A few months ago, San Francisco played host to the Mind the Product conference, a meetup meant to inspire collaboration and bring together the ever growing community of product managers. The conference, now in its 5th year, was started by some of today’s leaders in product management including the founders of the ProdPad product management application.
Just before the conference, Nils and Rob were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with ProdPad’s Head of Customer Success, Andrea Saez. In addition to her remarkable work at ProdPad, Andrea is an active contributor and community organizer for both the Mind the Product and Product Management HQ Slack channels.
What followed was a fun, friendly, and enlightening conversation amidst the general hubbub and foot traffic of the lobby of the Hotel Zetta in the South of Market area of San Francisco. The conversation ranged in topics including Andrea’s product management experience, the importance of focusing on the problem and tips for landing your dream job.
Three things you can do today
As always, we like to give you actionable takeaways from our podcast episodes. We’ve distilled three below from our conversation with Andrea.
- Don’t focus too much on the solution while losing sight of the problem.
Product managers are often too focused on their solutions, and not focused enough on the problems they are trying to solve. This goes for both the planning and the execution phases of your product. Before looking for a solution, make sure people want and will pay for the problem to be solved. Once you have solved the problem make sure customers understand what problem your solution is solving and how it is valuable to them.
- Get involved!
The product management community is full of friendly and collaborative folks all looking to learn and share. There are tons of ways to get involved whether it be through conferences like Mind the Product or Slack channels like PMHQ and Mind the Product. Joining the community will keep you up-to-date on new and exciting PM topics and will introduce you to new people and ideas.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to teams and companies you’d like to work for.
The old adage, “you never know until you try,” absolutely applies here. As we learned from Andrea’s experience, you’ll never know if that team you’ve been dreaming of joining is looking for someone just like you until you ask. Leverage the product management community (that you’ll now be getting more involved in) or your LinkedIn contacts and give it a try. The worst that can happen is you’ll make a new introduction.
Thanks to Andrea!
We just wanted to give a big thanks to Andrea for sitting with us and having this wonderful conversation! If you want to learn more about ProdPad, you can visit ProdPad.com and even try the product out for free. You can follow Andrea on Twitter at @dreasaez.
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- First, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can access the podcast directly on this feed.
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