160: Seize the Customer Conversation And Other Advice With Mike Smart

160: Seize the Customer Conversation And Other Advice With Mike Smart

Embracing Change and Customer Engagement in Product Management

In this episode Mike Smart, an old friend and longtime product management leader, instructor, and consultant, says we can’t wait for the world to change (quoting an old John Mayer song). Product management needs to seize the day, and actively engage with customers even if it means breaking some glass and stepping on some toes, bending some rules.

A quote from episode 160, interview with Mike Smart.

Mike shares his history as a product leader, starting from a sales role to becoming a product management consultant.

Mike has an amazing historical perspective on product, and discuss the common challenges faced by product organizations, such as the influence of sales on product development and the importance of customer discovery.

The conversation also touches on the shift towards product marketing management and the vital role of go-to-market strategies in today’s competitive landscape.

Key takeaways include the imperative for product managers to initiate customer conversations and the pivot towards focusing on how products are marketed and understood by potential customers, and for product leaders in particular to have (or develop) business acumen focused on sales velocity rather than just release velocity.

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00:00 Introduction: Waiting for the World to Change
00:34 Guest Introduction: Mike Smart of Egress Solutions
01:03 The Journey of a Product Manager
02:06 The Importance of Customer Conversations
03:22 The Evolution of Product Management
05:19 The Role of Product Marketing
10:22 The Challenges of Product Management
11:31 The Impact of Sales on Product Management
12:46 The Shift in Product Management Focus
14:56 The Importance of Business Acumen in Product Management
23:07 The Role of Go-To-Market in Product Management
33:06 Conclusion: The Future of Product Management