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Building Multi-Dimensional Careers in Tech | Vidya Srinivasan, Principal Product Manager at Meta

In this episode of Product Unfiltered, we sit down with Vidya Srinivasan, a Principal Product Manager at Meta to discuss the discusses the differences between building products for consumers and enterprises, the evolution of different product roles, and the importance of understanding strengths and interests when pursuing a tech career.


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Summary:

Product Unfiltered: A Discussion with Vidya Srinivasan, a Principal Product Manager at Meta Product management is a crucial role in any tech company, and it's one that has grown in importance over the years. Vidya Srinivasan, a Principal PM at Meta, shared her insights with Product Unfiltered, highlighting the importance of clarity in product management, understanding different product roles, and prioritizing user mental health and well-being over engagement and revenue. Here are the key takeaways from the session:

  1. The importance of clarity in product management: Creating clarity is the most important thing a PM can do for a team, as it helps everyone understand the problem, why the team is the right one to solve it, why they solve it now, and the trade-offs in making decisions.

  2. Building products for consumers vs. enterprises: Building products for enterprises requires satisfying both end-users and IT teams, who act as gatekeepers. Experimentation can be more difficult in enterprise, as many big companies are averse to change, and customers may prefer a slower pace of updates.

  3. Evolution of product roles and the value of good PMs: Having a technical background is seen as a superpower to be a great PM as it helps in understanding how the product is being built and how to build amazing products.

  4. Speaking the same language as engineering counterparts: Understanding how systems like AI models work, what their limitations are, and which systems integrate is essential in helping to guide engineers in making decisions and in predicting impact when systems go down.

  5. Tips for aspiring product managers: When hiring for a team, PMs look for candidates who are passionate about building products, are comfortable with ambiguity, prioritize creating clarity, and are skilled communicators both in verbal and written communication.

  6. Stack ranking and prioritization in product management: Setting short-term and long-term goals, stack ranking and prioritization are crucial in product management. A product manager should ensure that their key stakeholders are aware of their ranking and the rationale behind it.

  7. Prioritizing user mental health and well-being: Prioritizing user mental health and well-being over engagement and revenue is important in product management, as safety and well-being are critical components of a user's experience.

  8. Doing postmortems and retrospectives after major product launches: Doing postmortems and retrospectives after major product launches helps understand what worked well, what can be continued, and what needs to be stopped.

  9. Approaching mentorship with inquisitiveness and effective communication: Effective mentorship is a two-way transaction that requires being inquisitive, taking initiative, and communicating effectively to build a strong relationship with your mentor.

Vidya also shared some resources that she follows personally to keep herself updated in the product management space, including newsletters and podcasts. Lastly, she shared the qualities that she thinks early-stage product managers should possess, such as being inquisitive and taking the initiative.

Vidya's insights offer valuable guidance for anyone interested in pursuing a career in product management. Product managers need to prioritize clarity, understand different product roles, prioritize user well-being, and communicate effectively to succeed. Effective mentorship and keeping up to date with the latest trends and best practices are also critical to success in this field.

 




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