Vibhav Viswanathan

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?

For me successfully launching products across different industries like Machine Learning, Gaming, Developer Tools etc that solves a problem for the target audience and meets or exceeds business goals. These launches often involved overcoming obstacles and making difficult trade-off decisions, and the reward of seeing the end result and its positive impact brought a great sense of pride and accomplishment to me.

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

Balancing the needs and wants of different stakeholders, such as customers, sales, engineering, and leadership was challenging. Employing effective communication and collaboration skills, as well as a deep understanding of the target market and the competitive landscape, to make informed decisions that best serve the overall goals of the product and the company were helpful. Additionally, seeking out mentorship and continuously learning and growing also helped me navigate these challenges.
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What's one common  myth about product management that you find common among aspiring PMs.

One common myth about product management is that it is solely focused on creating and launching new products. While product launches are an important part of a product manager's role, they are just one aspect of the job. A large portion of a product manager's time is also spent on research, gathering and analyzing data, working with cross-functional teams, making strategic decisions, and constantly iterating on the product based on customer feedback and market trends. This means that product management is not just about having a great idea for a product, but also about the ability to execute and deliver a successful product to market.

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

Product managers must be aware of several common pitfalls in order to be successful:  Lack of focus: Failing to clearly define and prioritize the target customer and their pain points can lead to a lack of focus and result in a product that misses the mark.  Overlooking the competition: Neglecting to thoroughly research and understand the competitive landscape can result in a product that is not differentiated or fails to meet the needs of the target customer.  Poor communication with stakeholders: Ineffective communication with stakeholders, such as sales, engineering, and leadership, can result in misaligned goals and a lack of buy-in, making it more difficult to successfully bring a product to market.  Over-engineering: Adding too many features or making the product too complex can lead to longer development cycles, higher costs, and a less user-friendly product.  Neglecting post-launch evaluations: Failing to regularly gather and analyse customer feedback and market data can result in a product that becomes outdated and loses its competitive advantage.

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If not product  management, what career would you have picked? Are there any complimentary skillsets that you see between being a PM and your alternate choice?

If not for product management, I would have probably picked the path of venture capital or equity investing. The common skillsets are around deeply understand the business and the customer, being able to dive deep into data and gathering insights as well as understanding the motivations of different stakeholders.

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

I underestimated the importance of effectively communicating and collaborating with cross-functional teams. Product management involves working closely with teams such as sales, engineering, design, and leadership, and it is essential for product managers to be able to communicate their vision and goals clearly and effectively, as well as to listen to and incorporate the input of others. Building strong relationships and fostering a culture of collaboration can lead to more successful and innovative products.

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

For me successfully launching products across different industries like Machine Learning, Gaming, Developer Tools etc that solves a problem for the target audience and meets or exceeds business goals. These launches often involved overcoming obstacles and making difficult trade-off decisions, and the reward of seeing the end result and its positive impact brought a great sense of pride and accomplishment to me.

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

Balancing the needs and wants of different stakeholders, such as customers, sales, engineering, and leadership was challenging. Employing effective communication and collaboration skills, as well as a deep understanding of the target market and the competitive landscape, to make informed decisions that best serve the overall goals of the product and the company were helpful. Additionally, seeking out mentorship and continuously learning and growing also helped me navigate these challenges.
‚Äć

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

One common myth about product management is that it is solely focused on creating and launching new products. While product launches are an important part of a product manager's role, they are just one aspect of the job. A large portion of a product manager's time is also spent on research, gathering and analyzing data, working with cross-functional teams, making strategic decisions, and constantly iterating on the product based on customer feedback and market trends. This means that product management is not just about having a great idea for a product, but also about the ability to execute and deliver a successful product to market.

‚Äć

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

Product managers must be aware of several common pitfalls in order to be successful:  Lack of focus: Failing to clearly define and prioritize the target customer and their pain points can lead to a lack of focus and result in a product that misses the mark.  Overlooking the competition: Neglecting to thoroughly research and understand the competitive landscape can result in a product that is not differentiated or fails to meet the needs of the target customer.  Poor communication with stakeholders: Ineffective communication with stakeholders, such as sales, engineering, and leadership, can result in misaligned goals and a lack of buy-in, making it more difficult to successfully bring a product to market.  Over-engineering: Adding too many features or making the product too complex can lead to longer development cycles, higher costs, and a less user-friendly product.  Neglecting post-launch evaluations: Failing to regularly gather and analyse customer feedback and market data can result in a product that becomes outdated and loses its competitive advantage.

‚Äć

If not product  management, what career would you have picked? Are there any complimentary skillsets that you see between being a PM and your alternate choice?

If not for product management, I would have probably picked the path of venture capital or equity investing. The common skillsets are around deeply understand the business and the customer, being able to dive deep into data and gathering insights as well as understanding the motivations of different stakeholders.

‚Äć

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

I underestimated the importance of effectively communicating and collaborating with cross-functional teams. Product management involves working closely with teams such as sales, engineering, design, and leadership, and it is essential for product managers to be able to communicate their vision and goals clearly and effectively, as well as to listen to and incorporate the input of others. Building strong relationships and fostering a culture of collaboration can lead to more successful and innovative products.

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