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The Art of Prioritization and Customer Focus | Akhilesh Keshap, Senior Product Manager at E-Bay.

Product Unfiltered recently had the pleasure of hosting Akhilesh Keshap, Senior Product Manager at E-Bay. Akhilesh shared his valuable insights and experiences with us, providing a fascinating glimpse into the world of product management.

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Summary:

Product Unfiltered: A Discussion with Akhilesh Keshap, a Senior Product Manager at eBay.

In a recent episode of Product Unfiltered, we had the privilege of hosting Akhilesh Keshap, a seasoned Senior Product Manager at eBay. Akhilesh shared his valuable experiences and insights on the challenges and principles of product management, emphasizing the importance of saying "no," prioritizing customer needs, and the role of effective communication.


1. Transitioning to Product Management and the Art of Saying "No":

  • Akhilesh discussed his journey from services to product management, highlighting the need for product managers to prioritize ideas and say "no" to those that don't align with the product vision.

  • He emphasized that out of 100 ideas, only a few can be executed properly, and the challenge lies in maintaining good relationships while making these tough decisions.

2. Customer-Focused Problem Solving:

  • Akhilesh stressed the fundamental principle of product management, which revolves around solving problems for customers.

  • He emphasized the importance of understanding problems at a fundamental level and leveraging first principles to find innovative solutions.

  • Akhilesh highlighted the significance of adopting a customer-focused approach across different roles within a company, including marketing, sales, and strategy.

3. Optimizing Choices and Prioritizing Value:

  • Akhilesh drew parallels between product management and choosing the most efficient flight route, where the focus is on optimizing choices that bring the most value to customers and stakeholders.

  • He shared his experience at eBay, a product-first company, where he focused on building products that aided customer support agents in detecting fraud and ensuring a safe marketplace.

  • Akhilesh discussed the challenge of minimizing the time spent by agents in reviewing cases and the importance of providing data-driven insights to facilitate efficient problem-solving.

4. Balancing Tools and Communication Skills:

  • The guest highlighted the significance of effective communication skills for product managers, cautioning against relying too heavily on tools.

  • While discussing AI text generation, Akhilesh acknowledged its potential in aiding product documentation but emphasized that AI cannot replace the role of a product manager, as it is merely a tool.

5. Product Culture and Alignment:

  • Akhilesh shed light on the product culture at eBay, where different teams and organizations may adopt varying approaches.

  • He emphasized the importance of finding a middle ground between a top-down and bottom-up approach, ensuring alignment between strategic initiatives and product initiatives.

  • The guest shared valuable resources for product managers, including the Lenny newsletter and Marty Kagan's book on product management, highlighting the importance of continuous learning and staying updated.

Akhilesh Keshap's insights have provided valuable guidance to product managers on the art of prioritization, customer-focused problem-solving, effective communication, and navigating the dynamic product culture. His emphasis on continuous learning and understanding customers' needs serves as a reminder of the ever-evolving nature of product management.


To gain more in-depth knowledge from Akhilesh's session, be sure to watch the full episode on our YouTube channel and website. Stay tuned for more exciting discussions with industry experts on Product Unfiltered!

 




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