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Facebook's Product Manager Talks: How to Become a Great PM

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During this workshop George Zend, Product Manager at Facebook, answered all key questions about Product Management such as what it means to be an outstanding Product Manager, what a day in the life of a PM actually looks like and how to achieve & maintain a successful PM career.

He also talked about the tricks of the trade and nailing it like a PM and how to burst the myths of common misunderstandings and misconceptions.

Publié dans : Business
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Facebook's Product Manager Talks: How to Become a Great PM

  1. 1. Facebook’s Product Manager Talks: How to Become a Great PM www.productschool.com
  2. 2. FREE INVITE Join 10,000+ Product Managers on productschool.com/slack-community
  3. 3. Product Management Courses
  4. 4. Coding for Managers Courses
  5. 5. Data Analytics for Managers Courses
  6. 6. Include @productschool and #prodmgmt at the end of your tweet Tweet to get a free ticket for our next Event!
  7. 7. George Xiang Zeng Tonight’s Speaker
  8. 8. How to be an unusually good product manager George X. Zeng Product Manager, Facebook
  9. 9. HOW MANY OF YOU SELF IDENTIFY AS A HACKER?
  10. 10. HACK “UNUSUALLY GOOD” PERFORMANCE
  11. 11. Agenda 1. WHAT DOES “UNUSUALLY GOOD” MEAN? 2. WHAT IS AN “UNUSUALLY GOOD” PM? 3. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “EXECUTE”: 10X SPEED 4. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “EXECUTE”: BIOHACKING 5. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: BECOMING A LEARNING MACHINE FRAMEWORK 6. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: INSURMOUNTABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  12. 12. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN UNUSUAL RESULTS, DO EITHER UNUSUAL THINGS OR USUAL THINGS IN AN UNUSUAL WAY
  13. 13. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN UNUSUAL RESULTS, DO EITHER UNUSUAL THINGS OR USUAL THINGS IN AN UNUSUAL WAY
  14. 14. Doing unusual things Doing in an unusual way Unusual thing, usual way Unusual thing, unusual way Usual thing, unusual way Usual thing, usual way
  15. 15. Doing unusual things Doing in an unusual way Unusual thing, usual way Unusual thing, unusual way Usual thing, unusual way Usual thing, usual way Many people live their entire lives in the lower left quadrant. Whenever you find yourself stuck there for too long, be aware that can lead to stagnation
  16. 16. Usual thing in the usual way
  17. 17. Usual thing in an unusual way
  18. 18. Unusual thing in an usual way
  19. 19. Unusual thing in an unusual way
  20. 20. Agenda 1. WHAT DOES “UNUSUALLY GOOD” MEAN? 2. WHAT IS AN “UNUSUALLY GOOD” PM? 3. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “EXECUTE”: 10X SPEED 4. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “EXECUTE”: BIOHACKING 5. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: BECOMING A LEARNING MACHINE FRAMEWORK 6. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: INSURMOUNTABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  21. 21. MISSION: SURVIVE
  22. 22. MISSION: SURVIVE GOAL: CATCH FISH
  23. 23. MISSION: SURVIVE GOAL: CATCH FISH PLAN: BRING FISHING POLE TO POND
  24. 24. BAD EXECUTE
  25. 25. BAD IDENTIFY
  26. 26. BAD UNDERSTAND
  27. 27. MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN THIS PRESENTATION ARE THE CONCEPTS/FRAMEWORKS. FOLLOWING ARE MY EXAMPLES –FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
  28. 28. Agenda 1. WHAT DOES “UNUSUALLY GOOD” MEAN? 2. WHAT IS AN “UNUSUALLY GOOD” PM? 3. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “EXECUTE”: 10X SPEED 4. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “EXECUTE”: BIOHACKING 5. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: BECOMING A LEARNING MACHINE FRAMEWORK 6. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: INSURMOUNTABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  29. 29. SPEED AS THE PRIMARY EXECUTION STRATEGY
  30. 30. • Speed allows you to experiment, refine, and have a margin of error in your execution • Speed is also very important because it allows for more time and more output for you and your team – more time is critical for a PM because we are multipliers for our team • 10x execution speed allows time for things that otherwise would not be possible – Processes like continuous roadmapping – Skunk work products to build high risk ideas – Continuous dialogue with key stakeholders (customers, advisers, entrepreneurs, etc.) – Important but non-urgent activities (training, teaching, relationship building, etc.) Why is speed so important?
