EP02: Who should you build products with?

In this week’s call Kyle and Justin talk about people: specifically, the people you choose to build a product with.

In this week's call Kyle and Justin talk about people: specifically, the people you choose to build a product with.

There are two ways to look at this, and we discuss both of them:

  1. How do you choose a co-founder? (if you're building your own company)
  2. How do you choose an existing product? (If you're working for another company)

    Kyle: Wow, that sounds so sexy and fun to work on.

    [INTRO MUSIC]

    Justin: I set us both to "male voice." I hope that's okay.

    Kyle: Yeah, I appreciate you assuming the correct gender.

    [laughter]

    Justin: All right, welcome to Product People, a podcast for people who build beautiful products. My name is Justin and I'm calling from Vernon, BC.

    Kyle: And I'm Kyle and I'm calling from Edmonton.

    Justin: And Kyle, I thought for this week's call, I had an idea that we could talk about people, and specifically, the people we choose to build products with, and I thought there was like two angles on this. One is, if you're starting a new company or building a new product on your own, you have to choose a co-founder and two, if you decide to join an existing team, as may be a product lead or product manager, you have to decide who you're going to team up with, which company you're going to join and we might also even talk about how you break into that. How do you break into Product Management, Product Lead, that kind of thing? What do you think?

     Kyle: Uh, sounds good, yeah. Let's do it.
    
     Justin: All right, well I thought to start, maybe we could talk about—get a little bit personal and talk about how this whole podcast even came into being. Do you want to just tell people the story about like, how did this happen? How did this podcast happen?
    
     Kyle: Right. Well, you and I don't have much history together, which may be a surprise to anyone who's listening.
    
     Justin: That's true.
    
     Kyle: We—how long ago would you say it was that we finally met in person? Maybe a month ago?
    
     Justin: Yeah, a month ago, I think.
    
     Kyle: A month ago? So, Justin and I, for probably the last couple of years, have followed each other on Twitter, both lived and worked in Edmonton at software, internet software companies and so, the circle in Edmonton is pretty small and, found each other through Twitter and bantered on Twitter a lot and I think we even—we sort of planned a few, "Hey, let's meet for beers," and—
    
     Justin: That's right.
    
     Kyle: and they ended up never panning out.
    
     Justin: That's right, yeah, we missed each other a couple times.
    
     Kyle: For some reason or another, one of us would cancel. [laughs]
    
     Justin: Yeah, I would be thinking about going to an event and I'd decide not to and it'd turn out, you would show up. We were just missing each other every time.
    
     Kyle: Yes, exactly, for two years, and then it wasn't until you moved to another province—
    
     Justin: [laughs]
    
     Kyle: we were actually able to coordinate an in-person meeting. [laughs]
    
     Justin: That's right.
    
     Kyle: So yeah, you came back to Edmonton for a short little business trip and we met with some other friends for beer and started chatting about prodcuts and kind of realized that we had a lot of the same, I guess, outlook and vision for how products should get made, what kinds of things are important, the sorts of aspects of product development that get us excited and—
    
     Justin: Yeah, I think we both admitted to tiny little business crush on Amy Hoy.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, exactly.
    
     Justin: [laughs]
    
     Kyle: Yes.
    
     Justin: And so we—
    
     Kyle: And probably many others as well.
    
     Justin: Yeah, yeah. And so we chatted, hung out, it was a great, great chat, focused a lot on products and then I think it was maybe a couple days later, you messaged me on Twitter and said, "Hey, have you ever thought about doing a podcast?"
    
     Kyle: Yeah, um, it was kind of always something I wanted to do myself. I just never got around to it, I suppose, and just chatting with you over beer was fairly conversational and easy and we talked about a lot of interesting things. I sure found it interesting. Whether a third party listening in finds it interesting, I guess that remains to be seen.
    
