Cracking the PM Career – Jackie Bavaro on The Product Experience "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs April 04 2021 True product management, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 591 Product Management 2.364

Cracking the PM Career – Jackie Bavaro on The Product Experience


Jackie BavaroWhen we talk about product strategy, we often go back to the double diamond approach: identify the problem that you need to solve, then work on creating & optimising a solution for it. There’s a similar approach to Product careers — first, we need to get the job, then we need to excel in it.  Jackie Bavaro did both, at Microsoft and Google, before she built up and led the product team at Asana.  She joined us on the podcast to talk about her new book, Cracking the PM Career, and the lessons in it.

In this episode, listen to learn about:

  • What is takes to be a Product Manager?
  • Planning a career as a Product Manager
  • Interviewing for PM roles

Mixpanel, this episode’s sponsor, is offering The Product Experience listeners $5,000 off their product analytics solution. You can visit and enter code MTP5K to claim your offer.

Quote of the Episode

So the key trade-off that you have when you enter Product Management is that you get to expand your influence and have a big impact on a lot of people, a lot of customers, more so than you could as an engineer for example, but you give up the hands-on work you may do as an engineer or a designer. So if you’re ok with losing the satisfaction that comes from building something and seeing what you’ve built, and having people saying “thank you for building that”, then you might really like being a Product Manager.

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Our Hosts

The Product Experience is hosted by Lily Smith and Randy Silver.

Lily enjoys working as a consultant product manager with early-stage and growing startups and as a mentor to other product managers. She’s currently Head of Innovation at Go Compare and has spent 13 years in the tech industry working with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She’s worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank Bristol (which now has 800+ members!) and runs ProductCamp in Bristol and Bath.

Randy is a product consultant and coach who has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. A recovering music journalist and editor, he launched Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, and has worked across sectors including museums and arts groups, online education, media and entertainment, retail and financial services. He’s held Head of Product roles at HSBC and Sainsbury’s, where he also directed their 100+-person product community. Randy’s book, What Do We Do Now? A Product Manager’s Guide to Strategy in the Time of COVID-19 is out now, with all profits going to COVID-19 relief efforts.