Thor Mitchell knows his bones – he’s an ex-Google product manager (Maps and Google+ APIs) and was most recently the Chief Product Officer at Crowdcube. Following a talk at ProductTank Bristol, he joined us to chat about the advice he gives both to aspiring product managers and to those angling for leadership positions.
Quote of the episode
In almost all cases, the person best qualified to make decisions… is the product manager, no matter what level they’re at… Have confidence in your convictions, because you’ve spent more time thinking about this than anybody else.
Listen if you’d like to learn more about:
- What is the core difference between a product manager and leader?
- How to communicate with people at all levels.
- Assumptions that managers and stakeholders have the answers.
- When hiring, what is the most important skill for product managers?
- What kind of training do I need to become a product manager?
- If a product manager does all the real work, what does a product leader do all day?
- To advance your career, do you need to become a manager of product managers? Or can you continue to be a practitioner?
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Six leadership styles, from the Harvard Business Review. There’s a good summary at https://www.corporatetraining.ie/harvard-leadership-styles/
- Product.careers is the site Thor started to encourage university and graduate students to get into product management
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. Lily has spent 13 years in the tech industry working mainly with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She has worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank in Bristol, the Product Managers’ meetup with regular events and talks on Product now with 800+ members and growing. This year Lily will be launching Productcamp in Bristol and she joins the MTP team as co-host of The Product Experience podcast.
A recovering music journalist and editor, Randy has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. After launching Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, Randy has worked with museums and arts groups, online education, media & 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. He’s also spoken at Mind the Product Engage (Hamburg), at a number of ProductTanks (London, Zurich, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, & Brighton… so far!) and at conferences across the US and Europe.
Our theme music is from Hamburg-based Pau, featuring ProductTank Hamburg’s own Arne Kittler on bass. Listen to more here: https://www.facebook.com/Paupulism/
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