  31. 31. Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Mon (cont) Tues (cont) Wed (cont) Thur (cont) Fri (cont) 12:00am- 6:30 am Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep 2:00 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 6:30 am Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal 2:30 pm Meetings Meetings Light Work Meetings Meetings 7:00 am Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 3:00 pm Meetings Meetings Deep Work Meetings Meetings 7:30 am Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 3:30 pm Light Work Light Work Meetings Light Work Light Work 8:00 am Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 4:00 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 8:30 am Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast 4:30 pm Meetings Light Work Meetings Meetings Meetings 9:00 am Light Work Light Work Light Work Light Work Light Work 5:00 pm Light Work Meetings Light Work Light Work Light Work 9:30 am Deep Work Meetings Meetings Meetings Deep Work 5:30 pm Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 10:00 am Meetings Light Work Meetings Meetings Meetings 6:00 pm Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 10:30 am Meetings Deep Work Meetings Light Work Meetings 6:30 pm Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 11:00 am Light Work Meetings Light Work Deep Work Light Work 7:00 pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner 11:30 am Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 7:30 pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner 12:00 pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch 8:00 pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner 12:30 pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch 8:30 pm Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal 1:00 pm Meetings Light Work Meetings Meetings Meetings 9:00 pm Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal 1:30 pm Light Work Meetings Light Work Light Work Light Work 9:30 pm- 12:00 am Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal
  32. 32. Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Mon (cont) Tues (cont) Wed (cont) Thur (cont) Fri (cont) 10:30 pm- 5:00 am Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep 12:30 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 5:00 am Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal 1:00 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 5:30 am Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 1:30 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 6:00 am Light Work Light Work Light Work Light Work Light Work 2:00 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 6:30 am Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 2:30 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 7:00 am Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 3:00 pm Meetings Meetings Light Work Light Work Light Work 7:30 am Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 3:30 pm Meetings Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 8:00 am Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 4:00 pm Meetings Light Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 8:30 am Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 4:30 pm Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 9:00 am Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 5:00 pm Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 9:30 am Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 5:30 pm Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 10:00 am Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 6:00 pm Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 10:30 am Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 6:30 pm Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal 11:00 am Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 7:00 pm Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal 11:30 am Meetings Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work Deep Work 7:30 pm Commute Commute Commute Commute Commute 12:00 pm Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings Meetings 8:00 pm- 10:30 pm Personal Personal Personal Personal Personal
  33. 33. Category Unoptimized (Hours) Optimized (Hours) Difference (Hours) Optimized / Unoptimized Sleep 32.5 32.5 0.0 1.0X Friction 30.0 5.0 -25.0 0.2X Meetings 22.5 22.5 0.00 1.0X Light Work 12.5 4.5 -8.0 0.4X Deep Work 2.5 35.5 33.0 14.2X Personal 20.0 20.0 0.0 1.0X Total 120.0 120.0 0.0 1.0X Hacking your time allows you to create as much as14x deep work for the team – a multiplier action with cascading effects on the performance of the entire team
  34. 34. Illustrative normal product building process for many teams Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Start building native interfaces Start adtech partner alphas/betas (1-2) Building alpha for a product Start client API alpha/betas (1-2) Activity Building beta for a product Building 1.0 for a product Many product teams have a linear approach to building products
