.com/gokulr 

References:

- Gokul’s current favorite app, Coinbase Wallet: https://www.coinbase.com/wallet 

- Favorite book, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works: https://rogerlmartin.com/lets-read/playing-to-win 

- TED talk: TEDxConcordia - Lenny Rachitsky - Losing Serendipity 

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

Flatfile: https://flatfile.com/Lenny

• Productboard: https://Productboard.com/



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 13, 2022
April Dunford on product positioning, segmentation, and optimizing your sales process
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April Dunford is the author of the best-selling book Obviously Awesome, a definitive guide to product positioning. She spent 25 years leading marketing, product, and sales teams and now runs her own consulting firm, helping companies of all shapes and sizes nail their positioning. April has worked hands-on with over 200 companies on positioning, including Google, IBM, Postman, and Epic Games.

In today’s episode, you’ll learn:

1. How does April define positioning?

2. How do you assess if your product’s positioning is weak? And strong?

3. What are some examples of great products with weak positioning?

4. What are the essential five steps to figuring out your product’s positioning?

5. What is the difference between positioning vs. messaging vs. branding?

6. What’s the difference between segmentation and persona?

7. When should you bring in a professional? 

8. Is it essential for a company to always figure out a differentiator and be different?

9. How does this concept help you nail sales for enterprise software?

Where to find April:

Website: https://aprildunford.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aprildunford 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprildunford 

Book: Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It 

April’s guest post: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/positioning

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Flatfile: https://flatfile.com/Lenny

• Productboard: https://Productboard.com/



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 09, 2022
Shreyas Doshi on pre-mortems, the LNO framework, the three levels of product work, why most execution problems are strategy problems, and ROI vs. opportunity cost thinking
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Shreyas Doshi is a treasure trove of knowledge and tactical insights on product, strategy, psychology, leadership, and life. Over the course of his career, he’s PM’d at Google, Twitter, Yahoo, and Stripe, where he joined as its fourth product manager, later becoming Stripe’s first PM manager and helping define and grow its product management function (from ~5 to more than 50 people). Since leaving Stripe, Shreyas has amassed a huge Twitter following in large part thanks to consistent sharing of high-quality insights on the art of product management.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/shreyas-doshi-on-pre-mortems-the-lno-framework-the-three-levels-of-product-work-why-most-execution-problems-are-strategy-problems-and-roi-vs-opportunity-cost-thinking/#transcript

In this episode, we’ll explore five big ideas from Shreyas Doshi:

1) How to predict and prevent problems with pre-mortems

* How did pre-mortem meetings impact the culture at Stripe?

* What are the best practices in running a pre-mortem meeting?

2) How to prioritize your time with the LNO framework

* What is the LNO framework? How did it change the way Shreyas went about his day?

* What is the two-step tactic you can apply to overcome procrastination on important tasks? 

3) The three levels of product work

* What are the three levels of product work? Which level should you optimize for?

* How might these product work levels cause conflict or influence your company culture?

4) Most execution problems are not really execution problems 

* What are the common types of problems hiding behind the execution label? 

* What are the two traits you need to identify a fake execution problem?

5) Why ROI thinking is detrimental to product planning

* What is the pitfall of ROI thinking?

* What is opportunity-cost thinking and how can you apply it?

References:

* Coda template: https://coda.io/@shreyas/pre-mortems-how-a-stripe-product-manager-predicts-prevents-probl

* Pre-mortems: https://twitter.com/shreyas/status/1221257568510603264

* LNO framework: https://twitter.com/shreyas/status/1492345184171945984

* Three levels of product work: https://twitter.com/shreyas/status/1370248637842812936

* Execution problems: https://twitter.com/shreyas/status/1427116991274307588

* Opportunity-cost thinking: https://twitter.com/shreyas/status/1409726218438549514

* High agency: https://twitter.com/shreyas/status/1276956836856393728

Where to find Shreyas:

* Twitter: https://twitter.com/shreyas

* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreyasdoshi/

Our amazing sponsors:

* Coda: https://coda.io/lenny

* Productboard: https://www.productboard.com/

* Sprig: https://sprig.com/lenny



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 07, 2022
Julie Zhuo on accelerating your career, impostor syndrome, writing, building product sense, using intuition vs. data, hiring designers, and moving into management
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Julie Zhuo is the co-founder of Sundial, a company that helps builders make meaningful use of data to fulfill their mission. With over 400K followers across social media, she is one of the most influential leaders in product design, and product thinking broadly.

Julie started her career at Facebook as a product designer and eventually led teams of 100+ designers as the VP of Design. Her experience leading at Facebook motivated her to publish the Wall Street Journal best seller The Making of a Manager in 2019. On the side, Julie shared her thoughts on technology, design, and leadership in The Looking Glass, the blog that inspired Lenny’s Newsletter.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.podpage.com/lennys-podcast/julie-zhuo-on-accelerating-your-career-impostor-syndrome-writing-building-product-sense-using-intuition-vs-data-hiring-designers-and-moving-into-management/#transcript

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In this episode, you will learn about:

1) The making of a VP

* How did Julie find her way to product design? 

* How did she navigate through impostor syndrome given the growing responsibilities as Facebook rapidly scaled? 

* What are the challenges she faces as she transitions from VP to founder? 

2) The impact and habit of writing

* What goals was Julie able to achieve through writing?

* What did she do to build a habit of writing?

* Does she think tweeting is better than blogging?

3) How to develop product sense and make better design decisions

* What are the three tried-and-true steps to develop product sense?

* When do you choose intuition over data?

* What’s the secret to facilitating great product/design review meetings?

3) How to take your first steps into management

* What can you do to unblock your path to become a manager?

* What’s the must-know trick in competing for design talent?

Where to find Julie:

* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-zhuo/

* Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/joulee

* Sundial: sundial.so

* Book: The Making of a Manager, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079WNPRL2/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

* Substack: https://lg.substack.com/

* Medium: https://medium.com/the-year-of-the-looking-glass

Our amazing sponsors:

* Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

* Productboard: https://www.productboard.com/

* Sprig: https://sprig.com/lenny



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 07, 2022
Welcome to my new podcast!
201

Welcome to the very first episode of Lenny’s Podcast!

Every week, Lenny Rachitsky will interview world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.



Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe
Jun 05, 2022