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"Ask Me Anything" with Facebook's Product Manager & Product School Instructor

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"Ask Me Anything" with Product School's Lead
Instructor & Facebook’s Product Manager

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Jake Strich
Campus Director @
Product School
jake@productschool.com

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Tweet at us!
@productschool
Send us your best pictures of tonight’s event!

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"Ask Me Anything" with Facebook's Product Manager & Product School Instructor

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This was an exclusive Q&A session to give you a chance to ask every question you’ve ever had, with Inbal Reichman Cohen, Facebook's Product Manager.

She answers questions from "How did you become a Product Manager?" to Facebook vs. Amazon - How do they compare?" This is for the curious minds who want to break into product and hear from someone who already has.

This was an exclusive Q&A session to give you a chance to ask every question you’ve ever had, with Inbal Reichman Cohen, Facebook's Product Manager.

She answers questions from "How did you become a Product Manager?" to Facebook vs. Amazon - How do they compare?" This is for the curious minds who want to break into product and hear from someone who already has.

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"Ask Me Anything" with Facebook's Product Manager & Product School Instructor

  1. 1. "Ask Me Anything" with Product School's Lead Instructor & Facebook’s Product Manager
  2. 2. Jake Strich Campus Director @ Product School jake@productschool.com
  3. 3. Tweet at us! @productschool Send us your best pictures of tonight’s event!
  4. 4. ` Who’s all here?? ● Product Managers ● Software Engineer ● Hardware ● Business ● Design ● Misc.
  5. 5. ` Who’s all here?? ● Startup: 1-50 people ● Small: 50-300 ● Medium: 300-500 ● Large: 500-1,000 ● Enterprise - 1,000+
  6. 6. Upcoming Courses in Silicon Valley Tuesdays and Thursdays April *SOLD OUT* Saturdays March 4 - April 22 *SOLD OUT*
  7. 7. Meet Tonight’s Speaker Inbal Cohen Product Manager @ Facebook Previously PM @ Amazon Israeli Army veteran University of Virginia MBA
  8. 8. Q & A
  9. 9. What is Inbal’s definition of Product Management? - Liaison between Business & Engineer - CEO or Owner of Product - Gathering requirements from customers, business side - Product Strategy - what should be developed, execution of strategy - Prioritization - ‘Influence without authority’
  10. 10. What makes a Good vs. Great PM? - Best Product Managers: ambiguous problems into tangible plans
  11. 11. How did you become a product manager? - Inbal’s story - Israeli Army, worked as software engineer - Managed team of product managers - Inbal: Diverse backgrounds, multiple paths to PM - Taking on more responsibilities, getting recognized for their work by managers - Inbal: Think broadly about what you’re doing - Ask your PM for projects
  12. 12. What are the differences between Project and Product Mgmt? - Project Manager - the ‘How’, coordination, execution, shipping deliverables, technicalities of getting work done - Product Manager - the ‘What’, responsible for results, providing direction for team, shipping products
  13. 13. How does Marketing work with Product Management? - Role of PM is to utilize knowledge on team to build right product - Marketing team: opportunity to grab market share - PM: this is where we’re best position based on talent, technology, etc. - The one making the decision on where to go with product
  14. 14. What did you have to unlearn to become a Product Manager? - Doing all of it on your own - Learn to delegate - Don’t micromanage
  15. 15. Facebook vs. Amazon, how do they compare? - Amazon: hires business people for PM roles - Bay Area market prefers technical backgrounds for PM, varies by role and company - Facebook: prefer technical background for PM roles - Caveat of people with varied backgrounds - Daily work: Product team is on same side - KPI’s defined by success of team
  16. 16. What happens when product or feature fails? - Assessment of PM - PM’s get credit for product success, take responsibility for product failure - Amazon: new product, 9 months later shuts down - VP got fired - Too long before showing results - Team realigned within org, moved onto next project - Viability: is this product going to work?
  17. 17. How do you know when you’re on the cusp of critical mass? - ‘That’s why PM’s make the big bucks!’ - MVP: finding market fit quickly - Fail quickly: asking really hard questions..if this works then what? - ‘Where do we go from here?’ - Leverage your team to maximize results of product
  18. 18. For PM: how do you persuade your bosses? - Company vision and goals - Org - ‘How does this product get us there?’ - Audience - Type - Logical, Data, Emotions, Intuition
  19. 19. How do you manage working on a product that you know is going to fail? - @ Amazon, Inbal worked with Principal PM, wanting to work with him on Strategy - Show your way of thinking before, during, and after the project
  20. 20. How to transition from QA to Product? - Facebook: all about initiative - Engineer take part in product discussions - Research session with customers
  21. 21. What are tools you use for data and metrics? - Facebook uses internal tools - Ask the right questions, and how to answer them - Tools are similar across every company
  22. 22. What’s the Facebook PM hiring process? - Three tracks: - RPM - General Product Manager - Two phone interviews - Product sense: Design, Decisions, Prioritization - Execution: Metrics, Questions to ask (Data), Goalsetting - Three onsite interviews - Product Sense - Execution - Leadership and drive: hardships, motivation, behavioral - Specific-role PM - Interview with team, e.g. Facebook’s Games
  23. 23. How do you choose between different priorities? - Depends - Tradeoffs: e.g. investing time and technical debt into one feature vs. another… is it worth it? - No right answer - ‘There’s no way Marketing will let this ship’
  24. 24. What does your typical day look like? - Varies by team - PM’s can work on customer-facing or internal products - Can work on their own or with a huge team - Checking dashboards
  25. 25. How does idea start? - Top-down: strategic initiatives - E.g. Presenting to Mark - Autonomy: self-started by PM - Amazon vs. Facebook = similar in how to build/recruit team - More often teams are already established
  26. 26. Do you have any examples of roadmaps? - Facebook: 6 month roadmaps - No organized template - Press release
  27. 27. How much data are you leveraging at Facebook? A LOT!!!!!!!!!! @Facebook: - Upside: easy to track, find metrics - Downside: paralysis by analysis, ‘data will tell us what to do’, forgetting about intuition Interpreting data is just as important as the data sets themselves
  28. 28. You’ve done everything you can to be a PM, what makes the cut? - Do people around you trust you? Is someone rooting for you? - Internal transfer @ Facebook goes through same process as external, except they are much more familiarized with product, team, etc - Interviews are objective as possible - knowledge, ways of thinking
  29. 29. Do you need a diverse (international) team to build good products? - @Facebook: diverse mindsets - Gender, country, background, etc
  30. 30. How to collaborate with other PM’s on different product lines? - Relationship building - Understanding each team’s needs - What’s more important for Org? - @Facebook: bootcamp, meeting PM’s in free time before she needed anything
  31. 31. What are internal products at Facebook? - Data - Project - Test - HR - Jobs - Infrastructure/Technical, e.g. FB Ads
  32. 32. Upcoming Workshops March 1: Growth, explained by Zynga’s Director of Product

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