  35. 35. How can we 10x that execution speed? Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Client API betas (10-20) FMP betas (5-10) Building 1.0 for a product Sales leadership alignment Start building native interfaces Co-building with API clients (5) Co-building with adtech partners (5) Client native interface betas (100-1,000) Building alpha for a product Activity By instilling a discipline for speed, by the end of a 6 month cycle we can have >10x the number of customers we otherwise would have
  36. 36. Speed Hacks Description Benefits Batch process meetings Many PMs have a lot of meetings – batch processing allows for free time with less context switching and time to do more deep work Less context switching; more deep work Optimize for deep work Deep work takes ramp up time (~30 min), but propels team forward (strategy work, product architecture, analysis, brainstorming, etc.) Allows team to position itself correctly; build right products well Co-develop products Build the right products for the right customer and obtain quick adoption Makes sure you build right product for right customer; adoption Time-shift schedule Saves a tremendous amount of time on commuting (for me 3 hours a day) 20-30% more productive time/day Using Windows and Mac machine Use Windows for Outlook/Powerpoint/Excel; use Mac for coding 20-30% more productive for Windows/Mac specific apps Intermittent fasting Saves 1-2 hours/day 10-20% more productive time/day Miscellaneous hacks Using 2-3 monitors; automated email rules; utilizing Powerpoint and Excel macros; invest in relationship building, etc. Miscellaneous Utilizing speed hacks often is a game of testing and stacking more and more speed hacks over time; hundreds of single digit productivity increases can make you significantly faster
  37. 37. Agenda 1. WHAT DOES “UNUSUALLY GOOD” MEAN? 2. WHAT IS AN “UNUSUALLY GOOD” PM? 3. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “EXECUTE”: 10X SPEED 4. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “EXECUTE”: BIOHACKING 5. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: BECOMING A LEARNING MACHINE FRAMEWORK 6. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: INSURMOUNTABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  38. 38. “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” The software is your mind. The hardware is your body An introduction to biohacking
  39. 39. • Career are endurance sports – decades long marathon broken down into sprints • First rule of high performance is never lapsing into poor performance • Maintaining 10x speed high level performance across decades may be impossible without biohacking • Biohacking may enable you to: – Avoid disease and injury that will affect performance (soft tissue injury, heart disease, inflammation, chronic disease, carpal tunnel/RSI, etc.) – Obtain optimal mental performance (memory, analysis, etc.) – Obtain optimal physical performance (energy, strength, cardio, etc.) • Biohacking is unusual/controversial: do your own research and A/B testing. Also wise to find a good doctor specializing in functional/integrative medicine Why is biohacking so important?
  40. 40. For Gut Cleansing: Saccharomycs boulardii, Multi- strain probiotics, Tricycline, Digestive enzymes, and Monolaurin For Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy: Organic plant based protein shake, Flax/chia seeds, Astaxanthin, Krill oil, Ubiquinol, Magnesium, and Vitamin D-3 For Ketogenic Monitoring: Ketonix ketones monitor
  41. 41. • Before chronic disease, there is inflammation. Before inflammation, there is gut dysfunction. Gut repair corrects this problem from a first principles basis. • Remove toxic substances like mytoxins, bacteria, yeast, heavy metals, chlorine, etc. • Replace nutrients like magnesium, vitamins, proteins, fats, fiber, complex carbs, etc. the body needs to function at its peak • Reinoculate gut’s intestinal flora with probiotics and prebiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus thermophilous, etc. • Repair the intestinal mucosa, the cells that form the intestinal wall- their division and growth can patch up a leaky gut • To learn more and implement, read Dr. Junger’s book “Clean Gut” • Personally, lost 10 lbs on this, had my energy increase, and decrease inflammation Gut repair – reducing inflammation in the body Source: Junger, Alejandro. Clean Gut: The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health. HarperCollins.
  42. 42. • Mitochondria generate ATP, control apoptosis, and are prime sites for free radical damage • How to manufacture ATP efficiently and sidestep the problems that arise from a lifetime of eating food that produces an excess of free radicals when metabolized • Mitochondrial metabolic theory boils down to (1) eat high quality, organic, toxin minimizing foods – calories from good fats, moderate protein, and minimizing carbs, (2) use ketones for energy creates significantly fewer free radicals than sugar • Benefits include mental performance, no cravings, anticancer, microbiome changes, weight loss, energy, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation • To learn more and implement, read Dr. Mercola’s book “Fat for Fuel” • Personally, lost 15 lbs, much stronger overall health, better endurance, improved concentration, increased energy and focus. Mitochondrial metabolic theory – eat well for optimal nutrition Source: Mercola, Joseph. Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy. Hay House, Inc.
