IAMAPM

45 days ago; I made a post on LinkedIn. Calling those who seek to pursue a career in Product Management and are finding it difficult to break it. It got 6500+ views, 300+ professionals reached out to me, I spoke to 116 of you and exchanged messages with another 100.

You might recollect a list of questions that I has asked in our conversation. Below is the result of that survey (total count = 220)

Survey Results
1. Have you applied for a Product Manager position?

70% never applied for a PM position outside of their current company. They did try to move into a PM role in their current organization (called as Career Transition); however due to various reasons; did not get a positive response.

30% applied for a PM position outside of their current company.

2. Did you get a call for an interview?

From those who applied only 30% got a call for an interview. 70% never heard back from the company. The top assumption; as to why they might not have got a reply was “I’m not from IIT or IIM college”. This was surprising for me and a new learning about perceptions. More on this later.

3. Did you go for the interview?

Everyone who were called for the interview; went for their Interview. (some were reluctant to tell me if they skipped but I’m ignoring those few individuals here)

4. Did you hear back after the interview?

Astounding 85% people never heard back from the company. This was also the most frustrating experience of the interview.

Remaining 15% heard back. Most of these 15% got a positive response but their compensation was not lucrative enough to peruse. Others got a negative response stating that they did not qualify in the interview round.

5. Did you consider formal training in Product Management?

Almost everyone said they considered but no more than 12 – 15 individuals actively pursued professional training online or offline.

6. What did you consider?

Of those who considered. 90% considered Udemy and/or Coursera. 10% considered diplomas and private short term courses. 2 People considered full time post-graduation.

7. How much time do you think it is worth training for to get into Product Management?

On an average most people are willing to spend 2 hours/day and 8 hours/weekend.

They are willing to do this for up to 6 months and then hope to get a job as a Product Manager.

8. How much cost are you willing to incur to get into Product Management?

There was a huge variance here. Range was Rs. 10K/month to Rs. 1L/month (for max up to 6 months). However, most of you mentioned that you can spend more and it depends on training and more specifically practical training and value you get out of the training.

9. If you have a full time job, then when would you train for PM role?
Most suggested offline training on weekdays and online (in person or on video channel) training on weekends.

That’s the summary of all the answers you gave to me.

Some of you might be wondering what is the use of this data?

Two Takeaways

1. You are not alone with this challenge. So stop feeling under confident and/or undermining yourself as not good enough. There is a methodical way to break in.

2. Many of you have already decided; that you might not get a PM Job. You have never applied (70% of you) and given a PM interview and for those who applied and were rejected; you now have more experience that everyone else. I congratulate you. Each failed interview brings you closer to success. We will talk about this point later.
Going forward I will try to do one mail a week.

Each week we will pick up an aspect of Product Management and dive deep.

How best to use these emails to your advantage?

1. There are various roles, responsibilities and job descriptions for a product manager; depending on company’s culture, needs and structure. Do not use these emails as default “the only right way”. Instead use these emails to build a framework for Product thinking.

2. Most of the material I will send will apply to someone who wants a career in a B2C company. (Business to Customers). I do not have personal experience in B2B. However, most principles will apply in B2B as well.

3. Use the email to understand core concepts and what is expected or required by a PM. Then use the links provided to go online and dive deep into each of the concepts.

4. Practice! Practice! There will be some practice challenges I will post each week, do find time to Practice.

5. Be regular! If you are one of those; who star mark emails to be read later but then never get time for it. You would not find much value.

Fundamental Framework of Product Management

So with no further delay here are the 3 things to train on:

PART 1 – I can solve problems?
PART 2 – I can identify the right problems?
PART 3 – I can make business value while solving these problems?

Hence IAMAPM

Next week we will dive deep into the fascinating world of Product Management.

Regards
Sumit

Advertisements

Product Crafters

Tags

Games are fun and adventures and I have been playing video games for over 26 years now. I love them.

Long time ago; you played it at your will; till you got bored or you beat it. In both cases you won and the game lost.

As time passed, the games became smarter. They started giving you a false illusion of winning and while you felt rewarding; as you tapped along but as soon as you stopped; it left a bad taste and an unfulfilling sense of being.

The game was always one up, you could not beat it anymore and neither could you get yourself to stop playing it. You weren’t sure as to what was going on but deep inside it felt wrong. When you finally did stop playing it for good; you weren’t happy about yourself for playing it for so long.

Games started imitating human life more closely.

“Success is not a destination but it is a continuous journey” [Farmville]
“Winning is a state of mind” [Candy Crush]
“Winners
don’t quit” [Game of War]

Well guess what ? I have a life already – it is busy and challenging, I want to fill the gaps by playing ton of games; I want to beat the crap out of them; win; be happy about it and stop playing them when I feel to do so. It’s a freaking game for godsake.

The more time I spent making games, the patterns started to emerge. Every industry spends a ton of money on research, and one of the major research vertical is “how to make the product more addictive”. Industry hires the best minds and focus their energies in defining and reproducing the addictive triggers.

The loop is simple to understand:

Make them do X -> Reward them -> Make them do more of X

habitloops

The reward and cue system exist to promote reinforcement of desired behavior. I think this is great science but to what end?

I fell in love with data and analytics during my time with Zynga. I learnt how to collect it, analyze it and understand it. I also learnt how not to freaking use it to extract the last dime of players lives. (the argument, are we losing money on the table)

I have been making games for 16 years now and 6 months ago I started working on my dream project; defining how the new and emerging India will play games for fun and fulfillment.

I have an exceptionally talented, committed and a focused team and we are gearing up for 2016 launch. While we are good to start our journey but to see it through we are few heroes short…

I’m hiring for Product Crafters. The mandate is to make games that ends; leaving the players fulfilled and with a smile. The person is in grip with big and complex data analysisat ease with ambiguity and on top of emerging market trends – he or she challenges Status Quo and builds for the end user (period).

This is a level free opening, it does not matter if you have 1 year of experience or 10+ years, what matters is that you believe in enriching player’s moment of fun and joy.

Interested? email me: sumit.mehra@moonfrog.com