How I became a product manager by Preetam Nath

How I became a Product Manager?

Preetam Nath

Founder, 50K.Tech

Preetam started as a marketer but found his true calling as a product manager. He has worked with very early stage startups to startups which have scaled well. He has worked with Unacademy in his last full time engagement and now he is running his own startup.

He is a vision driven entrepreneurial spirit with strong focus on results and a mission to meaningfully uplift people’s lives. His experience has taught him how to delve deep into problems and solve them most effectively by applying First Principles.

In a candid discussion with ProductHood, he shared his journey to becoming a product manager.

Listen to full interview here

To get hired, I had to prove to people that I'm worthy to bet on.

My Story

Why Product Management?

Product came naturally to me. 4 years ago, I found myself at a place where I cared and empathized with the needs of the user, and that’s when I learnt I could translate that understanding into impact by working in product.

Challenges Faced

I had no MBA. I had no prior experience. Heck, I was 8 months out of college in a marketing job.

To get hired, I had to prove to people that I’m worthy to bet on.

Hard Skills I acquired

The most essential skills were – a foundational set of mental models and heuristics that equipped me to think deeply, break down problems, and build higher skills on top of it.

I started with – how to think.

PM Skills

Writing is essentially a communication skill. As a PM, your biggest job is to break down communication barriers and bring everyone on the same page.

If you talk well, good for you. If not, learn to write!

Product Success Metrics

Success in product means is your users achieving the outcome that they desire from using your product. This is a lag indicator.

The best PMs will derive input metrics (lead indicators) that increase chances of success for users.

Working with designers & Engineers

Everyone has their own set of experiences, biases, and goals to achieve. Your job as a PM is find balance and align everyone towards the big picture –
“Why are we doing this? What do we hope to achieve?”

Softwares & Tools

Use tools that fit your team and culture. Forcing JIRA upon a team that doesn’t want to use it will lead to failure.

Tools exist to solve communication gaps. I find Google Docs, Sheets, and Trello incredible!

Resources for PM's

If you are preparing for Indian startups, then online resources won’t cut it. It’s 99% hands-on, experiential learning.

However, @intercom’s book on Product Management is an excellent resource.

Advice to new PMs - execute execute execute until #product work becomes muscle memory

Advice to experienced PMs - don't be in a hurry to rise to VP level, keep nailing fundamentals. Your role evolves from executioner to coach - read up about it.

Preetam Nath

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