Product Coalition Product Management Podcast

EU Tour #1 Opening Podcast with Rich Mironov: Convincing execs they don't always know what users need

March 16, 2020 Jay Stansell, Rich Mironov Season 4 Episode 1
Product Coalition Product Management Podcast
EU Tour #1 Opening Podcast with Rich Mironov: Convincing execs they don't always know what users need
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Listen in as Jay Stansell and Rich Mironov chat about convincing execs they don't always know what users need.

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spk_0:   0:14
I've run and welcome to an episode off the product coalition European to London Siri's where today I'm very excited to be joined by Rich Marinoff. Welcome, Rich.

spk_1:   0:23
Thanks so much love to be here.

spk_0:   0:25
Great to have you on board Ridge off for need to do a session with yourself on the podcast for A for a very long time. So I'm really looking forward. T change today.

spk_1:   0:33
Thanks for setting this up. And I'm sorry I can't be in London to do it, but remote from San Francisco seems like the second best choice.

spk_0:   0:40
Good enough for me. It's getting a maid now before we get stuck. Me and everyone listening this tour and every single podcast episode is dedicated to raising awareness and support for the bushfire effected communities and wildlife in Australia. So if you do enjoy this episode or any of the podcast episodes and product condition, European tow, please consider showing you thanks bye had never to. Bush fired a product coalition dot com to donate. I'm visiting 50 cities across your sorry five cities across Europe, an interview and over 50 product leaders to gain insights, knowledge and experience to share you the product Coalition Global Community. Now, if you've just discovered the product coalition, we're a global product community of half 1,000,000 readers, 6000 slack members and thousands of podcast listeners. Before we get stuck into the episode of Richard, I do need to give a huge thanks to some of the brands. And people have been major donors to the fund raiser, but Bush fired a product condition dot com. First up is use. A pilot user pilot is a code for a user on board in an adoption tour designed especially for product management teams you supplied. It helps to increase conversion, user retention rates and Richard's germ by guiding new users to the first ah ha! Moment with interactive Walk for his contextual product tours and on boarding checklist allows product managers to build fully customizable beehive be triggered in happy experiences with a simple visual editor had over to use a pilot dot com to grab a demo and free trial show. Big Duke is the intentional product manager job. It is a Google product manager and show bit helps product managers become product leaders. Have Korea's. They can be proud off, go to intentional product manager dot com and sign up for a job. It's free class on the habits that turns product managers into exceptional product leaders and help them through move through bakeries. Fast, productive lead teams like Minks Panel and Flex Port know that the best time to capture engagement is when he uses already inside the product. That's why they use Chameleon to Dr Feature adoption, build on boarding flows and gather user feedback. Give it a go try chameleon dot com slash success. There's two other individuals that I'd also like to thank for their donations. One is Chris Miles, and the ever is this product. Godhead, of course, reach mere enough.

spk_1:   2:40
I was really thrilled, by the way I'm so pleased that you're doing this fundraising for an important cause. Those most far away from Australia, you know, our morning remotely and wondering how we can help. So I really appreciate your leaning in and making this ah, mission driven activity.

spk_0:   2:56
My pleasure, my pleasure. It's great to do. It's great. I'll give you some purpose beyond so creating value for the finish community. So let's get stuck in rich First up always have a nice break on the podcast So in Melbourne it was a bit of a local guide on. Then a stepped up in Sydney and we had a pub quiz. But for this tour for the product coalition European, two of each Silicon City specific on DDE for London off, gone with Is it English or No? And got a bit of a quiz for you, but a couple of products and I'm gonna get your read. Reach on whether you think that I were English invented products or No.

spk_1:   3:38
Who this. This could be a hard one that I'm I'm from the valley where everything was invented, whether it was invented here or not.

spk_0:   3:47
Say, I didn't think. Joe notes for your deliverable. Let's see how you go. Right. So the 1st 1 for your rich is carbonated water. Okay, So double,

spk_1:   3:58
You know, I always think of it as associated with New York City. So I'll guess No, I guess it's not from London.