     Justin: [laughs]
    
     Kyle: But at the very least, I enjoy our chats about products and software and all that fun stuff. So it seemed like a good opportunity to maybe give this podcasting thing a try. I was pretty sure that I had seen you tweet in the past that podcasting was something you wanted to give a try to and I know you're fairly active on your blog and things like that, so, I thought, "Why not? I'll see if he's interested and see if we can make it happen."
    
     Justin: Yeah. And I'm wondering what we could pull out of that whole experience because, essentially, you and I have co-founded a product. This is a podcast, but it actually has a—the development of a podcast is, in a lot of ways, like developing a product and you and I are treating it even more so in that we're trying to kind of do a lean approach to podcast development and we're going out and we're doing customer development and we have a survey and we've been talking to people and asking them questions and all of that. But we've co-founded this product. What do you think are some things that we could pull out of that, that maybe would apply to other folks as they're looking to start a product and looking for someone to co-found it with?
    
     Kyle: Yeah, I think there's a lot of parallels any time you want to undertake any kind of creative endeavor with somebody else. So I think one of the most important things is to not really be afraid to approach people with ideas and opportunities to collaborate on things.
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: I'm not sure if it was last time we chatted but—or if we had recorded it but we had sort of talked about how, because of things like Twitter and blogging, people are just—they seem more approachable and even like your web design idols or your development idols—
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: sort of seem like they're maybe on this other plane or whatever, you really look up to them, but in a lot of ways, they're just regular people too and the reason that they're so prominent in those fields is because they're passionate about that particular topics. So, chances are, if you're interested in that topic as well, and you toss out an idea, there's nothing really to lose by tossing out an idea, right? Like, I didn't know if you wanted to do a podcast or not but hey, I'll at least mention it and see what happens because there's no harm in asking, basically, so—
    
     Justin: Yeah. I think it's okay to—even to approach people that you don't really know or have a good relationship with.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, definitely. It's kind of like you can just approach people just to hang out and you don't really have to have in mind that, "Oh, me and this other person, I really admire their work. I want to build a product with them." That's kind of like love at first sight and wanting to get married immediately before you get to know somebody.
    
     Justin: Yeah.
    
     Kyle: So just getting to know somebody and kind of going with it and if it turns out that you have good chemistry, which is another important part of any sort of business or creative relationship, if there's chemistry there and there's a shared sort of—there's shared values and shared vision, then the opportunity to make a product together will kind of naturally bubble out of that relationship because you will naturally be tossing out ideas for different things that you've wanted to build or different things you like and naturally, I think, if there's chemistry there, it's going to come around to, "Well, what can we do together?"
    
     Justin: Mm hmm. Yeah, and you know, your story—sorry, our story, kind of reminded me, in high school, I had this idea—this is going to sound funny, but I had this idea I wanted to put on a rave in my hometown—
    
     Kyle: [laughs]
    
     Justin: and I just remember feeling like I was into the rave scene and I remember wanting to bring this big city event to my little town of like 3000 people and to do that, I had to find someone who could do that with me and I ended up going to this guy Adrian that I didn't know that well and just pitching him on it but I knew he was into raves and DJing and I thought he would be a good partner. And I think sometimes it's okay to kind of, as you get to know people, and as you're involved in a certain scene, to approach people and say, "Hey, are you interested in this?" or maybe you just get that sense, because as soon as I pitched him on it, he was like, he was in. And we ended up having a really good business partnership for this Grade 12 rave that we put on. But sometimes you don't even need to know the person really well. You can just kind of see who's out there, see who else might be into something similar and I think really, the big lesson is, just get started. Like, get together with them, pitch them on the idea and then say, "Well, what would be the next step?" and for you and I the next step was just a phone call.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, exactly. I think that's an important point too is that you don't need to have—like you don't need to know somebody really well to determine that you have kind of chemistry and potential to build something. Again, it kind of comes back to romantic relationships, like there are many couples who date for three weeks and then decide they're going to get married because it just—it clicks so well and in a lot of cases, that's how good products are made too. Like you just—people's vision just aligns so well that—and you're both on board, like you said with your friend Adrian and the rave. It's just a no-brainer, basically, to like, "Yeah, let's do this. It's something I want to do and—" it's kind of—this summer, me and my friend Jeff Archibald from Paper Leaf, we went to Interlink, that's a web design—or web conference in Vancouver and they kind of talked about how—one of the speakers, Jessica Hische, talked about how she went to, I believe it was Type Camp or Type Cooper—
    
     Justin: Okay.
    
