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    • Amazon's Success: Innovation and Process ImprovementAmazon's success lies in its focus on both product and process innovation, adopting practices like working backwards, one-way and two-way door decisions, single-threaded leaders, and memos over presentations.

      Amazon's success can be attributed not only to its innovative products, but also to its unique ways of working and emphasis on process innovation. While many companies focus solely on developing and launching new products, Amazon recognized the importance of creating effective processes and fostering a culture that supports them. This includes the practice of working backwards, where decisions are made by starting with what's best for the customer and then working backward to create solutions. Amazon also introduced concepts like one-way and two-way door decisions, single-threaded leaders, input and output metrics, and the use of memos over presentations. By prioritizing both product and process innovation, Amazon has been able to continually evolve and thrive in the market.

    • Managing Complexity: The Importance of Adaptability and Continuous ImprovementAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos understood the need for effective management in a growing organization and emphasized adaptability and continuous improvement. Managing individual metrics separately proved more effective than compound metrics.

      During a period of rapid growth and expansion, Amazon faced the challenge of becoming a complex organization. CEO Jeff Bezos, being a scientific and analytical thinker, approached this challenge with a systematic and experimental mindset. He understood the need for a method to effectively manage such a large company and implemented various ideas and hypotheses to improve processes and products. One of these experiments was the concept of a "fitness function" where multiple metrics were combined into one index. However, over time, it became clear that this compound metric was not effective and actually obscured the understanding of what actions led to desired outcomes. As a result, Amazon now emphasizes managing individual metrics separately rather than creating compound metrics. This insight highlights the importance of adaptability and continuous improvement in managing complex organizations.

    • Embracing a single threaded leadership approach for enhanced ownership and agility.Implementing a single threaded leadership approach empowers teams to prioritize goals, make independent decisions, and take accountability, leading to increased efficiency and strategic focus for senior management.

      Adopting a single threaded leadership approach can lead to increased ownership, speed, and agility within a company. This concept emerged from the need to navigate complexity and competition for limited resources in large organizations like Amazon. Instead of relying on intense, centralized collaboration, teams are empowered with a single leader who has direct or dedicated cross-functional resources. This shift from a project-based orientation to a program-based orientation allows teams to focus on specific goals, continuously improve, and make independent decisions on what to prioritize. By reducing time wasted on bureaucratic processes and flawed assumptions, teams can efficiently utilize their resources and take full accountability for their successes or failures. This approach also relieves senior management from constantly overseeing every aspect of the product roadmap, allowing them to focus on strategic decisions.

    • The benefits of adopting a single-threaded leader approach in organizationsAssigning a dedicated leader and team to a specific project or goal can increase productivity and foster faster progress, while maintaining clear ownership and accountability.

      Adopting a single-threaded leader approach can help organizations overcome resource contention issues and increase productivity. This approach involves assigning a dedicated leader and team responsible and accountable for a specific project or goal. By allowing teams to own their code and work with well-defined endpoints and APIs, the organization can move towards a service-based architecture and foster faster progress. However, it's crucial to create countermeasures to ensure functional excellence within these single-threaded teams. While this approach may differ from the decision by committee model, it still involves an intense review process to gain alignment with senior leadership. Ultimately, the single-threaded leader approach enables teams to sprint ahead while maintaining clear ownership and accountability, unlike a highly cross-functional approach.

    • Breaking teams down and implementing clear ownership leads to success.By creating dedicated teams for specific platforms and implementing functional countermeasures, such as C-level leaders setting standards, organizations can foster focused development and clear accountability, leading to success.

      Breaking teams down into single-threaded units with clear ownership can lead to success. Bill Carr discussed how they created dedicated teams for specific platforms, such as TV sets, game consoles, and mobile phones. This approach allowed for focused development and clear accountability. Another key factor in shifting to this model is implementing functional countermeasures. For example, in the case of engineering, they had a C-level leader who set standards for code reviews, interviews, promotions, and requirements. Additionally, individuals in leadership positions had additional responsibilities, such as serving on promotion panels or conducting code reviews for other teams. Another important principle at Amazon is "disagree and commit," which requires having backbone and then committing to a decision even if there was initial disagreement. However, this principle is often misunderstood and challenging to implement.