spk_0:   4:06
Could be right and wrong it English, but not from London. Okay, well, my trusty friend, the Internet tells me that carpet mortar, a k a soda. What was first invented by Joseph Priestley in 17 67 through some experimentation discovered a method for infusing water with carbon dioxide.

spk_1:   4:26
And I think I've been mostly as a chemist, but I guess he could be a soda water inventor, too.

spk_0:   4:32
Yeah, well, that's it. They blended a lot of industries back in here wonders. Goodbye. Suspending a bowl of water above of being a leads brewery. So, like all good English inventions involved a brewery. Okay, next up, we've got the magazine.

spk_1:   4:50
So the words originally French although the Russians borrowed it for their word for department store. So I'm gonna think Oh, um, and we may be talking about magazines as in ammunition. We may be talking about magazine says flip books. I'm gonna say no, because it doesn't sound like in an English word at all.

spk_0:   5:13
Okay. The magazine was English. Ah, Publisher Edward Cave coined the term in 17. 31 for his gentleman's magazine. A rather dry sounding monthly missive contained wide ranging reports on everything from older new weeks to process of goods, stocks and monthly off mortality rate. Well,

spk_1:   5:37
you got me over to so far. Keep going.

spk_0:   5:41
That's it. On the on the English or No bet which have you spent much time in London

spk_1:   5:46
I have been through is a tourist several times, and I've been there on work a few times, so it's a wonderful city. I actually got to Cambridge last year for the first time as well, which was quite lovely. So I'm always been I do ah, stop in Dublin, Ireland, every year to do some teaching, and that requires that a minimum that I changed claims somewhere in near Heathrow on. It's always a good excuse to drop out for a few days and see some of the friends both products related and otherwise

spk_0:   6:15
good. Here have been long world since I've been in London, and it was a great experience. It really enjoy being back there. So today, rich, we're gonna be talking about convincing execs that they don't always know user's needs in detail. We're looking forward to get back into that. But before we'll be rich, would you mind giving the audience a little bit of background about yourself?

spk_1:   6:36
Sure, So I have 35 years of suffer product management here in Silicon Valley in San Francisco. So for those who thought that this was a new profession, not so much, most of that's been BTB Enterprise. A lot of infrastructure, databases and network security and such things. What I'm doing these days really have two or three pieces of my personal consulting empire, which, by the way, includes only me. And one of those is that I coach heads of product or product leaders. Those tend to be CEOs, and BP is a product of directors of product, often about the move from individual contributor product manager up into the politics and organizational issues and design problems of how we get other executives to help us get products built. Second thing I do is sometimes, at least in the San Francisco area, I drop into a company as the interim have product. That's generally not something anybody wants to call me for because it indicates much, much deeper issues. But I'll pop into a company for three months or five months trying to get all straightened out, put out the dumpster fires and help them hire a full time permanent person to take on that company in that product team. And then the last thing. I spent a lot of time thinking about organizational design and motivators and how we get the rest of the company to help us do what we have no authority to demand, but only responsibility for. And so that's a lot of thinking about how other organizations are motivated, how they're paid and rewarded, what kinds of people put themselves in the sales or finance or marketing organizations. So we have front of folks can approach them as they are, instead of how we would like them to be

spk_0:   8:23
fantastic. Well, that certainly ties instead the topic today as well. You know, how do we go about convincing Nate's ex officer? We're gonna talk about user's needs, but pretty much anything and everything is on fire. All right, ladies. So let's get started first, Rich my building up some empathy. You know, we care about Eric Sex. What's a typical day in the life of an exact I mean, is it just stress on the golf course? And I

spk_1:   8:47
I have to admit I've taken one turn at the CEO job. I was really terrible that it failed miserably, took some time to lick, moans and heal up again. I have tremendous empathy for CEOs and other Cee Lo folks. The things I noticed about them and that I lived through myself is that particularly the CEO is getting thrashed all day long, so the incoming rate of interrupts and demands and things is so high that it's nearly impossible to even get through the list. And high on that set of interrupts are probably three sets of things that really shaped how CEO sees the world. One is their investors, the board of directors who are polite enough to only call, Let's say, once a day toe ask how revenue is going okay twice a day, right? So we know that that the CEO, in addition to the VP of sales, is getting pummeled all day long by investors who want to know that the money has been well spent and that the revenues up into the right so that shapes nearly every behavior. The second thing is that they tend to get escalated calls from support side from Onley, the very, very largest customers. So if I have three big customers in 1000 small customers, most of the small customers deal with our support team or customer success team as they are. But the two or three really biggest customers feel entitled, maybe are entitled to call the CEO directly with complaints, good or bad or indifferent. So that's, Ah, bias, a recency bias in a frequency bias That may not be obvious. And then the third set of things that come into the CEO old along our escalations from the sales team cannot come from an enterprise B to B side. So these air big deals that the sales team will inevitably described as almost sold and almost sign. We just need this one little tiny feature from engineering and product, and in the course of a day CEO is gonna get, let's say, five of us. What that means is that no matter where you come from, what your background is, or you know what functional group you came out from, if you're sitting in the C e o chair, you're getting a pretty worked view of the world. You're getting pounded for revenue. You're getting pounded for deals. That would be revenue if you could just twist the engineering V P's arm a little bit and do what the customers say is really trivial and simple. And you're getting complaints from folks who are big customers who have some beef about Ah log in screen or workflow or some data is shit. All right. You get very little feedback from small customers from new customers from markets you haven't seen yet. And when you're out on the road, your picture rights of CEOs of the chief sales officers. So rather than sitting in a room and asking 20 leading questions and shutting up and letting somebody tell you for 40 minutes what they really want, you've got slides, you've got pictures, you got contracts in your hand. The sales teams have given you a list of who do favor and talk to the CEO is really out there selling, and we know that when you're selling, you're not really listening. You're anticipating of the objections so you can answer them and move folks from prospect to customs. So when I think about the CEO job and many other folks on executive team, it's this relentless, endless thrashing of next emergency next emergency.

spk_0:   12:14
Rich in your in your experience, working with senior, angling their own career background creator biases toe what they're interested in and how they prioritize that day that you just talked to talk to me, sir,

spk_1:   12:26
I think that's true Certainly, if you're a CEO has come upon the sales side. I know to the 95% likelihood that you believe that selling is hard and building an engineering products isn't so hard because you've spent your time in the sales trenches. And so the idea that the engineering product it would come back and say something's impossible or very difficult can be surprising. I see folks who've been subject experts. So if this is a company that makes Rand Oregon and animation tools for marketing folks at famous consumer brand companies, the CEO may very well have been one of those animation brand walking folks who came up and had the idea, which tends to mean that you substitute your own opinions and point of view instead of what the customers you're telling you because they're just not smart, as smart as you are. And if they were smart as you are, they would know how to use your tools, all right, And then the third group I I'm always watching for his folks who come up on Finance side Sorry, finance its finance of its more than $10 million have a very strong belief system that everything can be measured and quantified, and the our allies are good to four decimal places. And I've never, ever, ever found anything on the engineering or product side that I even believe may be my first digit, let alone the 1st 2 So the idea that we can fully size a big software project where we can completely predict how much revenue is gonna come in our new product doesn't match my sense of reality. But it's anchored in somebody on the finance side's view that it's all miserable.

spk_0:   14:04
And to be sarcastic on that, it seems that no matter how many rows along as you add to that spread shake, it just never quite comes out. That's right now,

spk_1:   14:11
and and what's important here is to say that all kinds of people get into all kinds of executive roles. It's absolutely not my intention to say that they're bad or uninformed. What we want to do is we're gonna understand where they've come from what there opinions and vices or inputs are so that we can deal with each other honestly and honorably and with respect, instead of being angry that this isn't about who hit him first. It's not about him smarter. It's about getting to the right answer in a way that respects everybody but still gets the right answer.