     Kyle: and basically, she spent however many days learning lettering and things like that and we were like, "Hey, that's pretty cool. That's something I've always wanted to do," and so on the plane ride back home from Vancouver to Edmonton, we sort of were like, "Hey, would you—would it be crazy for us to try and do a typography or type design workshop?" and we were both instantly in to do it and—
    
     Justin: Yeah.
    
     Kyle: he and I had never really pursued any—like we hadn't really worked together previously. Like, we were good friends and things like that but it was sort of like this out of the blue thing, like let's do this and then over the course of a month, I guess it was two months, we planned and actually had this type workshop in Edmonton. But it was one of those things where you just throw out an idea and based on your relationship with the person, it's like, "Yeah, I'm in. I know we can do this. We've got a lot of the same tastes, same level of quality that we would expect," which is a huge thing. Any time you're working with somebody and there's difference in the level of quality that you're okay with, that can cause a lot of friction and problems—
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: so if you know that somebody that you're thinking of working with has kind of the same expectations of quality and the same vision then it's yeah, it's like a no-brainer. It's one of those things where you're super excited to actually pursue something with that person because you know it's going to end up awesome.
    
     Justin: That's right, yeah. That inspiration is important. The inspiration, I think Jason Fried says, "Inspiration is perishable," and sometimes you are in those moments where you might have just met someone at a conference or met up with someone for a beer or something and you have that moment of inspiration. I've found you really need to jump on those. If you're in and you're saying, "Hell yeah," you need to jump on those, whatever it is, and just go for it and a lot of times it won't work out and that's fine. But if you're kind of thinking about doing something, especially building your own product and you happen to meet someone who has the same taste and same sense of quality and same, maybe even shares a vision with you, it makes sense to just get going and take one step at a time and maybe think about details later.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, definitely. That's—the biggest hurdle, well one of the biggest hurdles, is just making the decision to get started and actually do it. It's one thing to toss out ideas and say, "Oh, someday we should do this," or you know—
    
     Justin: yeah.
    
     Kyle: "someday," but actually taking that first step and actually diving into like, "We're actually going to do this. What's the first thing we're going to do tomorrow to actually get this started?" You kind of have to seize the moment when you've got that inspiration. Yeah, like you said, take advantage of it and take advantage of the fact that there's a person there who wants to—like has the same sort of vision. [laughs]
    
     Justin: Yeah. I think the only thing I would add is that for me, I've always tried to do things on my own and I'm starting to learn the benefit of teaming up with someone else and working with someone else.
    
     Kyle: Mm hmm.
    
     Justin: And I just think that there's a lot of maybe entrepreneurial people or maybe a really great designer or a really great developer and you're just used to doing good work by yourself and the idea that—of teaming up with someone might seem like it would slow you down or that would be a lot of extra work. And I'm just realizing more and more that to build great products, you need a team. Definitely to start a company, you need a team. Even to start a good podcast, it makes a lot more sense to have two people talking instead of me just talking to a microphone by myself.
    
     Kyle: [laughs]
    
     Justin: And so I've been thinking about that a lot, about the idea of teaming up with someone else and doing something together, as opposed to just trying to do it yourself.
    
     Kyle: Yeah. There's totally a buzzword for that the whole "synergy" thing where two people working on it, they're more than the sum of their parts so you're not just—if you have two people working on an idea, you're not—you don't have double the productivity. It's probably more than double just because you kind of push each other to work a little harder than you would if you were each working individually.
    
     Justin: Yeah.
    