  43. 43. Biohacks Description Benefits Intermittent fasting Eating 8 hours/day; fasting 16 hours/day Lose weight, increase energy, increase longevity Ketosis Keeping body burning ketones as main fuel Lose weight, increase energy, decrease systemic inflammation Vitamin supplements Vitamin D, Krill Oil, Magnesium, Ubiquinol, Astaxanthin Increase energy, decrease systemic inflammation High fat, medium protein, low carb diet Helps keep your body running on ketones Lose weight, increase energy, decrease systemic inflammation Organic protein and raw greens solutions Raw Organic Protein Powder with probiotics, etc. and Raw Greens (Garden of Life) to stay full and your body running on good nutrients Decrease light damage Smart drugs Aniracetam, phenylpiracetam, etc. Increase mental performance (memory, etc.) Other biohacks Cold therapy (cold showers, ice, etc.), grounding (decrease free radical count in body), light (Iris or f.lux), HIIT, etc. Increase energy, lose weight, decrease free radical damage Biohacking is a diverse and deep field; I highly recommend Dave Asprey’s book “Head Strong” and experimenting to find with what works for you
  44. 44. These ideas are backed by a plethora of research Biggest impact on lowering exposure to oxidative damage comes when you keep your blood glucose levels low - T. N. Seyfried, Nutrition and Metabolism Journal [FN1]Overindulging on sugar and grains eventually leads to neural impairment and damage - R. Agrawal, The Journal of Physiology [FN2] Removing processed foods, sugars, etc. from your diet deprives cancer cells of their preferred metabolic fuel - G. D. Maurer, BMC Cancer 11 [FN3] Low carb diets tend to reduce levels of systemic inflammation in the body - C. E. Forsythe, Lipids, 43 No. 1 [FN4] Shifting to a fat-burning diet spurs mitochondrial biogenesis in rodents - K.J. Borough, Annals of Neurology [FN5] Increasing mitochondrial ATP production can enhance performance of neurons - Z. Sheng, Journal of Cell Bio; X. Zhu, Neuorimage [FN6] Cancer unlikely in people with healthy mitochondria; Mercola expanded this concept to chronic diseases - T. N. Seyfried, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease [FN7] Eating diet high in good fats has been shown to increase memory and cognition - A. Paturel, Cleveland Clinic [FN8]
  45. 45. • [FN1] J. J. Meidenbauer, P. Mukherjee, and T. N. Seyfried, “The Glucose Ketone Index Calculator: A Simple Tool to Monitor Therapeutic Efficacy for Metabolic Management of Brain Cancer,” Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 12 (2015): 12. DOI: 10.1186/ s12986-015-0009-2. • [FN2] R. Agrawal and F. Gomez-Pinilla, “‘ Metabolic Syndrome’ in the Brain: Deficiency in Omega-3 Fatty Acid Exacerbates Dysfunctions in Insulin Receptor Signalling and Cognition,” The Journal of Physiology, 590, no. 10, (2012): 2485, DOI: 10.1113/ jphysiol. 2012.230078. • [FN3] G. D. Maurer, et al., “Differential Utilization of Ketone Bodies by Neurons and Glioma Cell Lines: a Rationale for Ketogenic Diet as Experimental Glioma Therapy,” BMC Cancer 11 (2011): 315, DOI: 10.1186/ 1471-2407-11-315. • [FN4] C. E. Forsythe et al., “Comparison of Low Fat and Low Carbohydrate Diets on Circulation Fatty Acid Composition and Markers of Inflammation,” Lipids, 43, no. 1 (2008): 65– 77, DOI: 10.1007/ s11745-007-3132-7. • [FN5] K. J. Bough et al., “Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Anticonvulsant Mechanism of the Ketogenic Diet,” Annals of Neurology, 60 (2006): 223– 35, DOI: 10.1002 /ana. 20899. • [FN6] Zu-Hang Sheng, “Mitochondrial Trafficking and Anchoring in Neurons: New Insight and Implications,” Journal of Cell Biology 204, no. 7 (March 31, 2014): 1087, doi: 10.1083/ jcb. 201312123. 2. Xiao-Hong Zhu et al., “Quantitative Imaging of Energy Expenditure in Human Brain,” Neuroimage 60, no. 4 (2012): 2107– 17. 3. R. Steven Stowers et al., “Axonal Transport of Mitochondria to Synapses Depends on Milton, a Novel Drosophila Protein,” Neuron 36, no. 6 (2002): 1063– 77, doi: 10.1016/ S0896– 6273( 02) 01094– 2.; Xiufang Guo et al., “The GTPase dMiro Is Required for Axonal Transport of Mitochondria to Drosophila Synapses,” Neuron 47, no. 3 (2005): 379– 93; Huan Ma et al., “KIF5B Motor Adaptor Syntabulin Maintains Synaptic Transmission in Sympathetic Neurons,” Journal of Neuroscience 29, no. 41 (2009): 13019– 29. • [FN7] Thomas N. Seyfried New Jersey: Wiley. 2012. ISBN: 978-0-470-58492-7. Cancer as a metabolic disease: on the origin, management, and prevention of cancer. • [FN] Amy Paturel, “Good Fats— Boost Brain Power with Good Fats,” Cleveland Clinic Wellness, September 8, 2009, http:// www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/ food/ GoodFats/ Pages/ BoostBrainPowerwithGoodFats.aspx. With plenty of citations in case you want to dive in further
