Manesh Arora I Why I Left Google I InternMatch FYF

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Manees Arora presents as Part of our FYF series: http://bit.ly/kxqzZl …

Manees Arora presents as Part of our FYF series: http://bit.ly/kxqzZl

Maneesh shares career advice and why he left Google then Zynga to start his own company, and explore new opportunities.

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Transcript

  • 1. “Find Your Focus”
    My Path, and Lessons Learned
    ManeeshArora
    May 2, 2011
    Stanford
  • 2. About me
    Product Management - Google, Zynga
    500Startups Mentor and LP
    Angel Investor (7 companies)
    Working on 2-3 projects
  • 3. My First Job (after College)
  • 4. Consulting/Enterprise
    (1997-2003)
    “real world”
    Internet - Consumer
    (2003-2010)
    “new world”
    Startups – Investing Building
    Mentoring
    (2010 - ?)
  • 5. “Planning is guessing” - 37 signals dudes)
    What happened
    Left high paying job at big paying organization
    Optimize for being around smart people
    Never pursued graduate degrees
    My “plan”
    Get a high paying job at a big name organization
    Optimized mainly for $ and title
    At some point get an MBA or MS in Computer Science
    Repeat….
  • 6.
  • 7. Google – great, career-changing
    Great products; treat user with respect
    Engineering driven, results-based
    Everyone smarter than me (it seemed)
    Opportunities to learn everywhere
    Open, transparent culture – employee trust
    Clear, compelling mission: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
    Founders’ “religion” permeated the organization
    Very strong alumni network (better than MBA?)
    (perks)
  • 8. Product Manager at Google
    “Quarterback” of the product
    Coordinate with everyone: Engineering, Customer Service, UI/UX, Legal, Marketing, Biz Dev, PR
    Everything “miscellaneous” is your responsibility
    Who’s the customer, what do they really want/need?
    Give them something they “didn’t know they wanted”
    Day to Day: Features, Metrics, Product Strategy
    Attributes
    Technical Bias
    Understand “80% of everything”
    Thick Skin
    Grades matter (should they?)
    Lessons Learned:
    Don’t build for each other (Like Minded folks)
    Google’s brand and distribution advantage
    Less is more
  • 9. Google -> Zynga
    Why I went there (in retrospect)
    Publicity / Hype
    Money
    Change (force myself)
    Big Lesson Learned: Don’t follow the money/hype Believe in the product, company, and people!
  • 10. My Lessons Learned
    Take more risks earlier
    Learn how things really work vs what `they’ tell you or what’s in the handbook or training manual
    Switched from enterprise to consumer earlier
    Surround yourself with smarter people than you
    I’m a better creator, leader, and builder than I am a follower and operator
    Perks are nice, but…
    $5k or $10k might seem like a lot…but…
    “Optimize for happiness” earlier
  • 11. Familiar?
    Followed the rules
    Listened to parents/family
    Studied hard
    Did things “the right way”
    Got “great” internship / job
    Years later…Satisfied? Happy?
  • 12. Knowing Yourself
    Natural tendencies
    Leader or Follower?
    Creator, Seller, or Operator
    Creator: “There’s a better way to do this”
    Seller: “We should eat at this restaurant”
    Operator: “Gimee all that stuff, I’ll organize it and make it run smoothly”
    Prefer structure/rules? Or prefer some chaos?
  • 13. It Ain’t About You!
    It’s About:
    Making a difference (“adding value”)
    Helping someone or something
    Using your talents
    Do stuff that solves a problem or helps others, that people will pay for!
  • 14. Resumes
    Mostly Keyword Searches.
    Most readers will do a very quick browse and only 1-2 things will catch their eye.
    What stands out: Results with measurable impact and real #’s.
    Don’t kill yourself debating length/format/fonts
    Trend: Resumes are becoming obsolete – LinkedIn and online aggreators like About.Me will win over time
  • 15. About.Me
    http://about.me/alexis
  • 16. Separation
    Lots of smart people (look around you)
    What separates them?
    Communication / Connection
    (Hustle + Persistance) > Talent ?
    Explain/convince/show their value
    GETS THINGS DONE (Joel on Software)
  • 17. “Standing out”
    Show actual work (Demo links, github repos, videos, blogs) versus a “fluffy” PDF/Word resume
    Learn about the person and company – recent news is best. Show that you know what’s up. (Tweets, Google News Alerts, etc)
    Startups – many jobs aren’t posted; almost always in hiring mode
    Know your 1-2 liner “value pitch”, vs. “I think I can be a great asset to the company”
  • 18. Corporate vs. Startup
    Cog in a machinevs building a machine
    Predictabilityvs Chaos & Uncertanity
    Process over Results
    Politicsvs meetings over beers
    Follow in line vs “Figure shit out”
    Headaches taken care of
    “Corporate Culture” matters. BIG TIME.
    Great Netflix deck
    Appearances vs. Reality
    Effortvs. Effectiveness
    Easy answer to Social Pressure
  • 19. Overrated / Underrated
    Overrated:
     
    Titles
    Fancy resumes and cover letters (BS words/phrases)
    Commodity Online Connections (e.g. LinkedIn (commodity) )
    Following a status-quo process
      
    Underrated:
    What you actually did and learned
    Working with strong team, esp your boss
    Authentic Connections and Network you build over time
    Ability to sell & explain your value
  • 20. Leaving Your Mark
    Did I Make a Difference?
    What did I contribute?
    Did it matter?
    What’s my “legacy”?
    “Giving Back” – why I’m mentoring startups
  • 21. Looking ahead…
  • 22. Solve someone’s problem
    (don’t invent new ones!)
  • 23.
  • 24. Save time….for the world….
    Online Banking + ATMs
    Postage, Late Fees
    30 minutes / week
    52 weeks / year
    200 million people
    3,500,000,000 hours saved per year
  • 27. Where’s things are heading…
  • 28. Mobile
    It can see – it has eyes
    It can hear – it has ears
    It can talk – it has voice
    It knows where you are - GPS
    It’s your music collection
    It can do email and internet
    It’s everywhere
    6.8 Billion people in the world; 5 Billion cellphones
    Only 4 million Kenyans have electricity; 16 million have cellphones
  • 29. Location-Based Services
    With GPS in most smart phones – it knows where you are
    • Businesses can send you real-time offers
    • 30. Alerts
    • 31. “Let me know if my friend is nearby…”
  • Person-to-person lending: Prosper.com
    10.81% Return (2009)
  • 32. Group Buying: Groupon
  • 33. 30
    Your Health Records in One Place
  • 34. Imagine if…
  • 35. Imagine If…
    A pipe bursts in your house while you’re on vacation…and before much damage is done, you get a text message
  • 36. Imagine If…
    You got a phone call telling you that your garage door was left open?
  • 37. Imagine If…
    The only possession you ever needed to take with you was your mobile phone?
    • You could open your car and house, or any personal possession with it.
    • 38. You could buy everything with it.
  • Thank you… Q & A