    • The Importance of Disagreeing and Considering Alternative Perspectives in Decision-MakingEffective decision-making involves actively seeking diverse viewpoints and considering all factors before making a commitment, rather than blindly agreeing without genuine understanding or conviction.

      It is crucial to voice your disagreement and provide new perspectives when making important decisions within a team or organization. The purpose of disagreeing is to offer additional information and alternative points of view that may not have been considered. Good decision-making involves understanding all different perspectives and soliciting various points of view, just like a king consulting their court. However, it is important for leaders to listen and understand their team members' disagreements and reasoning, and only continue with their decision after considering all factors. Commitment should be based on a genuine understanding and acceptance of the decision, rather than blindly agreeing without true conviction.

    • Embrace Others' Ideas and Drive InnovationSuccessful career growth requires open-mindedness, sound judgment, and customer-centricity for expanding on ideas, making informed decisions, and innovating new products.

      In order to succeed in your career and drive innovation, you need to focus on the core ideas and concepts presented by others, even if you don't fully agree with them. This involves taking that kernel of an idea and expanding upon it, exploring how it can be made viable and implemented in a business context. Additionally, leaders are not expected to be right all the time, but they should strive to be right a lot. This requires sound judgment and the ability to interpret data and weigh different factors when making decisions. Lastly, the concept of working backwards involves starting with the customer's needs and developing solutions from there, as well as utilizing processes like the Working Backwards PR/FAQ process for new product innovation.

    • Amazon's Customer-Centric Decision-Making ApproachBy prioritizing and serving customers well, businesses can naturally achieve important metrics like sales and revenue. By starting with the customer and focusing on their needs, companies can deliver better customer benefits and lower prices.

      Amazon's approach to decision-making is rooted in working backwards from the customer's needs and problems. They believe that by prioritizing and serving customers well, other important business metrics such as sales, revenue, and active customers will naturally follow. This customer-centric approach requires starting with the customer and then figuring out the solutions without being constrained by financial, resource, or other limitations. It also involves the belief that a low cost structure allows for lower prices and better customer benefits. When implementing this approach, companies can focus on understanding and addressing the lasting problems customers will always have, and use tactics like PR/FAQs, which involve thinking through the customer impact of a decision before it is made. Ultimately, the key is to prioritize what is best for the customer and come backward from there in the decision-making process.

    • The value of the PR/FAQ process in product developmentThe PR/FAQ process helps companies make informed decisions about product development by defining the customer, their problem, and the proposed solution, through iterative reviews and clear communication.

      The PR/FAQ process is a valuable tool for product development. This process involves writing a press release that describes the new product or feature in a way that resonates with customers and the external press. By carefully defining the customer, their problem, and the proposed solution, companies can make informed decisions about what to build and prioritize. However, it's important to note that the press release is not intended for public distribution but rather serves as an internal document. The process also involves an iterative review, starting small and gradually involving more stakeholders to strengthen and improve the idea. Additionally, it's crucial to focus on concise and clear communication rather than using language suited for actual press releases.

    • Importance of Timing and Factual Content in Press ReleasesUse the date effectively to convey the launch timing, maintain a factual approach with data-rich content, and prioritize impactful ideas to allocate precious resources.

      When writing a press release, the date serves as an important indicator of the envisioned timing for launching a product or service. It gives readers a sense of whether it's a simple and easy launch planned for the near future or a complex one that may take longer to materialize. While there are tools and templates available, it's crucial to avoid hyperbole and maintain a factual approach with data-rich content. However, not every press release written will make its way to the CEO or receive buy-in from higher-ups. The goal is to create a product funnel rather than a tunnel, where multiple ideas are considered and compared before allocating precious resources. Just like venture capitalists, it's essential to fund only the most promising and impactful ideas.

    • Preventing "stupid shit" and focusing on well-thought-out ideas: The importance of evaluating concepts, establishing ownership, and using metrics effectively.Companies should have a process in place to evaluate and document ideas, assign ownership, and use metrics effectively to prevent wasted time and resources and drive results.

      Companies should have a process in place to prevent "stupid shit" from happening and focus on well-thought-out ideas. This involves breaking the product development process into two parts: deciding what to build and then efficiently and effectively shipping it. One common problem in companies is the "big idea that's not fleshed out," where concepts are discussed without being properly evaluated or documented. This can lead to wasted time and resources. To avoid this, companies should establish good methods for evaluating ideas and assigning ownership. Additionally, companies should consider input and output metrics, which help measure the effectiveness of their decisions and actions. It's important to think about metrics in the right way and use them to drive results.