     Kyle: And there's also the whole thing of complimentary skills, which is definitely important. Like if you're looking for somebody to start a new venture with, whether that's a business or a podcast or whatever, it can be tempting to yeah, want to do it yourself, especially like, I've found that a lot of entrepreneurs, like myself included, are a bit of—control freaks—[laughs]
    
     Justin: Mm hmm!
    
     Kyle: and I think that's partly what drives the entrepreneurial spirit but it's definitely kind of in your best interest to give up the reigns a bit and realize that you can't do everything. You can't be the best at everything.
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: And so, maybe it's better for you to, rather than trying to be the technical guy, the business guy, the designer guy and the marketing guy, maybe just focus on the two things that you're really passionate about and find someone else who sort of fits those other areas and then—because not only is it less things for you to try to juggle in your head at once but there's that whole idea where you're getting fresh ideas that you wouldn't have if you were just by yourself. It's like a—I forget what the term is for that, but basically, you're getting external input into your own head rather than just relying on your brain to churn our your own ideas.
    
     Justin: Yeah. Yeah, I found that really helpful and I'm still—I feel like I'm a beginner in that sense of teaming up with folks and not always thinking I just have to do this by myself.
    
     Kyle: Yeah.
    
     Justin: But actually working with other people.
    
     Kyle: And it's hard, like again, with the control freak thing, I think entrepreneurials—or entrepreneurs—[laughs]
    
     Justin: I like that word. Entrepreneurials.
    
     Kyle: Entrepreneurials. [laughs]
    
     Justin: [laughs]
    
     Kyle: It gets even better when you try to say "serial entrepreneurials."
    
     Justin: [laughs}
    
     Kyle: They, again, by definition, have a vision for how things should be and that whole idea of giving up a little bit of control and trusting someone else to follow through with what might not be exactly your vision but it'll still be good, it's a tough thing to do.
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: Even entrepreneurs who try and go it alone and as their company grows and even if they hire people and aren't really seeking a co-founder, I know that giving up control and delegating tasks, even to employees, can be difficult because you're just so used to having that vision in your head and entrusting that vision to other people can be hard.
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: And it's even harder when it's at the co-founder stage, things are super early and there's a lot of room for error, basically.
    
     Justin: Yeah.
    
     Kyle: So basically, learning to give up some of that control to somebody else you trust is super important if you want to accomplish bigger things.
    
     Justin: Yeah. Well, and this is a good segue into the other side of the coin, which is joining another team, working for somebody else. And you just switched from freelancing to employment, right?
    
     Kyle: It's true, I did.
    
     Justin: Okay, so tell people, which team did you join?
    
     Kyle: So I joined a company called Granify and I joined them as a Product—I think my title is Product and Design Lead.
    
     Justin: Okay.
    
     Kyle: So, yeah.
    
     Justin: And what does Granify do?
    
     Kyle: It sounds complicated but they use machine learning and artificial intelligence and big data to help e-commerce stores earn significantly more money, is basically what it boils down to.
    
     Justin: Interesting. Well said. You have that line down.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, we've been kind of refining the pitch because we've sort of been explaining—we've gotten a lot of confused looks when we try and explain it and really, that's the way to boil it down into—I wouldn't even say that's in layman's terms because I said, "artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data."
    
     Justin: [laughs] Yeah. Okay, so thinking about this question, I think there's two things. One, how do you decide which company, which team to join and then maybe we could also talk about at the end, for people looking to break in to Product Management or some sort of product role, how do they do that? How do they get there?
    
     Kyle: Right.
    
     Justin: So for you joining Granify, what was it that made you want to join that team?
    
     Kyle: First of all, I wasn't actually seeking a job. Once I started diving into freelance—the whole reason I dove into freelance was to kind of bootstrap a product I had building on the side called FotoJournal.
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: That was kind of my plan. I was going to freelance enough to pay the bills while I continued to build and grow FotoJournal.
    
     Justin: Yeah.
    
