How to Land a Product Management Job at Startups and Growth-Stage Companies

Problem Statement

Many job search guides fail to offer meaningful insight into landing Product Manager (PM) jobs at startups and growth-stage companies. They tend to over-index on popular interview questions, and while that’s useful to a point, they don’t teach you how to differentiate yourself in an increasingly competitive market.

Image by Werner Heiber from Pixabay

If you’re a PM wondering how to break into startups and growth-stage companies from the outside, or if you’ve been trying and have struggled to gain traction, read on!

In this article, I share what I learned in my search for PM leader roles (i.e. Director / VP / Head of Product) as a candidate coming from a lengthy PM stint at a large company (8.5 years at Wells Fargo). My advice is relevant for those pursuing IC roles, e.g. Senior / Principal PM.

Continue reading “How to Land a Product Management Job at Startups and Growth-Stage Companies”


Idea for LinkedIn Background Photo: Your Career Journey

Problem Statement

Your LinkedIn profile supports a background photo — what’s the best way to use it?

The majority of LinkedIn users don’t change the background photo from the bland default one, so it’s not a meaningful disadvantage to keep using the default. That said, it is valuable real estate on your profile.

I’ve been mulling over options for the majority of professionals including me.

Authors and speakers have it easy

Teresa Torres, a Product coach, leverages the background photo to rep her new book, Continuous Discovery Habits:

Teresa Torres background photo on LinkedIn

Continue reading “Idea for LinkedIn Background Photo: Your Career Journey”

How to Best Work with Product Designers as a Product Manager

Last updated: 2022-08-05

Problem Statement

Some Product Managers (PMs) lack a nuanced understanding of Product Design disciplines, provide direction & feedback to Product Designers in unhelpfully limiting ways, and fail to build an effective partnership with Product Designers.

In this article I provide guidance on how PMs can effectively collaborate with and empower their Product Designers to design delightful customer experiences.

Before we can have a meaningful conversation about how to work with Product Designers, we first have to level set on what they do. If you’re already knowledgeable about Product Design disciplines, feel free to skip ahead to the tips & advice.

What Product Designers Do

Product Designers integrate multiple design disciplines, including:

  1. Information Architecture (IA)
  2. Interaction Design (ID)
  3. Content Strategy (CS)
  4. Visual Design (VD)

Image by Firmbee from PixabayThese disciplines are intentionally listed with IA first and VD last. We’ll unpack each discipline in detail.

“Product Design” has become an increasingly popular term in recent years, but before that UI Design, UX Design, and CX Design — i.e. User Interface Design, User Experience Design, and Customer Experience Design — were more commonly used. We’ll talk about the distinctions between UX and UI later. My gut feeling is with the growing emphasis on the word “product” that “Product Design” will continue to gain prominence.

Continue reading “How to Best Work with Product Designers as a Product Manager”