  46. 46. Agenda 1. WHAT DOES “UNUSUALLY GOOD” MEAN? 2. WHAT IS AN “UNUSUALLY GOOD” PM? 3. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “EXECUTE”: 10X SPEED 4. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “EXECUTE”: BIOHACKING 5. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: BECOMING A LEARNING MACHINE FRAMEWORK 6. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: INSURMOUNTABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  47. 47. OUR JOBS INVOLVE CONSTANT LEARNING AND OUR COMPETITIVE EDGE IS OUR IDEAS: THE BEST PMS ARE LEARNING MACHINES
  48. 48. Many years ago, I realize that learning things quickly and deeply can be boiled down into a recursive algorithm Strength of this approach is in the order of the steps, the steps themselves, and the recursion 1. Reading 2. Conversations 3. Doing 4. Synthesizing
  49. 49. • Reading top 3–4 books on a topic rapidly is enough to usually give people a decent handle on a new topic • Reading blogs, periodicals, wikipedia, podcasts are also alternative ways of learning similar material from different sources • Reading consistently over time becomes an insurmountable advantage • Reading doesn’t just teach you knowledge; it improves your model of the world on a subconscious level. Reading helps to improve your compiled mental software, even if you don’t have access to the source code • Case study example: At one point in time, I became interested in the oil OPEC’s policy and the historical low prices of crude oil. I found out about this trend from the Economist. I came up to speed on the industry by reading the top 3–4 books on oil from Amazon Best first step and most self reliant way of learning is by reading
  50. 50. • Speaking to experts in the field has the benefit of synthesizing large amounts of information and distilling it into a pure, digestible form for you —it’s by far the most efficient way of learning information quickly • It’s limited by being less self reliant and needing to know people who understand the topic • In addition, it’s difficult for experts to separate fact from opinion when onboarding new people. People learning this way run the risk of copying opinions wholesale • An alternative to copying wholesale is sifting facts from opinions in conversations with experts; valuing facts and crafting your own opinions based on first principles thinking • This requires much more work — but is a much better way of creating original thinking • Case study example: I spoke with my friends who are traders, investors and engineers in the oil industry; I took the research reports I read and called up the relevant analysts to learn facts and carefully evaluate opinions After reading, often times the next best step is to speak to people, which is the most efficient way of learning
  51. 51. • The deepest way of learning is by interacting within the realm of whatever topic you want to learn • In the entrepreneurial world, there’s an adage that the best way to learn how to become an entrepreneur is by becoming an entrepreneur • You’re more likely to uncover your unknown unknowns: working in an area will teach you to ask better questions to uncover more questions you don’t have answers to • The lean startup movement of doing / building quickly to learn deeply is a perfect embodiment of this philosophy • Case study example: I devised several trading strategies to capitalize on uncertainty in the oil market, including utilizing ETFs, options, and taking long and short positions in different oil companies. After conversations, and the deepest way of learning, is by doing