     Kyle: But it gets to the point, what I was getting to earlier, you kind of realize the limitations of one person. Like, I could grow FotoJournal to a point but then after that, there's only so big I can make it as one person. And it's also working from home by yourself, it's got its perks, but it's also not as, maybe, inspiring in the same way that working with a team does. So one of my freelance clients—Granify was one of my freelance clients and the CEO, who has had some previous success with building and selling companies, he's got a lot of vision and so basically, it was the CEO's amount of passion and vision that really got me on board to come on and do bigger things than I could have on my own. So it was a—it's kind of a new area, I guess, for me. Like, e-commerce isn't something I've really worked in before, but he's like, "Oh, no, don't worry about it. You'll figure it all out. What I want you to do is—" it was more like—it's a Product Manager type of role so I mean, in some ways, it doesn't really matter specifically what product it is. He's just like—he was more interested in my past history of helping products get out the door and look good.
    
     Justin: Mm hmm.
    
     Kyle: So basically, yeah, his vision and passion were contagious and I was just—it was again, getting back to the chemistry thing. He and I got along really well, we've gone for beer and coffee a bunch and it always turns into four-hour sessions, so just like really easy to talk to, we get along great, we've got that complimentary skill set we talked about earlier.
    
     Justin: Yeah.
    
     Kyle: It just was like a great fit.
    
     Justin: You know I think for me, that's key. You can check out a company and kind of get a sense of who they are but I think if you're looking to join a company, it's hanging out with the leader of that company, or if there's leaders, but hanging out with them and seeing, what do they value? What's their vision for this company? And just seeing if it gets you excited, and if it does, to me, that's what I would pursue. If I hang out with a leader that excites me, then that's who I'm going to want to follow. It was the same thing for me at Industry Mailout. The reason I wanted to join that team was because the leadership there were—they had values that I shared and they had a vision for a product that I could really buy into. So I think that would be definitely one thing is if you're thinking about joining a team is to finding a team that—where the vision excites you and you agree with the core values.
    
     Kyle: Definitely, and I would say that probably—well, for me anyway, that's even more important than the specific industry that the company might be in. Like I said, e-commerce, I don't really have any experience in e-commerce but the fact that I was so excited by hearing Jeff talk about the direction of the company, I thought to myself, we're going to build something awesome. No matter what we attempted to build, it was going to be awesome just because of the level of enthusiasm that everyone has. And it was the same as like, at a previous company I worked for, Yardstick Software, that does—they do online exam software which, you know, when you hear it, you don't immediately think, "Wow, that sounds so sexy and fun to work on."
    
     Justin: Yeah. Yeah.
    
     Kyle: People who just love making stuff, they love working with customers, they love launching, they love watching revenue grow, they love hiring good people, they love building a team and culture. That's kind of more important than the particular type of widget you're trying to manufacture, I think. To me, anyway.
    
     Justin: Completely. I think if the vision is there, and there's some core values that you agree with, I think you could be doing anything. You know, Zappos sells shoes, 37signals makes project management software, Amy Hoy has built time tracking software. None of those are really exciting in and of themselves but I think each of those companies is exciting and has a really interesting culture and really interesting vision and have built incredible products. So yeah, to me, I don't think that the actual thing that you're producing is as important, although it's really fun when that happens too, when the product that you're building is also something you're really excited about, but it's not necessary.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, definitely. If you can have both, it's like a home run type situation but it's also, if you have that team, it's easy to suddenly start thinking, maybe it's like that whole Stockholm Syndrome thing but like, [inaudible] worked at Yardstick making exam software, at first it didn't really matter to me what we were building because I was just having fun building stuff with the team. But as we went further along, I started to really care about online exams and really want to make that an awesome experience, like the best possible online exam product we could make. And it's the same thing with Granify. The more I work with this awesome team to build e-commerce software, the more excited I get about the space we're in as well. So it kind of has a ripple effect on your interests, I suppose.
    
