Lessons from Anand Chandrasekaran, Product Leader at Five9, Facebook, Snapdeal
Bite-sized lessons from a product leader.
Anand Chandrasekaran is an Executive Vice President of Product Management at Five9. He was previously a CPO at Snapdeal and was at Facebook.
He shared lessons on building products, trust, and a career at On Deck.
Here’s what I learned:
On Career Growth
Focus on the job you have right now instead of lobbying for the job you don’t have. Don’t pressure yourself to put in 150%. 101% is enough.
It compounds over time and gives you time to focus on other things.
On Being a Product Leader
A head of product details how product can connect with the big vision of a company. They set the tone for hiring.
With their directs, they shield blame but let them take the glory.
On Tech Debt
Fixing tech debt is part of a product manager’s job.
It’s not: Should I release features or reduce tech debt? It’s: How can I deliver features and also reduce tech debt?
But if you don’t yet have product-market fit, focus on that first.
If you see someone who shows enthusiasm, that’s a great sign.
Questions to discover talented people:
- “What do you do in your spare time?”
- “How do you handle adversity?”
These questions help signal passion, excellence, and grit.
On Managing Up
Don’t. There’s no need for an elaborate framework to manage up.
Instead, keep people on the same page. What people don’t like is not being kept in the loop while you’re making critical decisions.
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