spk_0:   14:47
And for me, that's the art of amazing CEO. When Macon balance that with all of the precious strictly.

spk_1:   14:54
And I've met a lot of CEOs who reached past whatever functional group that came up from, and they're really generalists and they're thoughtful and they recognize their own patterns. But I think the majority of folks in the CEO job and every other job really hadn't gotten there. And so we can't always pick the CEOs who work for

spk_0:   15:14
absolutely. Let's talk a bit about, firstly, the principle of the topic today, rich, which is? We're talking about convincing execs about the fact that I don't know user's needs in detail. First question on that is really should execs know, uses needs in detail.

spk_1:   15:31
I don't really think that's part of their fundamental job. They make tell themselves I've told myself that, but in reality, when you look at what a New Executives Day is full of meetings and closing deals and calls it board members and going out to do talks and speeches in front of big audiences and push, push, push, push pushing products in our numbers, there's really very little time in there to do open ended, honest extended interviews of end users. They will run into the most senior buyer in each of their largest customers. And I can tell you almost entirely that those most senior execs who signed purchase orders for our product have no idea who uses them or what they're four. But they may have collected a couple of post it notes from some actual users to hand over in some meeting. Those folks have very little context, a swell. So what we're dealing with is both our executives and our customers. Executives are up in the positioning zone. They're talking about phrases, catch words and vague ideas of our DNA off our line value. But none of those people actually sit down and use our stuff. And so their opinions about what's good and what's not are interesting but generally very lightweight and and lack underlying analysis and substance, and none of them want to hear that. But if you can pull them aside one or one and not embarrass him in front of anyone else, often they will admit and agree to the fact that they're really not getting solid information from users. They're getting requests from buyers,

spk_0:   17:09
right? I've certainly felt that in my own experience that he claimed to be to be space where my executor or head of sales is meeting with the CIA or a head off X at the client side on DDE. They're the person that's got by software that's really liking it,

spk_1:   17:29
and and they have some blankets demand like, Oh, we need more integrations with backend systems. Well, okay, that's fine, but not actionable by itself. Right

spk_0:   17:40
on. If you're lucky, the people of the person that leads the back end is systems integrations or or board Jenny in middle management. They're actually gonna be using this on the day to day basis. They don't get see a table until maybe post cells. That's

spk_1:   17:55
right. And so so we as product, folks have to know that this is the case. We have to cut through all of the selling and politics and executive organizations and find the people who actually use or directly managed the folks who use what we sell, what we make because those of folks who actually know, and it's humbling to talk to the end users and find out that nearly nobody in their executive chain or our executive chain really knows what's going on.

spk_0:   18:22
So why do something sex rich? Believe that they do know in detail everything that uses one?

spk_1:   18:28
Well, it's not an unreasonable thing to believe. First of all, if you're the founder of the company and you grew it from nothing, then it was your idea or your founders idea the very beginning and you've survived. There's a survival bias here where I ran the company when it was two people and I ran the company when it was 11 people. And now there's 1000 people and we have 10,000 customers. My impressions haven't moved, even know the facts have moved. So if I'm a subject expert, even if I haven't been in that job for 10 years because I've been running this company, I bring forward my experience. I worked with a bunch of founders and CEOs of healthcare software companies and to a person. They were all I T managers at one or another hospital somewhere. But it turns out that almost no to hospitals have the same systems that work, and so they're holding on to some five year old or 10 year old vision of what they remember from their last job. And it's just out of data is wrong. One of the really smart folks I work within that space taught me that when you've seen one hospital, you've seen one hospital. But you know, it's a combination off personal expertise and and ego and belief in yourself, and it got us this far. I think about burial, Rather's book about unlearning where the things that got you to where you are are not the things that are going to get you to where you need to go next. And it's really this is a human emotional issue. It's really hard to set aside what we believe we're know about with Lead us to where we are.

spk_0:   20:02
Canal Street. When see hose have the experience working with product teams, have you experienced a difference between working and communicate with them differently to CEOs that might be new to working with product teams?