  52. 52. • Synthesizing is a way of refining concentrated ideas from the past— it allows all of us to pick up pieces from our past, discards the bad parts, transmute lesser materials into great ones, and leave with something much more valuable than we started off with • Superficial learning does us no good if we don’t synthesize and refine • I personally find the most independent way to synthesize is with a regular journal; an excellent but less self reliant way of synthesizing is through teaching other people • After completing a loop, restart the loop on new unknown related topics • Case study example: I journaled my entire investment thesis formulating process, which lead to a post on Medium (FN) as well as my presentation of this thesis to several hedge fund manager friends. After finishing my first loop, I started reading more books, talking to more people, and experimenting more with fracking Lastly, the best step to crystallize what you think you’ve learned is to synthesize it by writing/journaling or teaching [FN] https://medium.com/@georgexzeng/how-to-become-a-learning-machine-aba04f4245ad
  53. 53. Agenda 1. WHAT DOES “UNUSUALLY GOOD” MEAN? 2. WHAT IS AN “UNUSUALLY GOOD” PM? 3. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “EXECUTE”: 10X SPEED 4. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “EXECUTE”: BIOHACKING 5. UNUSUAL WAYS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: BECOMING A LEARNING MACHINE FRAMEWORK 6. UNUSUAL THINGS TO “IDENTIFY”/“UNDERSTAND”: INSURMOUNTABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  54. 54. AS A PM, YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IS YOUR IDEAS. HOW DO YOU BUILD AN INSURMOUNTABLE EDGE IN YOUR IDEAS?
  55. 55. • My current hypothesis and anecdotal experience is that the smartest people in this world take reading to an extreme; they’re reading monsters • My baseline for best in class is reading 3 books/week. I get a lot of questions on how. • Tactical ideas on how to read 3 books/week: – Read books on many different platforms (paper books, Kindle hardware device, Kindle for iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, iPad, etc., iBooks, PDFs, etc.) whenever you can (commute, buying groceries, laundry, eating, before bed, early in the morning, etc.) – Utilize Audiobooks (Audible) at 2-3x speed – Utilize Podcasts (Overcast) at 3x speed Reading: a hacker’s guide Median American 4 books/yr X 70 yrs = 280 books ~4 bachelor degrees Unusually Good 3 books/wk X 52 wks/yr X 70 yrs = 10,920 books ~156 additional bachelor degrees
  56. 56. • To a certain extent, knowledge and intelligence can be commoditized • A broad and deep network is one of a few truly competitive advantages • Without a broad and deep network and the proprietary this provides, parsing matters less • Be kind and thoughtful in how you build out your network. Don’t build “connections” – built true friendships • Adam Grant (Wharton professor) has done groundbreaking research – read his book “Give and Take” to understand more of the sociological elements behind why being a Giver is important Conversations: your network is a competitive advantage
  57. 57. • Always be making and creating things - this will give you a maker’s view into evolving fields • List of projects I’ve hacked on: – JS game about polar bears running away from global warming (Polar Bear Panic) – Crowd sourced healthcare research platform – Multi strategy hedge fund – SMB automated adtech platform – Cryptocurrency products – Healthcare tech remote monitoring and telemedicine (Aircare) Doing: always be hacking
  58. 58. • There are many ways to synthesize – I keep a regular journal to help me better understand and refine my own thinking and feelings • I strongly believe in teaching as a way of giving back • This talk about how to be an unusually good PM is an example of me synthesizing and reinforcing a lot of things I’ve learned – I hope you’ve learned something valuable; I will also come out with a stronger understanding of what it means to be an unusually good PM • Kindness and giving back are important. I wouldn’t be here without many mentors who took a chance on me and who took the time to teach me • Share this with people who can benefit from this as well and also take the time to teach what worked for you. Pay it forward Synthesis: give back
  59. 59. THANK YOU
  60. 60. Part-time Product Management Courses in Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles www.productschool.com

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