     Justin: Yeah, I think that's the culture speaking, when you get excited about the product even though you weren't originally excited. I think that's a result of culture and when I went and visited the Zappos headquarters, you walk in those buildings and you feel like a million bucks. People treat each other so well there and really, their product is customer service. It's essentially a call center and you think about these people getting excited about working in a call center. It's unreal. But they were so excited to be at work and it was seriously one of the most positive places I've ever been.
    
     Kyle: A lot of people, probably, who are listening to this are kind of builders at heart where they love to build things they care about and that's—it can be hard to maybe fathom how people can get excited about things that maybe don't seem that exciting but when you get in a room with people who are excited about it and you see the potential of—you can see the end of goal of where you're going then, even though you're a developer, you don't mind answering the phone to talk to customers to fix bugs because you're not just there to sit down and crank through code for ten hours a day. You're there to help achieve something bigger and that's where people—it just results in so many things where people are doing more than what they were—maybe their job description says but they're doing it because they want to. And those are the kinds of companies that, if you're interested in building good products, those are the places you want to work where everyone is excited to build the best possible thing, regardless of what their job description says.
    
     Justin: If I was going to give some advice on getting into Product Management or a Product Lead role, it would be to find a great company and then try to just start at the bottom and work your way up.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, totally. I totally agree. That's kind of what we talked about at the start, which is don't be afraid to approach these people that you really look up to but maybe have never met before. So if there's a company in town that you really admire their work and their company, or you know somebody who works there and just loves it, send the CEO or somebody and email and just ask if you can take them to lunch or to coffee or for beer or something like that and you'll probably find that more often than not, they'll be really excited to talk to somebody who's looking to break into that field. Because all of those people love—like we all love talking about business and products and software and customers and that sort of thing, so there's a good chance they'll want to talk to you.
    
     Justin: I seriously, I probably contact, I don't know, probably three people a week asking if I can meet up with them and I might get one out of the three.
    
     Kyle: Yeah.
    
     Justin: But it's the act of doing that that produces the results of actually meeting up with someone.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, exactly. You might only get one lunch out of three emails but you'll get zero lunches out of zero emails so [laughs] why not send something?
    
     Justin: Yeah. Do you have anything else you want to say that's on the top of your mind right now?
    
     Kyle: Well, one other thing, quickly, that I was just thinking of mentioning is if you're looking to break into this kind of a field, I sort of talked about how you want to work at a people maybe step outside of what their job description is and are willing to fill in the gaps wherever necessary, whether that's answering the phone or doing customer support or helping with some design or writing code. I think those are the kinds of peoples who, if you have a breadth of skill, I think those are the kinds of people who go on to be probably excellent Product Managers, when you've got the background in a bit of everything.
    
     Justin: Yeah.
    
     Kyle: So it's—I think one piece of advice would be to dip your toes into all those different waters, learn a little bit of code. You've dabbled in code a bit, you've done some UX stuff, you've done some marketing in business and all of that sort of thing and you don't really have to try to be the best in each one of those niches but if you've got a breadth of understanding, it just helps you talk between all those teams so much better. Because that's really what a Product Manager is, right? You're kind of like the hub between all these different production teams. So the more you know about what they're actually doing, the more effective you can be as a Product Manager.
    
     Justin: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And for me right now, my weakest point is definitely coding and so I've been actively working on that. I've done some coding workshops, I'm doing some online education, I'll probably take a few courses, and the point isn't for me to become an expert developer, but the point is I want to be able to communicate with developers. I want to also understand at least the technology that we're using or that we could use and I might not need to know how I could build it from the ground up but it's good to know what pieces are available and how we might use them.
    