    • Shifting from short-term tactics to long-term customer satisfactionBy prioritizing customer satisfaction and focusing on key inputs such as selection, customer experience, price, and delivery, companies can secure customer loyalty and achieve long-term success.

      When faced with a revenue target that may not be met, many companies resort to last-minute promotional tactics or price reductions. However, Amazon realized that these fire drills were not only ineffective in achieving meaningful progress, but also distracting and potentially cannibalizing future revenue. Instead, they shifted their focus to long-term thinking and identified key inputs for customer satisfaction, such as broad selection, great customer experiences, low prices, and fast delivery. By measuring and improving these inputs, they believed they could secure customer loyalty and win in the market. This shift in mindset allowed them to move away from short-term revenue goals and focus on the factors that truly mattered to customers.

    • The Importance of Input Metrics in Driving Amazon's SuccessBy focusing on and continuously improving input metrics that directly impact the customer experience, businesses can optimize their outputs and drive success.

      Amazon's success lies in its focus on input metrics. These input metrics are the factors that drive the outputs, such as revenue, customer activity, and free cash flow. Amazon continuously improves and measures these inputs, such as low prices, selection, and speed of the customer experience. The concept of input metrics can be applied to any business by mapping the end-to-end customer experience and measuring the speed, quality, and ease of each step. It's important to identify metrics that directly impact the customer experience and have the ability to be controlled and improved. Through a process of defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling these input metrics, businesses can optimize their outputs and drive success.

    • Pitfalls of Amazon's Decision-Making ToolsAmazon's decision-making tools can assist in the process, but they are not foolproof. The failure of the Fire Phone highlights the need to focus on solving meaningful customer problems instead of prioritizing technology solutions.

      Amazon's tools for decision-making, such as documents and meetings, the PRFAQ process, and input metrics, are not foolproof solutions. They are meant to assist in decision-making, but they do not guarantee success. The failure of the Fire Phone is a prime example of how a product can go wrong. The mistake was in focusing on a technology solution (3D effects) without a clear customer problem to solve. It did not solve any meaningful problems for customers and did not enhance their media experience. When a product fails, it is important to question the problem it aimed to solve and whether it was a concept flaw rather than poor execution. Amazon is not afraid of failure, and while it leads to innovation, it doesn't guarantee success either.

    • Embracing Failure and Encouraging InnovationSuccessful companies create a culture that supports failure and innovation by restructuring compensation systems, implementing performance management, and having a committed CEO.

      Successful companies need to create a culture that embraces failure and encourages innovation. Many companies claim to be open to failure, but in practice, they penalize employees for unsuccessful projects. At Amazon, they tackled this issue by restructuring their compensation system. There were no performance bonuses tied to short-term financial goals, but rather, compensation was based on the stock price, incentivizing employees to focus on long-term success. Additionally, they implemented a performance management system that evaluated the actual contributions and improvements made by individuals, rather than solely looking at overall business performance. This allowed employees to take calculated risks without fear of career setbacks. Moreover, having a committed CEO who actively engaged with innovative teams and supported their efforts was crucial for overcoming internal barriers and promoting innovation.

    • The Bar Raiser: Ensuring Hiring Success and Company ScalabilityImplementing a Bar Raiser hiring process helps maintain company culture, standards, and ensure only qualified candidates are hired.

      Implementing a Bar Raiser hiring process can greatly contribute to the success and scalability of a company. This process, pioneered by Amazon, aims to address the challenge of new hires hiring more people without truly understanding the company's culture and standards. The Bar Raiser is an individual, not the hiring manager or recruiter, who participates in the interview process and runs the debrief meeting. Importantly, they have veto power over the hiring manager, although a good Bar Raiser rarely exercises this power. By using objective criteria based on the company's leadership principles and employing behavioral-based interviewing, the Bar Raiser ensures that hiring decisions are aligned with the company's standards and culture. This process helps mitigate urgency bias and ensures that only candidates who meet the company's high standards and cultural fit are hired.

    • The Role of the Bar Raiser in the Hiring ProcessHiring managers should view Bar Raisers as valuable helpers rather than obstacles, as they can provide valuable insight through a Socratic method. Selecting individuals who care about the hiring process and have high standards is crucial.

