Hi, I'm Sachin.

I love sharing lessons learned, best practices, and insights from over a decade here in Silicon Valley as a product guy and startup founder.

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How to be a Great Product Leader

Follow the Leader

One of the challenges we've long acknowledged in the tech industry is how difficult the transition can be from a software engineer to an engineering manager due to the vast distinction in the skill set to be great at the new role. Equally challenging but less talked about is how much this same challenge exists when transitioning from a product manager to a manager of product managers, ie. a product leader.

I wanted to share some of the best practices I learned along the way making my own transition from a product manager to a product leader.

3 Essential Dashboards for Every Product

acq-eng-monetization

I've found across the many products I've managed that I ultimately end up developing at least three key dashboards that I review in detail every week. They help me have a constant pulse on how well the product is performing against our objectives and reviewing them on an ongoing basis helps to build my own intuition for what's ultimately going to move the needle in the right direction.

Those three dashboards are acquisition, engagement, and monetization.

Design Your Development Process for Learning

sprint_retrospective

One aspect of startups that the ecosystem is getting better at is designing our startups for learning from our customers to find product/market fit. Steve Blank and Eric Ries helped popularize these notions and the ecosystem has embraced them.

But what I've found surprising is that these learnings haven't been readily applied to the development process and they definitely should be. From the earliest stages of a startup, the R&D team should be designed in such a way to maximize learning for improving the R&D process itself.

Minimum Viable Team

Social-Media-Team

Every startup I've worked at folks have lamented about how there were never enough resources to accomplish everything they wanted to. Whether it was not enough engineers to build the desired features, not enough designers to design those experiences, not enough marketers to drum up interest, or not enough salespeople to generate revenue. It always felt like the startup couldn't hire fast enough to meet the desires of the business. And the classic belief was that we would be able to achieve our goals if we just had a few more people on the team. It's easy to understand why folks have that mentality given resources are certainly a necessary ingredient to getting things done. When a startup is in the company building & scaling phase, excellence in hiring and on-boarding quality talent faster than others is a potential competitive advantage.

But I want to make the counter-argument for why a minimum viable team, or a small team just big enough to ship and iterate on your minimum viable product, has it's own advantages at the earliest phase of a startup when you are pre-product/market fit.

My Top 10 Posts of 2015 on Product Management, Career Optimization, and Life Hacks

Red cubes 2016

2015 was the year I returned to writing. It's reminded me just how much fun it is to reflect on what I've learned over the years and try to distill those lessons into repeatable practices for myself and others. I tried my best to keep a weekly cadence in the second half of the year and generally did with a few brief hiatuses.

I wanted to share the 10 most popular posts I published in 2015. While I wrote mostly on product management, design, and entrepreneurship, I had a few well-received posts on optimizing your career and life hacks in general. Take a look and I hope you enjoy any posts that you may have missed in the year.