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Secrets to Building Great B2B Products | Yogesh Paliwal, Director of Product at Cisco Wireless

Welcome to Product Unfiltered, where we bring you exclusive insights from industry leaders. In this episode, we sit down with Yogesh Paliwal, Director of Product at Cisco Wireless. His journey from software development to product leadership offers a wealth of experience and knowledge that is sure to inspire and enlighten.

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Product Unfiltered: A Discussion with Yogesh Paliwal, Director of Product at Cisco Wireless

Yogesh's Transformation from Software to Product Leader:

Yogesh takes us on a journey through his career, highlighting his transition from a curious engineer and software developer to a prominent product leader at Cisco. His early days at Cisco were focused on networking domains, but he realized the importance of being customer-facing to truly understand user needs. This shift in perspective eventually paved the way for his role as Director of Product.

The Evolution of the Networking Industry:

The networking industry has undergone significant changes over the past two decades, largely due to factors like mobility, the rise of cloud computing, and the proliferation of mobile devices. Yogesh discusses how these changes have influenced businesses and our daily lives.

Challenges in B2B Product Management:

Product managers in the B2B space face unique challenges, including long sales and product development cycles. Yogesh delves into these challenges, comparing them to the more agile environment of B2C products. He emphasizes the need for infrastructure, given the significant investments required in the B2B space.

The Role of Problem Space in Product Management:

In B2B product management, understanding the long-term needs of customers is crucial. Yogesh underscores the importance of investing in the right architecture, business models, and strategies. He also highlights the need for agility, allowing for feedback on specific features and pivoting when necessary.

Cisco's Unique Culture:

The culture at Cisco is multifaceted, with different teams and subcultures due to acquisitions. Cisco's culture is open to ideas, provided they are relevant and logical. Product culture at Cisco has evolved over time, emphasizing user experience (UX) design and agile delivery cycles.

Qualities for Early-Stage Product Managers:

Yogesh shares the qualities he looks for in early-stage product managers, including attitude, empathy, perspective, and innovation. These qualities are essential for success in a dynamic and evolving industry.

Factors in Hiring Product Managers:

When hiring product managers, Yogesh evaluates candidates based on attitude, skills, and emotional intelligence, not just technical expertise. A comprehensive approach to interviews, involving multiple stakeholders, helps identify candidates who can build the right product.

Staying Informed in the Tech Industry:

Yogesh recommends valuable resources for staying updated in the product and technology space, including SAS, Lenny, Professor M, and Jeff BOS. Continuous learning is vital to success in this ever-changing industry.

Innovative Thinking and the Future:

Yogesh emphasizes the importance of innovative thinking and learning from other domains to shape the tech industry's future. Thinking outside the box and challenging industry norms can lead to significant advancements.

Yogesh Paliwal's journey and insights offer a remarkable perspective on product management in the networking industry. His story serves as a testament to the transformative power of adaptability, user-centric approaches, and innovative thinking. As the industry continues to evolve, learning from leaders like Yogesh is invaluable.

Stay tuned for more enlightening conversations with industry leaders on Product Unfiltered.


Product Unfiltered is a platform dedicated to fostering insightful conversations with industry experts, thought leaders, and innovators in the realm of product management. Our podcast aims to provide a space for sharing diverse perspectives, best practices, and emerging trends that shape the ever-evolving field of product management. Join us as we delve into the minds of those driving innovation and creating impactful products across industries.



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