spk_1:   20:15
Yeah, I generally observed that most companies certainly wants their new to product management. I don't know what product man should do and think of us as an execution team. And if you believe that the product management's job is to take the Post it note that you just wrote down from your customer call and walk it over to engineering and turn into a story and deliver it by Friday, then you're not actually expecting your product team to have insights and underlying root cause analysis and priorities and deep understanding of what's going on in the markets. So folks who are new product management tend not to think of us as a value add. They think of us as transactional folks. You know, I usually get the call after to entire consecutive product. Teams have quit because the CEO actually let them make any decisions or prioritize anything, so I tend to come in a little later in that cycle. But CEOs of work executive teams have been around the block who understand how tech is built, who have a balanced view, are looking to the product team for trade offs. They're looking to the product team for insights for the challenges of too many versions. The product you're not enough for, since the product or what's happening? Where are we going next? At the you know, three months to 12 months level. So the good CEOs that experience CEOs are getting out of the product teams the insights and aggregated analysis they don't get from individual sales.

spk_0:   21:45
And listening to those and balancing. Now you

spk_1:   21:47
and I have a long talk that somebody can listen to it. Their own leisure about the four laws of software economics and the first law of self for economics is that your engineering team's not big enough, right? No company on the planet has enough folks on their development and your insight to build all the things that my executive team thought of this morning on their commuting to work. And so the I just wanted. And can't you just do It misses the fact that every time we choose to do one thing, we're setting 27 other things back in the backlog or for never because it's just physically impossible to get all the things done. To the extent that we look to product management to explain the trade offs because we live in the exclusive or universe where you could do a or you can do be But just because we want them both, we can't do them both. And that's a really unpopular and surprising set of things for most of the company that engineering isn't just sitting on its hands, eating Bon Bonds and playing multiplayer games. They're actually working really, really hard, and they're busy and they're overcommitted, which means we have to make choices. And that's deeply unpopular folks who are trying to put revenue on board this quarter.

spk_0:   23:04
Yeah, and obviously when they're focusing on revenue. But the benefit of that constrain is that costs are controlled

spk_1:   23:11
coursework, and there's a lot of places I Sometimes I joked that all product managers should change their middle name to Cassandra. For those who don't know, they're they're Greek mythology. Cassandra was a woman cursed by the gods to always foretelling the future and never to be believed. So she's the one who famously said, Hey, don't roll that wooden horse into the city of Troy because it's full of Greek soldiers and everybody tucked out and done right. We are often the people who are describing the bad side effect of Pagine pressing changes or the bad outcome of letting a couple of customers get their own custom code lines or the bad result of whatever it is, but they're usually a little further away than the current quarter and the current quarter's revenue. So it's easy to be labeled that somebody who's in a Sayer was negative because we're actually looking out to court is 5/4 9 quarters and noticing. When I was just talking with books yesterday, for instance, if we're in the software business and we write perpetual licenses with very small support fees where customers are gonna pay us for the next upgrade, we are putting all of ourselves in a position where the customers have a disincentive to go from version two diversion three, even though Version three has all the fixes they need because they're gonna have to budget pay for it. And then we end up supporting 16 back versions because we have all these customers that we put in a box to not want to upgrade because we miss priced and miss package our products. And so I get to say that. But when there's a big deal on the table and the customer really wants a perpetual license, I don't always win so we on the product side tend to be the folks who are looking out a little further and see where the next shoes they're going to drop

spk_0:   24:56
springing back to the user's needs. So let's remember something of substance here. So we've got a product team. We've got U X or customer focused. We're working day today. We have a good customer support team and we've, ah, Hardy exact. That just leaves. And I think, I found is a good idea to play out this fictional story founder that was part of the company build it up and still holds true that they know they know those end users better than anyone. But they're out of touch. Yes, that was my five years ago. So coming in, there's a head of product or VP of product, or even maybe just a senior product manager. What do you need start to do? Different to convince that founder that you know the latest used his needs and they're more meaningful,