      The final decision in hiring lies with the hiring manager, not the Bar Raiser. The Bar Raiser and the interview loop exist to support the hiring manager in making the right decision. It's important for hiring managers to change their mindset and see these individuals as valuable helpers rather than bureaucratic obstacles. While the hiring process may seem time-consuming, making the right decision is crucial because managing the wrong hire can be even more time-consuming and detrimental to the team. The Bar Raiser can provide invaluable insight through a Socratic method and guide the discussion, but ultimately, it's the hiring manager's decision. When selecting a Bar Raiser, it's recommended to choose individuals who care about the hiring process, are good interviewers, and have high standards. Starting with a pilot within one department can be beneficial. To implement Amazonian practices, it's not about becoming Amazon, but rather adopting scalable and repeatable processes that suit your organization. Achieving buy-in from the CEO is often necessary for profound changes in processes like hiring or product development.

    • Achieving Successful Implementation of New Processes with Commitment and DisciplineImplementing scalable and durable processes requires commitment, proper planning, and a hands-on approach. Bill Carr and his partner assist companies in navigating these challenges to ensure desired outcomes.

      Implementing new processes in a company is not easy, but it can be achieved with commitment and discipline. Bill Carr emphasizes the need for companies to have a certain scale and complexity before implementing scalable and durable processes. He and his partner work as advisors and consultants, directly helping companies navigate the challenges of implementing these processes. They conduct assessments, prioritize solutions, and create personalized plans for implementation. What sets them apart is their hands-on approach, working closely with teams to ensure proper implementation and desired outcomes. If interested in their services, individuals can engage by contacting them through their website or via email. Ultimately, successful implementation requires commitment, proper planning, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

    • Insights into Innovation and Challenges in Tech Company and the Convenience of Amazon PrimeSteve Jobs' biography offers insights on a tech company's growth, while the mention of favorite movies shows Amazon Prime's entertainment options. Additionally, a favorite product highlights diverse offerings and past achievements emphasize the importance of clear actions.

      The biography of Steve Jobs offers valuable insights into the inner workings of a tech company experiencing product innovation and significant growth, similar to what can be seen at Amazon. It provides a window into the dynamics and challenges faced by such organizations. Additionally, the discussion of favorite movies and TV shows highlights the convenience of accessing a range of entertainment options through Amazon Prime. Furthermore, the mention of a favorite product, the Zipp 303 Firecrest wheels, showcases the diverse range of items available on Amazon and the platform's potential for meeting specific needs and interests. Lastly, the interview question about significant professional accomplishments underscores the importance of understanding candidates' past achievements and their ability to navigate challenges. Finally, the life motto "slow is smooth and smooth is fast" reminds us of the value in taking deliberate and clear actions, rather than rushing without direction.

    • The Value of Going Slow and Thinking Through ActionsTaking the time to plan and strategize effectively before taking action leads to faster and smoother progress in achieving our goals. Patience and thoughtful preparation are key to personal growth and development.

      Going slow in the planning and development process can actually result in faster and smoother progress towards achieving our goals. This idea is supported by Bill Carr's observation that many people rush to move forward without clarifying their destination or thinking through their actions. The concept of "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" emphasizes the importance of taking the time to plan and strategize effectively before taking action. This lesson of patience and thoughtful preparation is something that Bill Carr learned during his time at Amazon, highlighting its significance in personal growth and development. Despite the lack of secret tips or tricks for using Amazon, the platform's customer-centric design reflects the value of providing a seamless experience. Furthermore, Bill Carr's call for feedback reminds us that continuous improvement and learning from customers is always essential.

    Recent Episodes from Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

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

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

    Uri Levine is the co-founder of Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app, acquired by Google for over $1 billion. He’s also founded nine other companies, been on the board of 20 companies, and advised more than 50 companies. He’s most recently the author of Fall in Love with the Problem, Not the Solution: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs, hailed by Steve Wozniak as the “Bible for entrepreneurs.” Uri is dedicated to creating impactful startups that solve real-world problems and has seen everything from failure to moderate success to big success. In our conversation, we dig into:

    • Why falling in love with the problem is key to startup success

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

    • Why firing is more important than hiring

    • How Waze iterated to achieve product-market fit

    • Tactics for telling a compelling story when fundraising

    • Much more

    Brought to you by:

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    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/lessons-from-uri-levine

    Where to find Uri Levine:

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

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

    • Website: https://urilevine.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) Uri’s background

    (02:50) Falling in love with the problem

    (09:03) Signs this is a big enough problem

    (10:54) The importance of passion

    (12:06) A pivot example

    (14:01) Where to find startup ideas

    (21:57) Finding product-market fit at Waze

    (29:45) The different phases of a startup journey

    (36:47) What investors don’t want to hear

    (39:53) Fundraising tips

    (48:02) How to make your presentations stronger

    (50:32) A wild fundraising story

    (53:46) Firing and hiring

    (59:50) The 30-day test

    (01:04:12) Understanding users

    (01:12:10) Talking to the right users

    (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/

    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

    Inside Canva: Coaches not managers, giving away your Legos, and running profitably | Cameron Adams (co-founder and CPO)

    Inside Canva: Coaches not managers, giving away your Legos, and running profitably | Cameron Adams (co-founder and CPO)

    Cameron Adams is the co-founder and chief product officer of Canva. Canva is one of the world’s most valuable private software companies, used by 95% of Fortune 500 companies. Since its launch in 2013, Canva has grown to over 150 million monthly users in more than 190 countries, generating $2.3 billion in annual revenue. Prior to Canva, Cameron ran a design consultancy, worked at Google on Google Wave, and founded the email startup Fluent. He is also an author of five web design books and a regular speaker at global conferences. In our conversation, we discuss:

    • 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

    • Why they encourage employees to “give away their Legos”

    • Insights into Canva’s SEO growth strategy

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

    • Stories from the early days

    Brought to you by:

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    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/inside-canva-with-cameron-adams

    Where to find Cameron Adams:

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

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

    • Website: https://themaninblue.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) Cameron’s background

    (02:00) Reflecting on the success of Canva

    (04:50) Reflecting on hard times

    (10:01) Canva’s product-obsessed culture

    (12:02) Why they prioritize internal promotions and hires

    (13:56) What makes Canva unique

    (16:31) The concept of giving away your Legos

    (21:44) Why Canva has no managers

    (24:29) Product management at Canva

    (27:56) Reflections on working with a married couple

    (30:37) Why they spent a year building their MVP before launch

    (33:49) Advice for building an MVP

    (41:23) Canva’s onboarding transformation

    (44:25) Canva’s SEO strategy

    (50:37) The success of Canva’s freemium strategy

    (54:24) Integrating AI into Canva’s product

    (01:01:50) Where to find Cameron

    Referenced:

    • Canva: https://www.canva.com/

    • 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/

    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

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

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

    Matt Dixon is one of the world’s foremost experts in sales and the author of The Challenger Sale, which sold over a million copies worldwide and was a #1 Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestseller. His most recent book, The JOLT Effect, focuses on overcoming customer indecision—one of the biggest challenges to closing deals. Outside of writing, Matt co-founded DCM Insights, a boutique consultancy helping organizations understand customer behavior, and is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, with more than 20 print and online articles to his credit. In our conversation, we discuss:

    • Why 40% to 60% of qualified sales opportunities are lost due to customer indecision

    • Why dialing up FOMO doesn’t work, and what to do instead

    • The “pings and echoes” technique to catch issues early

    • The JOLT method for overcoming indecision

    • Key lessons from The Challenger Sale

    • Practical examples of how to apply these principles to close more deals

    Brought to you by:

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    Find the transcript at: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/close-more-deals-matt-dixon

    Where to find Matt Dixon:

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

    • Website: https://www.jolteffect.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) Matt’s background

    (01:57) The research behind Matt’s books

    (06:08) Insights from The JOLT Effect

    (10:15) FOMO vs. FOMU

    (18:18) An example of selling software

    (26:04) The JOLT method Step 1: Judge their level of indecision

    (29:41) The “pings and echoes” technique

    (34:49) Step 2: Offer a recommendation

    (38:36) Step 3: Limit the exploration

    (41:43) Step 4: Take risk off the table

    (45:58) When to hit the pause button with a customer

    (47:27) Insights from The Challenger Sale

    (49:07) An example of a challenger sale

    (55:23) Where to find Matt

    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

    Brought to you by:

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

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    Paragon—Ship every SaaS integration your customers want

    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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