     Kyle: Exactly. I've got a good friend who's starting a new healthcare stsrt-up and he's hired a team of Django developers. Django is kind of like a Python version of Ruby-on-Rails, a web framework type thing, and he's hired a Django team from the States to build a lot of the prototypes and it's kind of turning out that the prototypes are becoming the actual product. He's got no—absolutely zero background in development or anything like that but he's—during the day he's hustling, helping getting this product built and in the evenings, he's hired another one of my friends in town who knows Django really well to tutor him and teach him coding in Django so that—like he has no intention to dive in and start contributing code but he's just really motivated that the more he knows about what his developers are doing, what sorts of challenges they'll hit, when they run in to a problem, he can understand what they're saying and possibly talk to other developers to try and find a resolution. It's a good thing to want to be well-rounded, so you don't have to be, like you said, your intention isn't to become an expert developer but the more you know, the better prepared you are to be that hub between all the teams.
    
     Justin: Yeah, that's really good advice, actually. If you're looking to break into Product Management or being on a product team, then I think you definitely want to stick your nose in a bunch of different places. That's how Ryan Singer from 37signals, he explained he got his Product Manager job because he kept sticking his nose in design and development and business and customers and eventually the said, "Well, you're sticking your nose in all of these things. You might as well manage the product," and I think if you're going to be involved in managing a product, you need to stick your nose in a lot of different places.
    
     Kyle: Definitely, so that's a good example of somebody who's at a company and succeeded doing that. And then you have Amy Hoy, who we talked about earlier who—she's more of the entrepreneurial side where she's sort of built her own products but it's the exact same thing. She's got a background in design and code and marketing and she's kind of—she's a pretty vocal person so she's kind of got a following in all of those different audiences but again, same thing. Well-rounded, she's got a good background in all those different things and as a result, she can—she might not be the one writing all the code or doing all the design or marketing, but because she's got a breadth of experience, she knows what needs to get done and she can assess, if she's delegating it out, she can assess who is capable of doing a good job, she can say whether their work is good or whether it's not good.
    

    So yeah, I think that's kind of an interesting contrast between Amy Hoy who's kind of a bootstrapped entrepreneur versus Ryan Singer who's fallen into—or I shouldn't say fallen into but grown into a Product Manager role with an existing company. In both cases, it's that breadth of skills that got them there.

     Justin: That's right. And so, like I said, if you want to break into product, like Product Management, start with a great company and just do whatever it takes. So start in Customer Support or start in Design or start in Marketing. It doesn't really matter. You just start somewhere and keep thinking and asking questions and learning and eventually, you can grow into a position where you might be managing a product.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, exactly.
    
     Justin: Yeah, that's great advice. Cool, well that was a good talk.
    
     Kyle: Agreed.
    
     Justin: I think maybe we'll just close off by just describing to people what stage we're at. This is our second phone call and we've come up with this idea of building a minimal viable podcast. And so we're following this lean, agile methodology to building this and what we want to do is talk to as many product people as we can, really listen to some of the challenges they're facing both people trying to build their own products and people working for companies, and we want to cater our content around that. So each podcast we put out, we want to hear the feedback and then we want to refine the product. And so the next time we do a podcast, we want to take all that feedback into consideration. So if people are interested in giving us some feedback, you can follow us on Twitter, @productpeopletv or you can go to our website, productpeople.tv and there's—you can comment on each phone call or episode that we put out and you can also @ reply us on Twitter.
    
     Kyle: Yeah, and I think it's good to mention that we're pretty wide open at this point and open to suggestions, so if there's specific topics you'd like to hear us cover or if there's people that you think would be interesting for us to interview, or if maybe you think you yourself have an interesting story, all of those are good reasons to get in touch with us and tell you what you think would make for an interesting show.
    
     Justin: Yeah, and we are really open to harsh criticism so if you've got some criticism too, just send it over, whether you don't like the sound of my voice or it doesn't really matter what it is. We'd love to hear what you're thinking because we will take that feedback and we'll put it into our Project Management software and we'll actually try to refine what we're doing the next time we record. Well, it's been a good call, Kyle. I'm going to see you in a couple days in Edmonton and everyone else, yeah, check us out, productpeople.tv. Thanks for listening.
    
     Kyle: Thanks.
    
     [THEME MUSIC]
    
     Justin: You need to stick your nose in a lot of different places.
    

Join our newsletter

Got it. You're on the list!