Seth Godin talks a lot about becoming a indispensable in his book: Linchpin. A linchpin is a team member who is hard to replace and is the driving force of your product. The product manager role is most entrepreneurial role in a technology company and needs to be a linchpin. Ben Horowitz and Ken Norton have written the specifics on hiring good product managers but what are the questions that help you filter the right candidates?
Following questions are a great guide for aspiring product managers to ask themselves looking to find their next role as well as hiring managers to use as a filter:
Can you show me a history of generous, talented, extraordinary side projects?
Have you ever been so passionate about your work that you’ve gone in through the side door?
Are you an expert at something that actually generates value?
Have you connected with leaders in the field in moments when you weren’t actually looking for a job?
Does your reputation speak for itself?
Where online can I see the trail of magic you regularly create?
This past weekend I took part in a hackathon by BMW here in San Francisco. The goal of the hackathon was to come up with a consumer app that best utilizes the BMW i3 Car Data & various partner technologies. Our team came up with an app that uses data from your phone’s sensors and your car to give you a score based on your driving performance and incentivizes users on good driving using real life awards such as insurance discounts. Overall, it was an it was amazing experience and our team walked away with $10,000 for the best use of ZenDrive Technologies.
This past Thursday, I got the opportunity to meet with Mark Zuckerberg and ask him some questions about his personal life at a Q&A at Facebook HQ. Here’s the video from the Q&A. You can see me ask Mark about his daily habits as well as the advice he would give his younger self at 33:30 Min in the video here.
This past June I had the opportunity to attend Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference. This year, Apple did something different. They decided to pick the attendees for this year’s conference through a lottery system. I was lucky enough to get picked.
It was my first WWDC and I had no idea what to expect. For me, the highlight of the event was meeting my heroes. I was able interact with people whose work I admired from afar. People like Jonny Ive, Marissa Mayer, Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller.
For me, it was quite surreal to meet these folks but after having a conversation with them you realize they are just as human as you.
I recently found a lost video of an event that I hosted at my company’s office back from June 2010. When I founded Chillik Media back in June 2010 out of a business plan competition at my University, I was introduced to Sunjay Nath. Since then, I have built a mentorship relationship with him.
Here’s the presentation he did on “Perception and Success” at Chillik Media offices: