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    A step-by-step guide to crafting a sales pitch that wins | April Dunford (author of Obviously Awesome and Sales Pitch)

    enOctober 22, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Overcoming Buyer Indecision: Crafting Compelling Sales Pitches for B2B SuccessBy using a framework to create and test sales pitches, businesses can differentiate themselves, generate excitement, and increase their chances of closing deals with hesitant buyers.

      A significant number of B2B purchase processes end in no decision because buyers struggle to make confident choices. April Dunford, a renowned product positioning expert, highlights that the majority of buyers do not reject new products because they prefer their existing solutions. Instead, they often opt to delay decisions and play it safe. Dunford emphasizes the importance of crafting compelling sales pitches to overcome this issue. Her new book, Sales Pitch, offers a framework that helps businesses pitch and sell their products effectively. By focusing on positioning and testing sales pitches with potential customers, companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and generate excitement, ultimately improving their chances of closing deals.

    • The Importance of Proper Positioning in Effective Sales PitchesEffective sales pitches focus on the value delivered by features, highlight unique value propositions, and address how they differ from the competition to provide a compelling answer to the crucial question of why customers should choose a specific product or service.

      Effective sales pitches require proper positioning to avoid sounding like a generic product overview. Instead of simply listing features, it is important to focus on the value delivered by those features. For example, the company Help Scout positioned themselves as a customer service solution specifically designed for digital businesses. They emphasized that providing excellent customer service in this context improves loyalty, repeat purchases, and drives growth. On the other hand, traditional companies often consider customer service as a cost center and prioritize cost reduction over customer satisfaction. By highlighting the unique value they offer and addressing how they differ from competing solutions, Help Scout presented a more compelling pitch that answers the crucial question of why customers should choose them.

    • The Effective Pitch Structure for Sales SituationsHighlight the market insight and differentiate the value proposition to effectively communicate offerings and stand out from competitors in sales pitches, leading to increased success in closing deals.

      The pitch structure discussed by April Dunford is highly effective in sales situations. The pitch consists of two main parts: the setup and the differentiated value. In the setup, it is crucial to highlight the market insight or point of view on the problem. For example, Help Scout emphasizes that customer service is a growth driver for digital businesses, not just a cost center. This sets the stage for explaining the unique value proposition. The focus should then shift to explaining why potential clients should choose the product or service over competitors. By addressing these key points in a sales pitch, businesses can better communicate their offering and stand out from the competition, leading to increased success in closing deals.

    • Building a Strong Foundation for Customer SolutionsUnderstand the market, discuss alternatives, deliver differentiated value, address objections, and define next steps to create a successful solution for the customer.

      When presenting a solution to a customer, it is crucial to start with a shared insight into the market. This insight should not be controversial and should align with the customer's perspective and pain points. By establishing this common ground, you lay a solid foundation for further discussion. Additionally, it is important to evaluate and discuss alternative solutions, highlighting their pros and cons. This helps create a comprehensive picture of the market landscape and establishes credibility. Moving forward, focus on delivering differentiated value. Clearly articulate the value you provide and how you deliver it, reinforcing the agreed-upon problem-solving approach. Include proof of your capabilities and address any objections that may arise, ensuring that the customer understands and trusts your solution. Finally, end with a clear ask, specifying the next steps in your sales process.

    • Addressing Operational Concerns and Building Trust in the Sales Process.By addressing operational concerns, engaging in meaningful conversations, and adopting a teaching mindset, sales professionals can build trust and guide buyers towards finding the right solution for their needs.

      During the sales process, it is crucial to address the operational concerns and objections that potential buyers may have. Often, buyers are mentally sold on the idea, but worry about practicalities such as getting approval from IT or securing budget. In B2B sales, there is usually a network of people who need to agree before moving forward with a purchase, thus leading to objections around that. Another important aspect is the discovery phase, which is often overlooked in sales pitches. By engaging in a conversation with clients, discussing their current situation, constraints, and past experiences, a clear understanding of their needs and alignment can be established. Moreover, it is vital to adopt a teaching mindset and present a broader perspective, building trust and addressing the buyer's lack of market understanding. Ultimately, it is important to guide buyers in determining their purchase criteria and finding the right solution for their specific problem.

    • Alleviating Stress for B2B Software BuyersBy providing support and guidance to B2B software buyers, sellers can help alleviate their stress and increase the chances of a successful sale.

      B2B software buyers face immense stress and pressure when making purchasing decisions. They fear making a wrong choice that could result in negative consequences for themselves and their organizations. As a result, many B2B purchase processes end in no decision, as buyers feel more comfortable delaying the decision rather than taking a risk. This highlights the importance for software sellers to provide buyers with the support they need to make confident decisions. Instead of solely focusing on showcasing their own products, sellers should offer perspectives on the market and help buyers weigh their options. By understanding the buyer's high-stakes situation and providing guidance, sellers can alleviate stress and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

    • The ineffectiveness of using FOMO to pressure customers into making a purchaseProviding customers with the necessary tools and support to make informed decisions leads to more successful outcomes, rather than using FOMO tactics that increase stress and decrease the likelihood of closing a deal.

      Using FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to pressure indecisive customers into making a purchase isn't effective. In fact, it can make the situation worse. Research has shown that throwing FOMO into the mix increases customer stress and decreases the likelihood of closing a deal. Instead, a more successful approach is to provide customers with the tools they need to make informed decisions. This includes painting a clear picture of the market and teaching them how to buy. Additionally, techniques such as breaking a big deal into smaller pieces, offering money-back guarantees, and providing supportive services can help alleviate the fear of making a mistake. Understanding and addressing the secondary job of the deal champion – how to make a decision without getting fired – is crucial in achieving successful outcomes.

    • Understanding the role of the champion in B2B sales and tailoring your approach for success.To succeed in B2B sales, focus on the champion's needs, arm them with information, and address the concerns of all stakeholders to increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

      In B2B sales, it's crucial to understand the dynamics of the buying process and the role of the champion. The champion is the person tasked with choosing a solution and plays a critical role in getting the deal through. Therefore, it is essential to tailor your positioning and pitch to address their needs and concerns. However, it doesn't stop there. Once the deal is in progress, you need to arm the champion with the necessary information and tools to handle objections from other stakeholders. This means understanding the concerns and priorities of different groups involved in the buying process and addressing them effectively. By doing so, you can increase the chances of getting consensus and moving the deal forward successfully.

    • Anticipating objections and building trust in salesAddressing potential objections early on and tailoring solutions to stakeholder needs is key to building trust, closing deals, and aligning product development with sales and marketing strategies.

      Being a good partner in sales means anticipating and addressing potential objections or concerns early on in the buyer's journey. This involves understanding the specific worries of different stakeholders, such as IT or end users, and providing reassurances or solutions tailored to their needs. By proactively addressing these objections, sales teams can build trust and confidence with customers, increasing the likelihood of closing deals. This framework is applicable to B2B companies with sales teams, but even those without dedicated sales resources can leverage it to create a compelling marketing story. It's crucial to have enough market traction and knowledge of the sales process to effectively guide customers through the purchase journey. Additionally, product teams can benefit from this approach by aligning their product development with sales and marketing strategies, ensuring that they address customer concerns and provide the necessary ammunition for successful selling.

    • Aligning Product Knowledge with Sales PitchingCollaborative teamwork between product, marketing, and sales teams is essential to effectively communicate and highlight the unique value propositions of a solution, resulting in a more impactful sales pitch.

      A successful sales pitch requires a deep understanding of your differentiated value. It is common for companies to have a knowledgeable product team that understands the value of their solution, but this information is not effectively communicated to the sales team. Instead, sales teams often focus on pitching features rather than value. To fix this issue, it is important to have a cross-functional team, including product, marketing, and sales, work together on positioning. By combining the knowledge of the product team with the insights of the sales team, a clearer and more effective definition of the differentiated value can be developed. This will ultimately lead to a stronger sales pitch that highlights unique value propositions that competitors cannot match.

    • Leveraging Unique Capabilities for Powerful Sales OutcomesUnderstanding and effectively communicating the unique value that sets your company apart from competitors can lead to increased trust, credibility, and revenue growth.

      The key to a successful sales pitch is understanding your differentiated value and translating it into a compelling insight. This means recognizing what sets your company apart from the competition and why it matters to potential customers. By leveraging your unique capabilities, such as being built on a platform like Salesforce, you can offer integrated solutions that directly impact sales outcomes. This differentiated value becomes even more powerful when it aligns with a broader insight that resonates with customers, such as the importance of measuring sales enablement effectiveness with sales metrics. Being honest about your competition, acknowledging their strengths, and confidently stating who your offering is best suited for can help establish trust and credibility. Ultimately, recognizing and effectively communicating your differentiated value and its associated insight can significantly influence buying decisions and drive revenue growth.

    • Value, Fit, and the Path to SuccessCompanies should have confidence in their value and fit for potential clients, knowing when to walk away from incompatible business. Creating a new category is not the only path to success; alternative approaches should be considered.

      Companies should have a calm confidence about their value and fit for potential clients. It's important to recognize when a client is not the right fit and be willing to walk away from that business. Instead of chasing every opportunity, companies should focus on those where they know they are the best fit. Qualification calls and other signals can help determine if a potential client aligns with the company's offerings. Additionally, while creating a new category can be a way to build a legendary business, it is not the only way. Many successful companies have thrived without creating a new category. It's important to consider alternative approaches and recognize that category creation is not the most common path to success.

    • From Niche Players to Category Creators: A Strategic Approach to Market DominanceStart as a niche player in an existing category, then leverage market understanding to become dominant. Extend category boundaries for continued growth and target underserved segments for a competitive advantage.

      Most successful companies, even category creators, do not start out as category creators. They begin as niche players in existing categories because that's the easiest way to gain traction early on. By positioning themselves within a familiar category, they can leverage existing market understanding. However, it's important to note that category creators often get overtaken by fast followers once they become dominant players. A smart move for established companies is to extend the boundaries of the category to continue growing. This can be seen in examples like Qualtrics and Snowflake. While category creation can be successful, it's more common for companies to dominate a specific segment of the market and then expand from there. This approach, known as the bowling pin strategy, involves targeting underserved segments of a larger market to gain a competitive advantage.

    • Strategic Segmentation: Establishing a Beachhead to Challenge Market LeadersBy targeting smaller segments and gradually expanding, companies can challenge market leaders by strategically building their presence and delivering on customer requirements.

      Companies can strategically approach their market by targeting a specific segment that the market leader may not care about. This can be compared to knocking over a bowling pin, enabling the company to establish a beachhead and gradually expand their reach by targeting adjacent pins. By focusing on these smaller segments and gradually growing, companies can eventually challenge and even overtake the market leader. This approach allows companies to strategically build their presence and gain the necessary momentum to compete in the larger market. Additionally, the key to success lies in aligning with customers' perspectives on the perfect solution and demonstrating the ability to deliver on those requirements.

    • The Importance of Differentiated Value in Sales CallsSales calls should focus on presenting the unique aspects and value of a product or service, addressing objections, and providing proof, while prioritizing strong positioning and involving sales teams for success.

      A successful sales call should focus more on the differentiated value phase rather than just showcasing product features. This phase should account for more than half of the call's time. It involves presenting the unique and valuable aspects of the product or service, demonstrating how it solves customer problems or improves their experience. Additionally, providing proof of the claimed value is crucial, either through customer testimonials or data. Addressing objections that prospects may have is also important, followed by presenting the next step in the sales process. To ensure success, companies should prioritize strong positioning before developing a sales pitch, involving sales teams in the process, and consistently testing and refining their approach.

    • Involving Sales Management for Successful Sales Pitch ChangeIncorporating experienced sales reps in training and testing new pitches can lead to improved deal conversion rates and overall sales performance.

      When it comes to changing sales pitches, getting sales management involved is crucial. Sales reps are often resistant to giving up their current pitch, even if they don't like it, because they are comfortable with it and have memorized it. To successfully introduce a new pitch, start by involving the best sales rep in training and testing the new pitch with qualified prospects. Continuously gather feedback and make necessary adjustments until the rep feels confident and believes the new pitch is better. Once the best rep approves the pitch, use their success and expertise to convince the rest of the sales team to adopt it. This collaborative approach, led by experienced reps, can lead to immediate improvements in deal conversion rates and overall sales performance, especially in challenging economic conditions.

    • Developing and implementing a new pitch and positioning with speed and motivation.By investing time in rethinking the pitch, companies can see increased sales and a doubling of deals brought from first sales call to opportunity.

      Speed and motivation are key when it comes to developing and implementing a new pitch and positioning. While the timeline may vary depending on the company's size and deal flow, it is possible to go from start to finish in as little as two weeks. However, on average, companies take about a month to complete this process. Marketing plays a crucial role in positioning, as they become the stewards and enforcers of the positioning once it's established. The immediate impact of investing time in rethinking the pitch can be seen in increased sales, with companies reporting a doubling of deals brought from first sales call to opportunity by tightening up the pitch.

    • Improving your pitch can boost revenue growth.To make an impact, focus on articulating the unique value of your offering and finding a unique insight to differentiate yourself from competitors.

      Tightening up your pitch can have a significant impact on revenue growth. Many companies have pitches that are so bad that even a small improvement can make a big difference in how much business they generate. This is especially true when it comes to positioning and differentiating your product or service. While some frameworks may focus on the idea that new is inherently better than old, it's important to remember that customers often value safety and trust in known brands. To truly stand out, you need to articulate the unique value that your offering provides, beyond just being new. Additionally, starting with a trend in your pitch may not be enough if your competitors can make the same claim. Ultimately, finding a unique insight into the trend will help you truly differentiate your offering.

    • The Many Paths to Business SuccessSuccess in business is not limited to one method; businesses should experiment, adapt frameworks, and continuously learn and adapt to find their own path to success.

      There is no one-size-fits-all approach to success in business. The idea promoted by category creation experts that it is the only way to be successful is simply not true. There are multiple paths to achieving success, and what works for one company may not work for another. It is important for businesses to experiment, explore different frameworks, and adapt them to their specific situation. Rather than being slaves to a specific method, companies should use these frameworks as a starting point and tweak them to fit their needs. The only certainty in business is that there are no hard and fast rules that guarantee success, and it is an ongoing challenge that requires continuous learning and adaptation.

    • The Importance of Attitude and Persuasive Writing in Hiring Marketing ProfessionalsAttitude and persuasive writing are crucial qualities to look for when hiring marketing professionals. These skills can be assessed through a writing test where candidates sell a recent purchase, providing insight into their abilities for product marketing and marketing roles.

      When it comes to hiring marketing professionals, focusing on attitude and the ability to do persuasive writing can be crucial. April Dunford, a VP of Marketing, shares her experience of looking for candidates who are enthusiastic about the company's goals and are able to effectively communicate and persuade through their writing. She believes that while many skills can be taught, persuasive writing is a foundational skill that should ideally be present in marketers. To assess this skill, she used a writing test where candidates had to sell her on a recent purchase in two paragraphs. This approach allows her to gauge whether individuals possess the necessary skills for product marketing and marketing roles.

    • The Joy of Fountain Pens and a Chill MindsetFind joy and satisfaction in simple things like using a fountain pen, and remember that adopting a chill mindset can help navigate through life's challenges with ease.

      Sometimes it's the small and low-tech things that bring us the most joy. April Dunford shares her recent fascination with fountain pens, particularly the Lamy AL-Star. These pens may not be expensive, but they offer a unique and satisfying writing experience that surpasses ballpoint pens or rollerball pens. The feel of writing with a fountain pen is totally different and brings a sense of delight. Moreover, April Dunford's philosophy of "nothing's a big deal" serves as a valuable lesson. It reminds us that we often build things up in our minds, but in reality, most situations aren't as significant as we perceive them to be. Adopting a chill mindset can help us navigate through life's ups and downs with ease.

    • The Value of Perseverance and Resilience in EntrepreneurshipPerseverance and resilience are essential qualities for success, both in business and in life. No matter the challenges faced, continuing to push forward and maintain a positive mindset can lead to eventual success.

      Perseverance and resilience are key qualities for success in entrepreneurship. April Dunford's experience growing up in an entrepreneurial family taught her the importance of grinding it out and never giving up. Despite facing highs and lows in her father's business, they kept going and eventually things worked out well. This lesson extends beyond just business, as it serves as a reminder to stay determined in the face of challenges in any aspect of life. Dunford's story emphasizes the value of persistence and the belief that with continued effort, things will eventually fall into place. So, no matter the setbacks or obstacles, it's important to keep pushing forward and maintain a positive mindset.

    • The Importance of Prioritizing Usefulness and Creating Genuine ValueBeing genuinely helpful and creating something valuable is essential in making a lasting impact and building meaningful connections, as emphasized by April Dunford and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

      Being useful should be a primary focus in any endeavor. April Dunford emphasizes the importance of creating something that is genuinely helpful rather than simply aiming to entertain or please others. Her goal is to share her knowledge and expertise to assist others, addressing their struggles and unlocking solutions for them. By prioritizing usefulness, we can make a lasting impact and build meaningful connections. This notion aligns with the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger's new book titled "Be Useful," which highlights the significance of being helpful in achieving success. When we strive to create something valuable and beneficial, we can make a positive difference in the lives of others.

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    Lessons from a two-time unicorn builder, 50-time startup advisor, and 20-time company board member | Uri Levine (co-founder of Waze)

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    • The phases of the startup journey and how to navigate them

    • Why firing is more important than hiring

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    • X: https://twitter.com/urilevine1

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/uri-levine

    • Website: https://urilevine.com/

    Where to find Lenny:

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    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

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    (00:00) Uri’s background

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    (01:15:36) Lightning round

    Referenced:

    Fall in Love with the Problem, Not the Solution: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs: https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Love-Problem-Solution-Entrepreneurs/dp/1637741987

    • Waze: https://www.waze.com/

    • Ben Horowitz on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/behorowitz/

    • Ben Horowitz quote: https://quotefancy.com/quote/1635284/Ben-Horowitz-As-a-startup-CEO-I-slept-like-a-baby-I-woke-up-every-2-hours-and-cried

    • Michael Jordan quote: https://www.forbes.com/quotes/11194/#:~:text=I've%20lost%20almost%20300,that%20is%20why%20I%20succeed.

    • Steph Curry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Curry

    • How Airbnb Used Word of Mouth to Change the Travel Industry Forever: https://truested.com/story/airbnb

    • Space Mountain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Mountain_(Disneyland)

    • How Netflix builds a culture of excellence | Elizabeth Stone (CTO): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-netflix-builds-a-culture-of-excellence

    • Steve Wozniak on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wozniaksteve/

    • Uri’s post about the conference in Guatemala with Steve Wozniak: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/uri-levine_jewishnewyear-speakers-book-activity-6980089544079486976-0ADa/

    • Leonardo da Vinci quote: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9010638-simplicity-is-the-ultimate-sophistication-when-once-you-have-tasted

    • Geoffrey Moore on finding your beachhead, crossing the chasm, and dominating a market: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/geoffrey-moore-on-finding-your-beachhead

    • Nana Korobi Ya Oki: https://ikigaitribe.com/vlog/nana-korobi-ya-oki/

    That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea: https://www.amazon.com/That-Will-Never-Work-Netflix/dp/0316530204

    Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones: https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Habits-Proven-Build-Break/dp/0735211299

    • 8 Great Chess Apps for Beginners and Grand Masters: https://www.wired.com/story/best-chess-apps/

    • Pontera: https://pontera.com/

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    • Why they spent a year building their minimum viable product (MVP) before launch

    • Why Canva has no managers, and their unique approach to coaching and performance reviews

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    • Insights into Canva’s SEO growth strategy

    • Their three-pillar framework for integrating AI into their product

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    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/themaninblue

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    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

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    (04:50) Reflecting on hard times

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    Referenced:

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    • Melanie Perkins on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanieperkins

    • Cliff Obrecht on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cliff-obrecht-79ba9920

    • Jennie Rogerson, Head of People, LinkedIn post about “season opener” events: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jennierogerson_season-opener-is-one-of-my-favourite-events-activity-7006815614556135424-73bD/

    Game of Thrones on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones

    • Woodstock: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock

    • ‘Give Away Your Legos’ and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups: https://review.firstround.com/give-away-your-legos-and-other-commandments-for-scaling-startups/

    • Minimum viable product (MVP): https://www.productboard.com/glossary/minimum-viable-product-mvp

    • Canva’s SEO Strategy Is Elite: https://thegrowthplaybook.substack.com/p/canvas-seo-strategy-is-elite

    • The SEO Strategy That Led Canva to a $40 Billion Valuation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INyGKt6LAqM

    • Andrianes Pinantoan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrianes/

    • Canva Create: https://www.canva.com/canva-create/

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    The surprising truth about what closes deals: Insights from 2.5m sales conversations | Matt Dixon (author of The Challenger Sale and The JOLT Effect)

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    • The JOLT method for overcoming indecision

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    • Website: https://www.jolteffect.com/

    Where to find Lenny:

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    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

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    (49:07) An example of a challenger sale

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    Referenced:

    • A step-by-step guide to crafting a sales pitch that wins | April Dunford (author of Obviously Awesome and Sales Pitch): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-step-by-step-guide-to-crafting

    The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation: https://www.amazon.com/Challenger-Sale-Control-Customer-Conversation/dp/0670922854

    The JOLT Effect: How High Performers Overcome Customer Indecision: https://www.amazon.com/JOLT-Effect-Performers-Overcome-Indecision/dp/0593538102

    • Gartner acquires CEB: https://www.gartner.com/en/about/acquisitions/history/ceb-acquisition

    Tiger King on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81115994

    • Why sourdough went viral: https://www.economist.com/1843/2020/08/04/why-sourdough-went-viral

    • Neil Rackham: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Rackham

    • Status quo bias in decision-making: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_quo_bias

    • Omission bias: https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/omission-bias

    • Gartner Magic Quadrant & Critical Capabilities: https://www.gartner.com/en/research/magic-quadrant

    • Dunning-Kruger effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    • Stop Losing Sales to Customer Indecision: https://hbr.org/2022/06/stop-losing-sales-to-customer-indecision

    • Dentsply Sirona: https://www.dentsplysirona.com/

    • “We happy?” Briefcase scene from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGchDuOpbhE

    • Nupro Freedom Cordless Prophy System: https://www.dentsplysirona.com/en-us/discover/discover-by-category/preventive/hygiene-handpieces.html

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

    Unorthodox frameworks for growing your product, career, and impact | Bangaly Kaba (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Instacart)

    Unorthodox frameworks for growing your product, career, and impact | Bangaly Kaba (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Instacart)

    Bangaly Kaba was an early growth PM at Facebook, head of growth at Instagram, and VP of Product at Instacart and is currently Director of Product at YouTube overseeing a global team working on creator monetization. Bangaly has also been a growth advisor to dozens of companies, including Twitter, on the board of multiple companies, and is an active angel investor. In our conversation, we discuss:

    • A simple framework for choosing where to work and what to work on

    • The importance of “understand work”

    • The “adjacent users” theory and how it can help you drive growth

    • Advice for coaching product managers

    • Invaluable lessons from his time at Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube

    • Much more

    Brought to you by:

    Uizard—AI-powered prototyping for visionary product leaders

    Mercury—The powerful and intuitive way for ambitious companies to bank

    Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security.

    Find the transcript and references at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/frameworks-for-growing-your-career-bangaly-kaba

    Where to find Bangaly Kaba:

    • X: https://twitter.com/iambangaly

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iambangaly/

    • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iambangaly/

    Where to find Lenny:

    • Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

    In this episode, we cover:

    (00:00) Bangaly’s background

    (06:31) Choosing where to work and what to work on

    (08:39) The impact factor

    (10:53) Evaluating the environment

    (15:53) The manager component

    (18:27) The skills part of the equation

    (23:49) Advice on finding a mentor

    (25:42) The power of “understand work”

    (31:17) Operationalizing understand work

    (37:55) Balancing understand work

    (41:25) Managing complex change

    (45:26) Effective management of product managers

    (51:35) The role of product managers as coaches and team leaders

    (54:52) Driving growth through flywheels and value proposition

    (01:03:14) Understanding adjacent users

    (01:08:41) The role of partnerships and SEO in Instagram’s early growth

    (01:16:08) The secret behind Instagram’s growth

    (01:25:37) Lessons from Facebook

    (01:29:15) Failure corner

    (01:31:58) Lightning round

    Referenced:

    • Impact = Environment x Skills: How to Make Career Decisions: https://www.reforge.com/blog/how-to-make-career-decisions

    • Thinking beyond frameworks | Casey Winters (Pinterest, Eventbrite, Airbnb, Tinder, Canva, Reddit, Grubhub): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/thinking-beyond-frameworks-casey

    • Casey Winters’s blog: https://caseyaccidental.com/

    • Ben Thompson’s newsletter: https://stratechery.com/about/

    • Elena Verna on how B2B growth is changing, product-led growth, product-led sales, why you should go freemium not trial, what features to make free, and much more: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/elena-verna-on-why-every-company

    • George Lee on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geolee/

    • Bangaly Kaba: The Path to 1 Billion: Lessons Learned from Growing Instagram—CXL LIVE 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9ZHlb6kj_E

    • What Is ‘Dogfooding’?: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/14/business/dogfooding.html

    • Bloom’s taxonomy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_taxonomy

    • Kevin Systrom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsystrom/

    • Mike Krieger on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikekrieger/

    • LeBron James: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LeBron_James

    • Kobe Bryant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant

    •  Mike Krzyzewski: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Krzyzewski

    • John Calipari: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calipari

    • Stripe: https://stripe.com/

    • Chief: https://chief.com/

    • Jobs to be done framework: https://jobs-to-be-done.com/jobs-to-be-done-a-framework-for-customer-needs-c883cbf61c90

    • The Adjacent User: https://brianbalfour.com/quick-takes/the-adjacent-user

    • How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-the-biggest-consumer-apps-got

    • Alex Zhu on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keepsilence/

    • From Brush to Canvas with Alex Zhu of Musical.ly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey15v81pwII

    • Selena Gomez on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/selenagomez/

    • Kim Kardashian on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimkardashian/

    • Rob Andrews on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robby-andrews-64669720/

    • Instagram’s growth speeds up as it hits 700 million users: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/26/instagram-700-million-users/

    Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World: https://www.amazon.com/Range-Generalists-Triumph-Specialized-World/dp/0735214484

    Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Work-Focused-Success-Distracted/dp/1455586692

    Start at the End: How to Build Products That Create Change: https://www.amazon.com/Start-End-Products-Create-Change/dp/0525534423

    • Flighty app: https://www.flightyapp.com/

    • Adam Grant on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamgrant/

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

    Why not asking for what you want is holding you back | Kenneth Berger (exec coach, first PM at Slack)

    Why not asking for what you want is holding you back | Kenneth Berger (exec coach, first PM at Slack)

    Kenneth Berger coaches startup leaders on how to prevent burnout, advocate for their desired lifestyle, and make a meaningful impact on the world. He’s spent more than 20 years in the tech industry, is a former founder backed by top investors, and was the first product manager at Slack. Kenneth’s core mission is to help startup leaders change the world by learning to ask for what they want, living with integrity, and building genuine relationships even with the people they find most challenging. Currently he is writing a book, Ask for What You Want, in which he aims to share his actionable strategies for creating change in the world. In our conversation, we explore:

    • Why asking for what you want is so impactful

    • Three steps to effectively ask for what you want

    • Challenges that arise when people struggle to ask for what they want

    • Why hearing “no” is a normal part of the process

    • The “dream behind the complaint” technique for uncovering desires

    • Kenneth’s experience of being fired three times from Slack

    • How embracing fear and discomfort is key to getting what you want

    • Why discipline is overrated

    Brought to you by:

    Sidebar—Accelerate your career by surrounding yourself with extraordinary peers

    Webflow—The web experience platform

    Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security

    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/ask-for-what-you-want-kenneth-berger

    Where to find Kenneth Berger:

    • X: https://twitter.com/kberger

    • Threads: https://www.threads.net/@kberger

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kberger/

    • Website: https://kberger.com/

    Where to find Lenny:

    • Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

    In this episode, we cover:

    (00:00) Kenneth’s background

    (04:31) The importance of asking for what you want

    (06:36) Challenges that arise when people struggle to ask for what they want

    (08:09) A personal example of failing to ask for what you want

    (09:17) Signs this is a skill you need to work on

    (10:49) How to get better at knowing what you want

    (15:28) Why hearing “no” is a normal part of the process

    (17:29) Getting a “yes” vs. a “hell yes”

    (19:20) Step 1: Articulate what you want

    (24:07) Doing an integrity check

    (26:56) Step 2: Ask for what you want intentionally

    (30:45) Understanding your influence

    (34:48) Using complaints as inspiration

    (36:24) Internal family systems

    (38:00) Giving feedback

    (41:24) Step 3: Accept the response

    (45:22) Kenneth’s experience of being fired three times from Slack

    (57:30) Advice on being the first PM at a company or startup

    (01:04:58) Contrarian corner: anti-discipline

    (01:05:52) Lightning round

    Referenced:

    • Joining as the first product manager: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/joining-as-the-first-product-manager

    • Internal Family Systems: https://ifs-institute.com/

    • How to build deeper, more robust relationships | Carole Robin (Stanford GSB professor, “Touchy Feely”): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/build-robust-relationships-carole-robin

    • Leaders in Tech: https://leadersintech.org/

    • The Three Realities Framework | The 15% Rule | Feedback Guidelines: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/build-robust-relationships-carole-robin

    • T-group weekends at Stanford: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/experience/learning/leadership/interpersonal-dynamics/facilitation-training-program/intro-tgroup

    • DBT skill DEAR MAN: https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheet/dbt-dear-man

    • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22838-dialectical-behavior-therapy-dbt

    • Vision, conviction, and hype: How to build 0 to 1 inside a company | Mihika Kapoor (Product at Figma): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/vision-conviction-hype-mihika-kapoor

    • Stewart Butterfield on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/butterfield/

    • How to fire people with grace, work through fear, and nurture innovation | Matt Mochary (CEO coach): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work

    Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Kick-Ass-Without-Humanity/dp/1250103509

    • Radical Candor: From theory to practice with author Kim Scott: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/radical-candor-from-theory-to-practice

    • Jonny Miller’s Nervous System Mastery course: https://nsmastery.com/lenny

    • Managing nerves, anxiety, and burnout | Jonny Miller (Nervous System Mastery): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/managing-nerves-anxiety-and-burnout

    The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success: https://www.amazon.com/15-Commitments-Conscious-Leadership-Sustainable-ebook/dp/B00R3MHWUE

    Break Point on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81569920

    Living on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81582076

    • Wimbledon tennis: https://www.wimbledon.com

    • Wenshan Baozhong tea: https://redblossomtea.com/products/wenshan-baozhong?variant=31629962820

    • Tea From Taiwan: https://www.teafromtaiwan.com/

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

    Be fundamentally different, not incrementally better | Jag Duggal (Nubank, Facebook, Google, Quantcast)

    Be fundamentally different, not incrementally better | Jag Duggal (Nubank, Facebook, Google, Quantcast)

    Jag Duggal is chief product officer at Nubank, a decacorn neobank founded in Brazil. It’s valued at over $30 billion, is bigger than Coinbase, Robinhood, Affirm, and SoFi combined, has 100 million customers (more than Bank of America!) while only operating in three countries in Latin America, and 80% to 90% of its growth comes through word of mouth. Prior to Nubank, Jag was a director of product management at Facebook, a senior vice president at Quantcast, and a product leader at Google. In our conversation, we discuss:

    • How Nubank builds a fanatical user base

    • Tactics for driving word-of-mouth growth

    • Measuring customer love through the Sean Ellis score

    • The importance of strategic clarity

    • The role of category design in creating successful products

    • Why companies should strive to be “fundamentally different,” not “incrementally better”

    • Nubank’s vision for an AI-powered banking future

    Brought to you by:

    WorkOS—Modern identity platform for B2B SaaS, free up to 1 million MAUs

    Mercury—The powerful and intuitive way for ambitious companies to bank

    OneSchema—Import CSV data 10x faster

    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/be-fundamentally-different-jag-duggal

    Where to find Jag Duggal:

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jagduggal/

    Where to find Lenny:

    • Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

    In this episode, we cover:

    (00:00) Jag’s background

    (04:34) Nubank’s remarkable achievements

    (06:01) Nubank’s product development process

    (11:23) Nubank’s values

    (12:16) Building products people love fanatically

    (15:21) The Sean Ellis score

    (21:27) An example project using the Sean Ellis score

    (25:07) Picking up the phone and calling customers

    (28:20) The importance of starting small and iterating

    (30:42) Pushing back effectively

    (34:10) Uncovering pain points through customer research

    (37:53) An example of setting a clear hypothesis

    (42:01) Developing a strategy

    (52:16) “Be fundamentally different, not incrementally better”

    (53:10) Category design

    (57:37) Nubank’s founding story and goals for the future

    (01:00:46) Advice for adding new product lines

    (01:03:46) The future of fintech and banking

    (01:09:23) AI corner

    (01:12:34) Failure corner

    (01:20:24) Key takeaways

    (01:22:11) Lightning round

    Referenced:

    • Nubank: https://nubank.com.br/en/

    • Coinbase: https://www.coinbase.com/

    • Robinhood: https://www.robinhood.com/

    • SoFi: https://www.sofi.com/

    • Affirm: https://www.affirm.com/

    • Lemonade: https://www.lemfi.com/

    • Bank of America: https://www.bankofamerica.com/

    • Nubank achieves a world record with more than 7 million people participating in NuBolão in one month: https://building.nubank.com.br/nubank-achieves-world-record-with-nubolao

    • Nu México carries out first financial transaction 20 meters under the depth of the sea: https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/nu-mexico-carries-out-first-financial-transaction-20-meters-under-the-depth-of-the-sea

    • David Vélez on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-v%C3%A9lez-1004875

    • Cristina Junqueira on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/crisjunqueira

    • Edward Wible on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamedwardwible

    • Sequoia Capital: https://www.sequoiacap.com/

    • Churrascaria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churrascaria

    • Nubank’s real foundation: our culture and values: https://building.nubank.com.br/nubank-culture-and-values/

    • Working Backwards Press Release Template and Example: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/working-backwards-press-release-template-example-ian-mcallister/

    • Sean Ellis test: https://productcoalition.com/using-sean-ellis-test-for-measuring-your-product-market-fit-c8ac98053c2c

    • How to know if you’ve got product-market fit: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-know-if-youve-got-productmarket

    • Reid Hoffman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reidhoffman/

    • Ultravioleta: Nubank expands its premium card offer and adds new features on the product’s first anniversary: https://international.nubank.com.br/company/ultravioleta-nubank-expands-its-premium-card-offer-and-adds-new-features-on-the-products-first-anniversary/

    • Jeff Bezos: Amazon and Blue Origin | Lex Fridman Podcast #405: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcWqzZ3I2cY

    • The Innovation Method Behind Swiffer Madness: https://www.fastcompany.com/3006797/innovation-method-behind-swiffer-madness

    • Kevin Systrom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsystrom/

    • Good Strategy, Bad Strategy | Richard Rumelt: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/good-strategy-bad-strategy-richard

    Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Strategy-Bad-Difference-Matters/dp/0307886239

    The Crux: How Leaders Become Strategists: https://www.amazon.com/Crux-How-Leaders-Become-Strategists/dp/1541701240/

    • How to become a category pirate | Christopher Lochhead (author of Play Bigger, Niche Down, Category Pirates, more): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-become-a-category-pirate-christopher

    Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets: https://www.amazon.com/Play-Bigger-Dreamers-Innovators-Dominate/dp/0062407619

    Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works: https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Win-Strategy-Really-Works/dp/142218739X

    • A framework for finding product-market fit | Todd Jackson (First Round Capital): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-framework-for-finding-product-market

    • Citi: https://www.citi.com/

    • Santander Bank: https://www.santanderbank.com/

    • Fidji Sumo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fidjisimo/

    • Harvard Kennedy School: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/

    • Susan Wojcicki on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-wojcicki-b136a99/

    • Coldplay—“Lost+” ft. Jay-Z: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkCDRm_YRFg

    • Google Buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/14/technology/14DoubleClick.html

    • Real-time bidding: https://support.google.com/authorizedbuyers/answer/6136272

    From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000: https://www.amazon.com/Third-World-First-Singapore-1965-2000/dp/0060197765/

    The Gilded Age on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-gilded-age

    • Lomi: https://lomi.com/

    • Nubank careers: https://international.nubank.com.br/careers/

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

    A framework for PM skill development | Vikrama Dhiman (Gojek)

    A framework for PM skill development | Vikrama Dhiman (Gojek)

    Vikrama Dhiman heads all things product at Gojek, including product management, design, program management, and research, across Indonesia, Singapore and India. He has over 16 years of experience building internet products, consults with Fortune 500 companies, and is among the most well-known and respected product leaders in all of Asia. In our conversation, we discuss:

    • The most common traits among successful product managers

    • The 3 W’s framework for PM career growth

    • The Four A’s of leveling up in product management

    • The right way to push back as a PM

    • Common pitfalls that stall PM careers

    • Vikrama’s advice for transitioning into product management

    • Why intent alone is not enough

    Brought to you by:

    Uizard—AI-powered prototyping for visionary product leaders

    Webflow—The web experience platform

    Coda—The all-in-one collaborative workspace

    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-framework-for-pm-skill-development

    Where to find Vikrama Dhiman:

    • X: https://twitter.com/vikramadhiman

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vikrama/

    • Website: https://www.vikramadhiman.com/

    Where to find Lenny:

    • Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

    In this episode, we cover:

    (00:00) Vikrama’s background

    (03:56) Three common traits among great PMs

    (07:09) The first W: What you produce

    (15:40) The second W: What you bring to the table

    (18:58) The third W: What’s your operating model?

    (20:36) Three traits that make you a great PM to work with

    (21:49) How to improve the quality and quantity of your outputs

    (23:26) The art of the pushback

    (26:55) Common factors that impede career growth

    (33:39) Vikrama’s personal reflections

    (39:33) Choosing which skill(s) to focus on developing

    (46:28) The ambiguity of the PM role

    (51:47) The 8 axis for PM growth

    (56:57) Contrarian corner: Why intent alone is not enough

    (59:30) Lightning round

    Referenced:

    • Taxi mafias, cash vaults, and 100% MoM growth: The story behind Southeast Asia’s biggest startup | Kevin Aluwi (Gojek): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/taxi-mafias-cash-vaults-and-100-mom

    • How to scrappily hire for, measure, and unlock growth | Crystal Widjaja, Gojek and Kumu: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-hire-for-measure-and-unlock

    • Gojek: https://www.gojek.com/en-id

    • SQL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQL

    • Oracle: https://www.oracle.com/

    • Crystal Widjaja on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/crystalwidjaja

    • Raditya Wibowo: https://www.linkedin.com/in/raditya-wibowo-a0845436/?originalSubdomain=id

    • Sidu Ponnappa on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sidup

    • Leveraging mentors to uplevel your career | Jules Walter (YouTube, Slack): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/leveraging-mentors-to-uplevel-your

    • Kevin Aluwi on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaluwi/

    • Workday: https://www.workday.com/

    • Salesforce: https://www.salesforce.com/

    Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Data-Clues-Uncover-Trends/dp/1250080681

    Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World: https://www.amazon.com/Originals-How-Non-Conformists-Move-World/dp/014312885X

    Thinking, Fast and Slow: https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/0374533555

    Miss Congeniality on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Congeniality-Sandra-Bullock/dp/B002R5HQDK

    Schitt’s Creek on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Schitts-Creek/dp/B083LDRW9F

    • DramaBox: https://www.dramaboxapp.com/

    Am I Overthinking This?: Over-Answering Life’s Questions in 101 Charts: https://www.amazon.com/Am-Overthinking-This-Over-answering-questions/dp/1452175861/

    Crazy Rich Asians on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Rich-Asians-Constance-Wu/dp/B07JGJFXBF

    • 9 Best Hawker Centers in Singapore—and What to Eat There: https://www.afar.com/magazine/best-hawker-centers-in-singapore-and-what-to-eat-there

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

    Business strategy with Hamilton Helmer (author of 7 Powers)

    Business strategy with Hamilton Helmer (author of 7 Powers)

    Hamilton Helmer is one of the world’s leading experts on business strategy and the author of the seminal book 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy, which provides a comprehensive framework for understanding what it really takes to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. With more than three decades of experience in the strategic consulting industry, Hamilton has advised over 200 companies—from burgeoning startups to Fortune 100 giants—on how to identify, build, and leverage their unique strategic powers. In our conversation, we discuss:

    • Potential sources of power that startups should develop from an early stage

    • Common misconceptions among companies about the types of power they possess

    • How power relates to strategy

    • The difference between a moat and a power

    • Practical strategies for non-leaders to leverage insights about power and strategy in their work

    • AI’s impact on competitive advantages and barriers to entry

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    Find the transcript and references at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/business-strategy-with-hamilton-helmer

    Where to find Hamilton Helmer:

    • X: https://twitter.com/hamiltonhelmer

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hamilton-helmer-42983/

    • Website: https://7powers.com/

    Where to find Lenny:

    • Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

    In this episode, we cover:

    (00:00) Hamilton’s background

    (04:08) When power becomes important

    (08:24) How strategy relates to power

    (12:09) How power informs strategy

    (14:46) The sequence of powers

    (21:13) Common misconceptions

    (24:39) Network effects vs. network economies

    (26:58) Uber’s success

    (29:16) Moats vs. powers

    (31:12) Strategies for non-leaders to leverage power and strategy

    (37:51) Advice on how to become a strategic thinker

    (39:27) AI’s impact on the seven powers

    (45:43) Why moving fast is not a power

    (50:24) Three things that create value in a company

    (51:16) The debt trajectory of the U.S.

    (56:35) Optimism for the future

    (59:25) Lightning round

    Referenced:

    7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy: https://www.amazon.com/7-Powers-Foundations-Business-Strategy/dp/0998116319

    • John von Neumann: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann

    • Pearl Harbor: https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/pearl-harbor

    • Where the Japanese Went Wrong at Pearl Harbor: https://pearlharbor.org/blog/where-japanese-went-wrong-pearl-harbor/

    • The ‘7 Powers’ of business success—from one of Netflix’s early investors: https://www.qualitycompounders.com.au/post/the-7-powers-of-business-success-from-one-of-netflix-s-early-investors

    • 7 Powers: Foundations of Business Strategy (Key Takeaways): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-powers-foundations-business-strategy-key-takeaways-nikita-maloo/

    • Strategy Capital: https://strategycapital.com/

    • Warren Buffett: https://www.forbes.com/profile/warren-buffett/

    • Charlie Munger: https://www.forbes.com/profile/charles-munger/

    • Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Essential Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger: https://www.stripe.press/poor-charlies-almanack

    • Bill Gates reveals why Warren Buffett was an invaluable source of support during the stormiest period of his career: https://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-interview-warren-buffett-support-microsoft-antitrust-lawsuit-2019-6

    •  Billionaire Warren Buffett’s Secret Love Affair With Castles, Revealed: https://www.thestreet.com/opinion/billionaire-warren-buffett-s-secret-love-affair-with-castles-revealed-14290973

    • Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster—how Netflix almost lost the movie rental wars: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/22/how-netflix-almost-lost-the-movie-rental-wars-to-blockbuster.html

    • Michael Porter on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/professorporter/

    • What Is Strategy?: https://hbr.org/1996/11/what-is-strategy

    • TSMC: https://www.tsmc.com/english

    • Toyota Production System: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Production_System

    • America will be left with ‘severe, irreversible scars’ if national debt goes unchecked. Now, a blockbuster report warns the bill is higher than believed, hitting $141T by 2054: https://fortune.com/2024/04/01/america-social-economic-scars-us-debt-gomes-price/

    • Ben S. Bernanke: https://www.federalreservehistory.org/people/ben-s-bernanke

    • Forty-four of 50 U.S. states worsen inequality with ‘upside-down’ taxes: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/jan/10/states-wealth-inequality-taxes

    • Joseph A. Schumpeter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Schumpeter

    Theory of Economic Development: https://www.amazon.com/Theory-Economic-Development-Science-Classics/dp/0878556982

    The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Reality-Complete-Guide-Universe/dp/0679776311

    The Gene: An Intimate History: https://www.amazon.com/Gene-Intimate-History-Siddhartha-Mukherjee/dp/147673352X

    American Fiction on Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/American-Fiction-Jeffrey-Wright/dp/B0CQKR72NX

    • Farahan Sarouk rugs: https://nazmiyalantiquerugs.com/persian-sarouk-farahan-rugs/

    • Rory Sutherland on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rorysutherland

    • Ogilvy: https://www.ogilvy.com/

    • Clint Eastwood quote: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/clint_eastwood_168005

    • Winston Churchill: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

    Michelangelo, God’s Architect: The Story of His Final Years and Greatest Masterpiece: https://www.amazon.com/Michelangelo-Gods-Architect-Greatest-Masterpiece/dp/0691195498

    The Last Judgment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Judgment_(Michelangelo)

    • Theodore Roosevelt: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/theodore-roosevelt/

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

    This will make you a better decision maker | Annie Duke (author of “Thinking in Bets” and “Quit”, former pro poker player)

    This will make you a better decision maker | Annie Duke (author of “Thinking in Bets” and “Quit”, former pro poker player)

    Annie Duke is a former professional poker player, a decision-making expert, and a special partner at First Round Capital. She is the author of Thinking in Bets (a national bestseller) and Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away and the co-founder of the Alliance for Decision Education, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve lives by empowering students through decision skills education. In our conversation, we cover:

    • What Annie learned from the late Daniel Kahneman

    • The power of pre-mortems and “kill criteria”

    • The relationship between money and happiness

    • The power of “mental time travel”

    • The nominal group technique for better decision quality

    • How First Round Capital improved their decision-making process

    • Many tactical decision-making frameworks

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    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/making-better-decisions-annie-duke

    Where to find Annie Duke:

    • X: https://twitter.com/AnnieDuke

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annie-duke/

    • Website: https://www.annieduke.com/

    • Substack: https://www.annieduke.com/substack/

    Where to find Lenny:

    • Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

    In this episode, we cover:

    (00:00) Annie’s background

    (03:53) Lessons from Daniel Kahneman: humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness

    (09:15) The importance of unconditional love in parenting

    (15:15) Mental time travel and “nevertheless”

    (20:06) The extent of improvement possible in decision-making 

    (24:54) Independent brainstorming for better decisions

    (35:36) Making sure people feel heard

    (42:41) The “3Ds” framework to make better decisions

    (44:49) Decision quality

    (55:46) Improving decision-making at First Round Capital

    (01:05:05) Using pre-mortems and kill criteria

    (01:10:15) Making explicit what’s implicit

    (01:10:55) The challenges of quitting and knowing when to walk away

    (01:19:23) Where to find Annie

    Referenced:

    • Daniel Kahneman, Who Plumbed the Psychology of Economics, Dies at 90: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/27/business/daniel-kahneman-dead.html

    • Adversarial collaboration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adversarial_collaboration

    • Does more money correlate with greater happiness?: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/does-more-money-correlate-greater-happiness-Penn-Princeton-research#

    • Income and emotional well-being: A conflict resolved: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36857342/

    • Strategic decisions: When can you trust your gut?: https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/strategic-decisions-when-can-you-trust-your-gut

    • Cass Sunstein on X: https://twitter.com/CassSunstein

    • Dr. Becky on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drbeckyatgoodinside

