“Find Your Focus”<br />My Path, and Lessons Learned<br />ManeeshArora<br />May 2, 2011<br />Stanford<br />
About me<br />Product Management - Google, Zynga<br />500Startups Mentor and LP <br />Angel Investor (7 companies)<br />Wo...
My First Job (after College)<br />
Consulting/Enterprise<br />(1997-2003)<br />“real world”<br />Internet - Consumer<br />(2003-2010)<br />“new world”<br />S...
“Planning is guessing” - 37 signals dudes)<br />What happened<br />Left high paying job at big paying organization<br />Op...
Google – great, career-changing<br />Great products; treat user with respect<br />Engineering driven, results-based<br />E...
Product Manager at Google<br />“Quarterback” of the product<br />Coordinate with everyone: Engineering, Customer Service, ...
Google -> Zynga<br />Why I went there (in retrospect)<br />Publicity / Hype<br />Money<br />Change (force myself)<br />Big...
My Lessons Learned<br />Take more risks earlier<br />Learn how things really work vs what `they’ tell you or what’s in the...
Familiar?<br />Followed the rules<br />Listened to parents/family<br />Studied hard<br />Did things “the right way”<br />G...
Knowing Yourself<br />Natural tendencies<br />Leader or Follower?<br />Creator, Seller, or Operator<br />Creator: “There’s...
It Ain’t About You!<br />It’s About:<br />Making a difference (“adding value”)<br />Helping someone or something<br />Usin...
Resumes<br />Mostly Keyword Searches.<br />Most readers will do a very quick browse and only 1-2 things will catch their e...
About.Me<br />http://about.me/alexis<br />
Separation<br />Lots of smart people (look around you)<br />What separates them?<br />Communication / Connection<br />(Hus...
“Standing out”<br />Show actual work (Demo links, github repos, videos, blogs) versus a “fluffy” PDF/Word resume<br />Lear...
Corporate vs. Startup<br />Cog in a machinevs building a machine<br />Predictabilityvs Chaos & Uncertanity<br />Process ov...
Overrated / Underrated<br />Overrated: <br /> <br />Titles<br />Fancy resumes and cover letters (BS words/phrases)<br />Co...
Leaving Your Mark<br />Did I Make a Difference?<br />What did I contribute?<br />Did it matter?<br />What’s my “legacy”?<b...
Looking ahead…<br />
Solve someone’s problem<br />(don’t invent new ones!)<br />
Save time….for the world….<br />Online Banking + ATMs<br /><ul><li> Saves Trees
 Saves Gas
 Saves Money</li></ul>    Postage, Late Fees<br />30 minutes / week<br />52 weeks / year<br />200 million people<br />3,50...
Where’s things are heading…<br />
Mobile<br />It can see – it has eyes<br />It can hear – it has ears<br />It can talk – it has voice<br />It knows where yo...
Location-Based Services<br />With GPS in most smart phones – it knows where you are<br /><ul><li> Businesses can send you ...
Alerts
“Let me know if my friend is nearby…”</li></li></ul><li>Person-to-person lending: Prosper.com<br />10.81% Return (2009)<br />
Group Buying: Groupon<br />
30<br />Your Health Records in One Place<br />
Imagine if…<br />
Imagine If…<br />A pipe bursts in your house while you’re on vacation…and before much damage is done, you get a text messa...
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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

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

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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Manesh Arora I Why I Left Google I InternMatch FYF

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