spk_1:   25:43
right? Really Good question. I think there's probably two or three or four things. Let me list a few, so one is often I run into organizations where the product managers don't actually speak directly with and users outside the sales cycle. And so they're getting all their input from notes and salesforce dot com or whatever the sales team tells them. That's a really slanted view of the world. So absolutely. The first thing is to make sure that every single person on a chronic team, regardless of their level, you know, experience or title is setting up calls with actual and users. Or maybe in folks who turned off our service toe. Ask open ended questions for 1/2 hour, 45 minutes about what's working and what their issues are, and we should get permission to record those. I would want to have a designer and see your developer listening in because they hear different things than I do. And then they write me little notes on Post It notes to ask, and we capture Those were captured. 10 of those who captured 20 of those and we'll look for patterns. And the big advantage here is we get to bring back some real artifacts to the executive team and say in some appropriate meeting, Let's play you 5 42nd clips from five different interviews with five and users who are telling us these similar things which he doesn't may not have heard of, right? The nominal thing here is that we're just teaching them one thing. They might have heard the subliminal messages. You aren't always right, but I'm not gonna call you out in a big meeting and tell you that. So how do we actually inject Riel customer? And there's a lot of sort of silly, worthless voice of customer stuff. That survey's right. No, we need actual specific customers and their actual voices instead of some boiled down NPF s. Then write the second thing I do, and this is a little more emotionally fraught. I go back over the last 4/4 with the product engineer team and we identify a bunch of things we built and finished and shipped. It didn't sell where weren't used or were features that nobody takes advantage of. And I compiled a list of those and I try to figure out where those came from, and they came from one off deals, and they came from where they came from, and then one on one outside the executive staff meeting, I'll walk the key executives through a list of where we wasted 30 or 40 or 50% of last year's engineering by building stuff we didn't validate by building stuff nobody's gonna use by building things that a particular deal wanted. Them didn't close and the reason to do that politely with the door closed because I don't really want to call anybody up in public. But I have to unwind their point of view that they're usually right. And if I can find one or two things on that list that each of the execs forced into the road map, we can have that bit of embarrassment offline. And then in the bigger meeting, I could just talk in general about how we really you to validate stuff and not waste huge amounts. Engineer, right? And then the third thing I probably look for is I'm usually trying to uncover places where we did a one off code liner. We built something special for one really big customer, but we didn't estimate the overhead in the support and all of the Czech get that ensued and we go back. We find out how big those deals were, and they were very big, and we noticed that we're spending more money supporting that one off code branch. Then we got on the deal, and that's another way to gently kick the legs out of the argument that says, Hey, it's a £200,000 deal. We have to do everything possible to make that come true, including all kinds of my natural acts on the chair, right? So what I'm trying to do in all these cases is not talking generalities and not be a philosopher and not say I'm smarter or better than anybody else. But to bring forward evidence that's in it. Executive small format. Easily digestible bits. Two. Beat on them for months to try to get through the idea that we really should do validation,

spk_0:   29:50
right? Okay, Can I ask when product doesn't ever see at the exact table is so there's no VP of product at the exact table. For instance, what do you suggest with regards to how you can create that conversation in the room with the executives? How do you leave that for them to make sure, actually post this activity we've learned, and let's talk about that. Is that a mindset thing that they just have to get it there themselves, Or is there a way of provoking that when you know in the room?

spk_1:   30:17
So first of all, I would say, if there's not a product person around the big kids table with the other executives, then I think we've got some fundamental problems if we're in the product business. So my first recommendation is always to get a senior person of E p, a CDO or somebody who is appear to engineering your development and appear to sales and marketing hand support. Because if we pushed the product team down in the organization, they don't have a voice. And always here in the second choice, Sometimes the VP of engineering or chief technical officer has a bunch of product experience and can bring this forward and maybe bring some of the product looks into the meetings is necessary. It's not necessarily true that the folks running engineering really understand product, but sometimes they do, and it's occasionally true that the person running marketing has been a product person before less so. But I think you called out the failure right away, which is there's no product leader who's able to wrestle the road map and the priorities and the distinctions in the trade offs. So somebody else is making them with very poor insight and experience

spk_0:   31:32
to flip it around the other way. If if for an exactly listening that maybe feels that they just not across any of the user's needs right now, how would you suggest they go about if it be more approachable so that information is being pushed to them or gun pull that information themselves?

