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Here's a list of old episodes in date order! There have been some great conversations so feel free to binge them all!
Saagar Bains is a fractional product leader and product advisor who started out digitally transforming his family's wholesale business and launching its e-commerce site before moving into consulting and into startups. One of those startups was The Body Coach, started by celebrity fitness guru Joe Wicks, where Saagar had the job of translating their vision into scalable reality. For this episode, we travelled to Saagar's hometown of Birmingham for a LIVE interview and Q&A about the pros and cons of building for celebrity creators.
Product managers often get tied up in the craft of product management and the latest frameworks, but Saagar started out working for his family business and had to work out everything as he went. This gave him an incredible bias for action, to do things that don't scale and to get scrappy where needed. These are traits that many PMs should develop rather than getting precious about process.
Saagar spent some time working for Deloitte Digital and, in many cases, building stuff without being told why it was being built. This left him feeling unsatisfied, and like he wasn't doing "Proper Product". Luckily, even though The Body Coach started building with an external agency, the "why" was so strong from the founders that Saagar could take over something that made sense.
If you have millions of users with a direct relationship with the brand upfront, you can't just throw anything out the door. There's an incredible amount of brand equity and trust that needs to be satisfied, and there is a higher quality bar. That said, you still have to pick your battles, and there's still good product prioritisation work to be done.
When you have an incredibly well-respected founder who lives and breathes the product, you're going to get requests. Some of them will even make sense. But, product people who don't have evidence against the requests, or a better plan in general, are going to get overridden and they only have themselves to blame. That said, it's important not to rail against feature requests just because they're from a founder.
When working with creators with a massive following, who have invested so much of themselves into a company, the worst thing you can do is just walk in expecting them to bend to the awesome power of product management. Saagar spent several hours walking and talking with the founders before even getting the job, to understand their motivations and forge a bond. This ultimately helped him be more successful.
You can connect with Saagar on LinkedIn.
|Jeff Gothelf||OKRs: The Gateway Drug to Agility & Good Product Management|
|John Cutler||Survive the Feature Factory by Applying Product Thinking to Product Thinking|
|Allen Holub||The Role of Product Management on Truly Agile Development Teams|
|Melissa Perri||Escaping the Build Trap with Product Operations and Strong CPOs|
|Teresa Torres||Getting into the Habit of Continuous Discovery|
|Kim Scott||Defeating Bias, Prejudice and Bullying in the Workplace|
|April Dunford||Aligning your Positioning & the Myth of Product Market Fit|
|Marty Cagan||How to Build an Effective Product Organisation|
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