Archisman Das

Career Milestones

Organization and You

Core Competencies

Go to food for thought

Favorite Products

What accomplishment in your product management career has brought you the highest level of satisfaction and joy? Can you narrate why?

I consider scaling the Product team at Shadowfax as one of the high points of my career. It was extremely fulfilling watching each of the Product Managers in my team grow and ship high impact products that touch millions of people across India. I was fortunate to have had good mentors during the formative years of my professional life. At Shadowfax, I got the opportunity to pay it forward and in my little way mentor and coach the next generation of Product Managers. I'm excited to see what they accomplish in the coming decade.

‍

What aspect of product management did you struggle the most with? How did you overcome it?

I like to think of Product Management especially at a startup as a marathon of sprints. One critical meta-skill that is often overlooked is how you go about managing your time and energy. I was not great at it. But eventually devised a system that works for me. It starts from having clarity on what you want to accomplish in a year and then working backward to arrive at your goals for the quarter and the week. I am very deliberate in planning my week and do monthly audits to check where I ended up spending time so that I can course correct if they are not aligned with my priorities.

‍

What's one common myth about product management that you find common among aspiring PMs?

Product manager roles are increasingly coveted positions. People see it as a leadership role. However, the reality is much fuzzier. Unlike, other roles, you will have to lead by influence. You have very little authority and you will have to work hard to earn the trust of your team by demonstrating good judgment and helping them win.

‍

What are some common pitfalls that product managers must be aware of?

One of the common pitfalls that I've seen Product Managers fall into is being unable to differentiate between an opinion, an assumption, and truth. This can blindside their judgment. Sachin Rekhi has written a brilliant post on this where he described successful Product Managers as Truth Seekers.

‍

What is something about product management that you wish you knew when you started out?

A lot has been written about the importance of User Empathy for Product Managers. However, I believe it shouldn't stop there. Great Product Managers act as a force multiplier for their team. To do that, you need to have a deep understanding of not only your users but also of your team across Engineerings, Design, Business, and Operations. Without that, you will struggle to ship great products.

‍

What accomplishment in your product management career has brought you the highest level of satisfaction and joy? Can you narrate why?

I consider scaling the Product team at Shadowfax as one of the high points of my career. It was extremely fulfilling watching each of the Product Managers in my team grow and ship high impact products that touch millions of people across India. I was fortunate to have had good mentors during the formative years of my professional life. At Shadowfax, I got the opportunity to pay it forward and in my little way mentor and coach the next generation of Product Managers. I'm excited to see what they accomplish in the coming decade.

‍

What aspect of product management did you struggle the most with? How did you overcome it?

I like to think of Product Management especially at a startup as a marathon of sprints. One critical meta-skill that is often overlooked is how you go about managing your time and energy. I was not great at it. But eventually devised a system that works for me. It starts from having clarity on what you want to accomplish in a year and then working backward to arrive at your goals for the quarter and the week. I am very deliberate in planning my week and do monthly audits to check where I ended up spending time so that I can course correct if they are not aligned with my priorities.

‍

What's one common myth about product management that you find common among aspiring PMs?

Product manager roles are increasingly coveted positions. People see it as a leadership role. However, the reality is much fuzzier. Unlike, other roles, you will have to lead by influence. You have very little authority and you will have to work hard to earn the trust of your team by demonstrating good judgment and helping them win.

‍

What are some common pitfalls that product managers must be aware of?

One of the common pitfalls that I've seen Product Managers fall into is being unable to differentiate between an opinion, an assumption, and truth. This can blindside their judgment. Sachin Rekhi has written a brilliant post on this where he described successful Product Managers as Truth Seekers.

‍

What is something about product management that you wish you knew when you started out?

A lot has been written about the importance of User Empathy for Product Managers. However, I believe it shouldn't stop there. Great Product Managers act as a force multiplier for their team. To do that, you need to have a deep understanding of not only your users but also of your team across Engineerings, Design, Business, and Operations. Without that, you will struggle to ship great products.

‍

Come For the Content
‍Stay For the Community