spk_1:   31:49
I generally encourage them not to pull themselves because they're too busy and often lack the specific experience or skill to do that, even though it's insulting when I say it that way, I think I'd ask the question of who in the organization is doing long form, open ended user goal interviews and discovery outside the sales process. And that's really, really important to sales. People's job is not to uncover generic needs. Their job is to twist arms and get it. Yes, with whatever we're selling and when the executive team doesn't know who does this, I can then suggested it's the product team if they have one right. But a good product thinking reminds us that we don't sell solutions until we were identified problems, right? So the problem I'm trying to highlight is that no one in the company may in fact be doing deep analytical, repeated high volume, interviewing the real customers and prospects in a way that yields insight. Until we've got agreement that that's not happening, any suggestions about who's going to do it are pretty relevant, right? So my experience is that most of this time on my side has spent identifying the problems in highlighting the root issues, not so much figuring out how we're gonna fix him, because once you've seen what's really not working, there's only a couple answers and and you get there fast,

spk_0:   33:19
which I won't take it up. Just one more level in the in the organizational tree here, when it comes to board members for board members who want to make sure their exact are across user's needs and not using their bias or just driving whatever sows is telling them that they should be selling when they meet every three months, six months annually, whatever it may be. A Have you worked with board members and hash? They engaged to make sure execs are taking this product lead or put up mindful approach that well, front around, so, so easily Add ice.

spk_1:   33:47
I haven't worked with boards a lot, and I would say that board members usually pretty sort quickly into the majority that air, really just looking at this as an investment and one no revenue on the revenue curve because they're looking to flip it or take it public if their private equity folks, they wantto give this coming to somebody else and I are price before it all breaks. But there's, ah, a minority. Let's say it's a large minority now. 30 or 40% of board members who really know what they're doing, who were seasoned investors or V. C's and the smart ones. The good ones are asking these kinds of questions. They're asking questions about how many customers we're reinterviewing and how often and what are we learning and what segments have we walked away from? What product I just have we rejected. They're asking things that are much more interesting than what the sales number good ones were asking. For instance, tohave the team walk you through a post sale integration and delivery of value. So what's the average time it takes between when a customer signs of purchase order and when their software is working and delivered. Value is a really good question from investors because it highlights support and customer success and product issues and engineering issues and lack of good fit and all the stuff. That's a question that I'm. It's always hard to answer, but I love when investors air asking more thoughtful, insightful things. You know, they should be asking how durable are back and infrastructure on suffer side is, Are we investing in checked? And are we scaling the infrastructure so that when we land all the sales, we don't end up on our faces? Right? So experienced good investors will guide those meetings too hard. Questions on the engineering side hard questions on the product side. How do we know folks are gonna want that? How do we know that the competitors don't already, you know, outpace us? They're always listening for when we're chasing some competitors features from two years ago, because that's never way to succeed. But again, as a product leader is a product manager, you don't actually get to pick your investors.

spk_0:   35:56
No, no, I do love water. Those questions you've talked through there, they talk about something. It's far greater than the quart Leo and your financial report and the slides. Etcetera is bad for business wide. Just a stick on this topic Ridge. What would have you seen with regards to a product managers? Or Phoebe is a product stepping into oppositions today. That afternoon succeed that is that a good career path to board?