    • A framework for finding product-market fit | Todd Jackson (First Round Capital): https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/a-framework-for-finding-product-market

    • First Round Capital: https://firstround.com/

    • Brett Berson on X: https://twitter.com/brettberson

    • Renegade Partners: https://www.renegadepartners.com/

    • Renata Quintini on X: https://twitter.com/rquintini

    • Roseanne Wincek on X: https://twitter.com/imthemusic

    • Josh Kopelman on X: https://twitter.com/joshk

    • Bill Trenchard on X: https://twitter.com/btrenchard

    • Linnea Gandhi on X: https://twitter.com/linneagandhi

    • Maurice Schweitzer on X: https://twitter.com/me_schweitzer

    • Problems with premortems: https://sjdm.org/presentations/2021-Poster-Gandhi-Linnea-debiasing-premortem-selfserving~.pdf

    • Create a Solid Plan on How to Fail Big This Year: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2020/02/07/create-a-solid-plan-on-how-to-fail-big-this-year/

    Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away: https://www.amazon.com/Quit-Power-Knowing-When-Walk/dp/0593422996/

    • Richard Thaler on X: https://twitter.com/R_Thaler

    • Stewart Butterfield on X: https://twitter.com/stewart

    • Glitch: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glitch_(video_game)

    • How the Founder of Slack & Flickr Turned Colossal Failures into Billion-Dollar Companies: https://medium.com/swlh/how-the-founder-of-slack-flickr-turned-failures-into-million-and-billion-dollar-companies-7bcaf0d35d66

    • The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup: https://www.wired.com/2014/08/the-most-fascinating-profile-youll-ever-read-about-a-guy-and-his-boring-startup/

    • The Alliance for Decision Education: https://alliancefordecisioneducation.org/

    • Make Better Decisions course on Maven: https://maven.com/annie-duke/make-better-decisions

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

    Twitter’s former Head of Product opens up: being fired, meeting Elon, changing stagnant culture, building consumer product, more | Kayvon Beykpour

    Twitter’s former Head of Product opens up: being fired, meeting Elon, changing stagnant culture, building consumer product, more | Kayvon Beykpour

    Kayvon Beykpour was the longest-serving head of product at Twitter and was GM of Twitter’s consumer division until the platform was acquired by Elon Musk. He originally joined Twitter in 2015 through the acquisition of his company, Periscope, the largest live video streaming platform at the time. Periscope pioneered technology that inspired Instagram Live, TikTok Live, Facebook Live, and other social networks’ expansion into video streaming. In our conversation, we discuss:

    • The story of being let go from Twitter after Elon’s acquisition

    • How he turned Twitter’s stagnant culture around

    • Kayvon’s thoughts on the limitations of frameworks like Jobs to Be Done

    • Why Periscope failed

    • Advice for building consumer products

    • When to copy, when to innovate

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    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/twitters-former-head-of-product-kayvon-beykpour

    Where to find Kayvon Beykpour:

    • X: https://twitter.com/kayvz

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayvz/

    Where to find Lenny:

    • Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

    • X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

    • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

    In this episode, we cover:

    (00:00) Kayvon’s background

    (04:31) Getting Elon up to speed at Twitter

    (11:34) The story of being let go from Twitter after Elon’s acquisition

    (21:09) Changing the product culture at Twitter

    (29:44) Building the “hide replies” feature

    (32:02) Sacred crows, taking bold bets, and reigniting growth

    (34:28) Aquihires and their impact

    (42:40) Tips for successful acquisitions and staffing

    (47:00) The limitations of frameworks like JTBD

    (53:20) Signs you’ve gone too far with a framework

    (57:44) Lessons from building Periscope

    (01:00:41) Reasons why Periscope failed

    (01:07:24) The challenges of implementing video at Twitter

    (01:12:05) Copying ideas in good taste

    (01:17:58) How to get better at building consumer products

    (01:19:51) What Kayvon is building

    (01:20:31) Lightning round

    Referenced:

    • Lessons on building product sense, navigating AI, optimizing the first mile, and making it through the messy middle | Scott Belsky (Adobe, Behance): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-on-building-product-sense-navigating-ai-optimizing-the-first-mile-and-making-it-through-t/

    • What it’s like to sell your startup for ~$120 million before it’s even launched: Meet Twitter’s new prized possession, Periscope: https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-periscope-and-why-twitter-bought-it-2015-3

    • Walter Isaacson on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/walter-isaacson-b8b81520/

    • Elon Musk on X: https://twitter.com/elonmusk

    • Parag Agrawal on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/parag-agrawal-5a14742a/

    • Jack Dorsey on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-dorsey-a43b07242/

    • Blackboard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackboard_Inc.

    • Keith Coleman on X: https://twitter.com/kcoleman

    • Esther Crawford on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/esthercrawford/

    • Twitter acquires Chroma Labs: https://tech.hindustantimes.com/tech/news/twitter-acquires-chroma-labs-story-aqvcRPAoYXqXJuAbefA6cN.html

    • John Barnett on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnbarnettt/

    • Jobs to Be Done framework: https://jobs-to-be-done.com/jobs-to-be-done-a-framework-for-customer-needs-c883cbf61c90

    • Hot takes and techno-optimism from tech’s top power couple: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/hot-takes-and-techno-optimism-from-techs-top-power-couple-sriram-and-aarthi/

    • Nike Is Unveiling the Kobe 11 Tomorrow Using Periscope: https://sneakernews.com/2015/12/13/nike-is-unveiling-the-kobe-11-tomorrow-using-periscope/

    • Chris Sacca’s website: https://chrissacca.com/

    • Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/formedia/tools/facebook-live

    • Kevin Hart on X: https://twitter.com/KevinHart4real

    • Clubhouse: https://www.clubhouse.com/

    • Vine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vine_(service)

    • Paul Davison on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davison/

    • Rohan Seth on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rohanseth/

    Cryptonomicon: https://www.amazon.com/Cryptonomicon-Neal-Stephenson/dp/0380788624

    Reamde: https://www.amazon.com/Reamde-Novel-Neal-Stephenson-ebook/dp/B004XVN0WW

    The Name of the Wind: https://www.amazon.com/Name-Wind-Kingkiller-Chronicle-Book-ebook/dp/B0010SKUYM

    Star Trek official site: https://www.startrek.com/

    Dune: part 2: https://www.dunemovie.com/

    Oppenheimer on Peacock: https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-movies/oppenheimer

    • Tokyo Vice on Max: https://www.max.com/shows/tokyo-vice/e7d93204-7f98-4e62-ab52-6c1da053f942

    Devs on Hulu: https://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/devs

    • Nick Offerman on X: https://twitter.com/nick_offerman

    3 Body Problem on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81024821

    • Perplexity AI: https://www.perplexity.ai/

    • Particle: https://www.particle.news/

    • Crokinole board game: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/521/crokinole

    Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

    Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



    Get full access to Lenny's Newsletter at www.lennysnewsletter.com/subscribe

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