And how much is too much?

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How technical should a PM be?

This question elicits passionate responses from across both sides of the table. I get lots of DMs on twitter on this question alone.

Well, there are two schools of thought around this👇

  1. Technical skills are superpowers for a PM that helps them do the job better.

But…


Understanding Decentralization tech

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I first stumbled upon blockchains and cryptocurrencies in 2015 and it immediately piqued my interest. What sorcery was this thing called Bitcoin? why was it getting so much press? Why did it have any value at all?

As I entered the dark crypto world — I met some otherwise rational people going crazy about anything that had to do with blockchains and bitcoins. They talked endlessly and fanatically about mining, rigs, GPUs, blockchain apps, decentralization etc. I…


Behaviors & biases in planning

a million puzzle pieces, waiting to be put together
a million puzzle pieces, waiting to be put together
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster

The past few months have been pretty busy at work. We’ve started an exercise where we are evaluating a product — currently manufactured in our European & North American factories — to be manufactured in our Asian factories to serve the regional markets.

There have been several meetings, planning sessions, and discussions to plan every aspect of the manufacturing move. For instance, How many units might we sell out of this factory? How long will zero to starting up production take? What the supply chain/sourcing strategy will look like? And more.

This has taken the bulk of my brain cycles…


Getting things done in large organizations

Photo by Xavi Cabrera
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If you ever work for a large corporation with complicated matrixed org structures, you’ll broadly find two types of people

Type 1: People that wait for instructions, and wait for things to happen — They’ll tell you all the reasons why something cannot be done

Type 2: People who want to make things happen, try different things, find out all the ways how something can…


How to think through pricing your product

Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán
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“How should we price this product?” — somebody posed the question in our weekly product meeting. I had no idea.

It was my very first product launch and I had no experience pricing a real product before. The closest I had gotten to “pricing” something was at a Product Positioning and Pricing course at business school — but again, that was coursework based on hypotheticals, and this was the real world.

The idea was to price the…


How to be an empathetic listener — but a focused questioner

Photo by Franco Antonio Giovanella
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Until I landed my first PM job, I had never really interviewed anyone.

The first time I interviewed someone was alongside a User Experience researcher (who did it for a living). I was a new PM trying to validate a product idea that we thought was exciting and solved a big pain point for people. Our target market was small business owners, so we cold-called a bunch of small business owners and set up meetings.

In sum, we…


And how to become a non-linear thinker

photo of a spiral starewell
photo of a spiral starewell
Photo by Fabian Fauth
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All of us know that most plants need water to survive. i.e. if you don’t water your plants, they die. But that inference is not exactly accurate. Here’s what really happens:

If you don’t give the plant any water, the plant dies.

With too little water, the plant grows for a little but then dies eventually

You water it just right, the plant flourishes and grows.

You Water it too often, the plant starts wilting.

Too much…


The foundations you must build to start adding value

man balancing on a rock on one leg
man balancing on a rock on one leg
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash
 👋 This post appeared in my weekly newsletter on Product Management.Follow me on Twitter where I share my experiences in building products, successes, failures, and insights.

When I landed my first Product Management job, I was happy, ecstatic, and proud. But I was also nervous — because I had never really done the job before.

In my previous company, I was a software developer and we never had a Product Manager on the team. (This was before Product Management became cool) .

After my Software developer gig and now fresh off the MBA press, I wanted to get into…


Its not your product, its distribution

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When Product Managers are asked what some of their most risky assumptions are, they often cite market risk assumptions or technology risk assumptions. This is what the vast majority of PMs spend time thinking about and validating.

  • Technology Risk — that the core value proposition (that eliminates the market risk) can indeed be built…


Lets get the basics right

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place — George Bernard Shaw.

This post appeared in my weekly newsletter on Product Management. Sign up here to get new posts straight to your inbox.Want to Connect? Find me on twitter

You’ll often hear from both anthropologists and sociologists that the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively is perhaps one of the biggest gifts that human beings possess. …

Abhishek Chakravarty

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