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Path into Product

Path into Product

By Aaron and Ash

What is product management? How do you become a product manager? The Path into Product podcast is for college students or professionals considering a career as a product manager but don't know where to start.

We interview actual professionals from a variety of backgrounds about their path into product. Where did they start? How did they land their first product role? Why (or why not) choose product management as a career? You'll hear answers to these questions and more.

And you'll see that anyone from any background can develop the mindset and skillset needed to be a product manager.
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Currently playing episode

024: A "Recovering Developer"

Path into ProductJan 04, 2022

024: A "Recovering Developer"

024: A "Recovering Developer"

Dan Barker, a self-described "recovering developer" found his way into product after various software developer and consulting roles. As a deep reader and experienced professional, Dan is very knowledgable about the craft of product management. He provides several recommendations for aspiring PMs—including several books to read.

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Jan 04, 202236:40
023: Childhood Memories and Passions

023: Childhood Memories and Passions

Chris Campos gained a love for business and customer relationships while working in the family business. He fell in love with products while working in an Apple Store. Now he’s a director of product at Ramsey Solutions. Hear his story, insights in how to become a product manager, and his recommended books for aspiring product managers.

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Dec 28, 202139:56
022: Be a Sponge
Dec 21, 202145:42
021: Confidence and Crippling Self Doubt

021: Confidence and Crippling Self Doubt

In episode 21, Sarah Dethloff shares her unconventional path into product. With a background in journalism, Sarah decides to follow somewhat of a family path into teaching. After spending two years with Teach for America, she winds her way from "product lite" into her first "real product" role. Sarah's story is a perfect blend of accidentally falling into product management, finding a job based on family needs, luck, and talent. Her story will resonate with so many of you. Sarah is now Head of Product Strategy at Campfire

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Dec 14, 202138:52
020: The Adventure of Product
Dec 06, 202139:38
019: Collaboration, Curiosity, Customer

019: Collaboration, Curiosity, Customer

Reza Shirazi found himself in project managment roles, but always felt like something missing. Years later, while discussing his skillset with a new manager, the manager said, “Oh I get it, you’re a product guy.”

Reza, originally from Pakistan and India, felt like he had found a home in product management. He takes a principles-first approach to product, and is thrilled by the endless learning, curiosity, collobaration with other experts, and impact that a product management can bring.

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Nov 29, 202133:09
018: Providing Value
Nov 22, 202139:38
017: Network with Intention
Nov 15, 202144:18
016: Hard Work and Luck

016: Hard Work and Luck

We often hear that people's path into product management is one part effort ten parts luck. Trevor Bruner shows us that it can be equal parts hard work and equal parts luck. Trevor has the most diverse work background of any of our previous guests. From an oil rig supervisor to a salesman, he has a great story that shows what doors determination can open for someone looking to get into product management.

Have a product question or feedback for the show? Let us know here:

Nov 09, 202140:01
015: Obsessed with Finding Truth

015: Obsessed with Finding Truth

Daniel Falabella, Senior Director of Product at Duolingo, was on a path to be a business consultant, until he realized, as he says, consulting was a "scam." That insight led him to try his hand in a start up, eventually transitioning into product management.

You'll find Daniel's contrarian and bombastic insights to be pragmatic and down to earth. He'll give you recommendations of books not to read and companies not to work for, and provide some really practical advice for being one of the top 10% of product managers.

Have a product question or feedback for the show? Let us know here:

Nov 02, 202138:49
014: “You haven't talked to me yet”

014: “You haven't talked to me yet”

Alicia French has a get-it-done approach to life and solving problems. After taking a difficult customer call while working in client success, Alicia has 24 hours to solve her customer's problem. This leads her to talk to all the people she can and presses forward, seeking an answer. Her tenacious journey ultimately led her to product managing the experience this customer was facing.

Have a product question or feedback for the show? Let us know by clicking here
Oct 28, 202132:35
013: Maker to Product Leader - Lance Willett on How to Become a Product Manager
Oct 18, 202152:27
012: Passion + Skillset
Oct 08, 202135:24
011: Lean In
Sep 30, 202147:59
010: "I Hate Sales. It's Not Me."
Sep 28, 202133:22
009: How Failure is Better than an MBA for Product Managers
Sep 20, 202134:25
008: "Unemployable"
Sep 14, 202153:16
007: Sprinkler Parts to Software Products: Tips from a PM with only 3 Months Experience
Aug 26, 202126:12
006: If You’re a Politician or Masochist, Product Management Might be for You
Aug 10, 202141:12
005: How to Land your First Product Role: Advice from a Senior Director of Product after 23 Years
Aug 03, 202142:59
004: Okay Becca, now you're a Product Manager!
Jul 23, 202134:46
003: From Project to Product
Jul 22, 202130:56
002: Not a Developer. Not a UX Designer. Maybe Product Manager?
Jul 03, 202136:17
001: PhD to Product VP: Dave Rackham

001: PhD to Product VP: Dave Rackham

Dave Rackham pursued a career in academia, until he couldn't shake a deep realization from his mind: complex, multi-faceted problems require multi-disciplinary solutions. Listen to Dave's Path into Product, from PhD to product manager, to now VP of Product at a growth-stage start up.

Have a product question or feedback for the show? Let us know here:

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Mar 26, 202132:44