spk_1:   36:21
I've rarely seen that happen for us. So you know, the investors and board members tend to either have been CEOs of companies that had very successful exits where they came upon the sales side because it's very, very clear to every investor that selling is the number one job. Or sometimes they are hardcore technologists. Who can you have a lot of insight into? Whether if you're working on a I and machine learning and natural language processing, it's really complicated stuff. And so you might have somebody who's on the investor side who's the expert in some technology area and has good taste around. Whether they're you know, the the invested company is blowing. Smoker has a real thing. I would answer a different way. What I see is that product managers become general managers and product VP sometimes become CEOs. And from there the world is your oyster. But I don't see folks jumping from the product jobs, too. Investor jobs. It's just not the high flash area

spk_0:   37:24
for product managers heading up into the head of Rose or VP rose. When it comes to the using these, we've been talking about any session. What should they choose to hang on to and keep dialing into him? What should thank that Go off, Do you think?

spk_1:   37:38
I believe that if you're in the product leader job, and for me, that means you're managing three or five or eight or 50 chronic folks and maybe designers. I think that's an executive role and, like all the other executive roles, has very little time to actually do primary research. So if I'm the head of product, I believe it's my job to delegate all of the product work, all of it. But then my team needs me to lean in with taste and opinion and good questions, right, So I need to know which of the folks on my team are sufficiently smart and experienced. An adept to really get this done right, I may be coaching. The junior folks are the ones who need help. So I might do three customer interviews myself with somebody listening and then sit in on a couple as the second chair. But my goal is to completely delegate all of this stuff. If I'm a player coach, I think I'm either not getting the player work done or not getting the coach work done. In fact, that's a challenge for people who get promoted from the product manager to the product. We job because many of us have deeply loved the product manager job and don't want to give it up. And that's a hard choice to make because you should be doing less and less of the actual work. And more and more of the organizational design and the hiring and the job descriptions and the politics and the fending off incoming erupts from the sales team and empowering all all the users. That's the real job of product leader. I think of it as my job is to is to create the conditions such that my product managers can succeed and thrive. It's not my job to do their work. It's my job to sweep up all the floors so they don't slip so much.

spk_0:   39:23
I love it. We actually talked about exactly that point on a podcast in Sydney, really Anthony Murphy, that he learned from the military, which is in that leadership role. It's about creating the right conditions. It's really are meant for success. You can't tell every soldier where shoe and what bullet That's tragic.

spk_1:   39:41
It's motivation. I think of all product leaders as students of human behavior, because we need to know what's going to drive folks to do the right things and what measurements, games or reward. You're going to get the right results. We need to have lots of collaboration across all the different functional group. So how do we generate that? Make that happen. But I think if you're a product leader and you're doing product manager job, somebody's failing. Maybe of a nice fella.

spk_0:   40:07
Thanks so much for this podcast called Enrich. This has been awesome.

spk_1:   40:10
It's entirely my pleasure, and I'm just so pleased that you're on this tour and driving a really great, vibrant community. And as I said before, I think the fund raising for animal habitats is really, really important. so I thank you three times.

spk_0:   40:27
Thank you very much. Thank you for the audience listening in. Thank you very much for joining me and rich mere enough on this podcast recording. I've thoroughly enjoyed this this session. If you have enjoyed this podcast recording or any of the product coalition European to a podcast recordings and you'd like to support the Australian communities, wildlife and volunteer firefighters that rich mentioned just they please head over to Bush fired up product coalition dot com. If you'd like to know about more about the tour of the five cities and come join me on a podcast are in Copenhagen, Berlin, Munich or Zurich, which are all coming up. Please jump over to toured a product coalition dot com. And I'd love to sit down and recording session with yourself, hopefully face to face in nine cities always enjoy. But I'm sure Rich will get an opportune in future. Maybe for two orifices. I said great. Thank you all for listening. And Tilden, next time. Thank you. Good bye.

London quiz
Typical day of the life of the execs
Priorities and the way of thinking of execs
Should execs know users needs?
Why do some execs believe that they know what users want, in detail?
CEO and Product Team
What do you need to do to convince execs that you know the users needs
Product people around the big kids table
How to change approach for the exacs to understand user's needs
Board members and users need
Product managers and VPs Stepping to the Board position
What to let go and what to hang on to