Listicles, listicles. It’s that time of year, so we are excited to present our very own Top 5 of 2021 of the popular This Is Product Management podcast, which features interviews with the best minds across disciplines that fuel today’s — and tomorrow’s — product teams.
We crunched the numbers to bring you the audience favorites of 2021, all of which are worthy of a listen or a relisten to glean insights, secrets, tips, and tricks that can be applied to make 2022 your best PM year yet.
Growing a Product Org is Product Management
Jeremy Henrickson fell in love with technology in the form of an Apple II Plus. Formerly the chief product officer for Coinbase and currently vice president of product and engineering at Rippling, Jeremy built on that encounter to become an expert at scaling Silicon Valley companies by building the right product teams.
Hear the secrets to his successful career in product management and leadership — from systemizing everything from interactions to energy, to hiring smart from the get-go, to staying close to your customers — on this episode of TIPM.
Managing Tension is Product Management
Marc Abraham was head of product engagement at ASOS.com, a global fashion e-commerce company headquartered in London, and the author of two books: My Product Management Toolkit and Managing Product, Managing Tension.
Marc is adamant that tension and conflict are necessary — and useful — parts of successful product management: “To create really great products and deliver value to your customers and to deliver value to your business, you need to have that tension to innovate, to make tough decisions.”
Get Marc’s thoughts about tension and uncertainty — as well as how to make them work for you instead of against you — on this episode of TIPM.
Language and Authenticity is Product Management
Shawn Coots began his career as a comic-book illustrator. From there he took lessons in communications and how to convey a story to his true calling in product management. It has served him well in his role as director of product management and experience strategy at Humana in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The key strength of a good product manager, in my mind, has always been one of translation,” he says. “You really are attempting to bring clarity to a lot of different groups, and therefore you have to understand the language or familiarity that they’re comfortable with.”
Shawn’s take on language, communication, authenticity — and jargon — as well his own ladder to product management leader, are featured on this episode of TIPM.
Internal Collaboration is Product Management
In addition to working on the Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs, former Google CTO Ben Wilson has strong opinions on how titles — especially C-suite titles — apply to product:
“I see head of product as … chief collaborator. How do I go and engage with those people more deeply? How do I understand their critical user journeys better? How do I understand, how do I hear them differently too? … Each group has a way of communicating. How do I position myself as an individual, as a leader, to hear their differentiated message? … That’s why I go back to this idea that the collaboration, coordination and communication is so important, and I look at myself more as a chief collaborator, rather than a product person.”
Get Ben’s advice on how to excel at internal collaboration on this episode of TIPM.
Democratization is Product Management
As vice president of strategy and former director of product for design and experience agency Jam3, Phill Dodd sees intersections everywhere. He likes to look at pairs of seemingly disparate terms — craft and skill, generalist and specialist, research and testing, test and experiment, high fidelity and low fidelity — and find the commonalities where they intersect.
“It’s in those moments where you are jumping disciplines that innovation really happens,” he says.
Hear Phil share his thoughts about how technology has enabled democratization, in turn pushing people to be better at whatever they do, on this episode of TIPM.
What was your favorite episode of the year? Please, tell us.