Building 0-1 Products

Hello folks: after a brief hiatus, we are back with the TPF weekly AMA series! This week, we were glad to welcome Nishad Shah, Senior Product Manager at ShareChat.

Nishad is an IIT Bombay graduate and IIM Ahmedabad post-graduate. He has worked as a Senior Associate at BCG where he gathered experience across industries and functions. He then led strategic projects at Udaan where he understood Indian B2B retail landscape and developed execution skills to build thriving businesses.

So, let us jump straight into it:

Product Management

A lot of questions in the AMA were around how one should enter the PM space, the roadblocks and the technical understanding required to be a great PM. Nishad also shared great PM resources.

Here is what Nishad had to say about such questions:

Technical Background Requirement: Nishad believes that some amount of technical knowledge helps in executing the product vision. 

General PM vs Growth PM: Nishad shared that Growth PMs usually focus on large horizontal bets, so they are expected to have a full-view of the organization and experience with 0-1 products is helpful because a lot of growth work is focused on building or thinking things from scratch.

Roadblocks for a PM: The usual constraint for any organization is time, money or people. So the road blocks usually manifest in those ways. Nishad shared that one way to mitigate the risk is to always go with user data and research. 

Strategy and Product: Strategy is  market focused, top-down and helps one understand how markets are evolving and where one should play. Product is user focused, bottom-up and helps one understand what are the user problems and how one can solve them. The thing that strategy misses is usually detail on how problems will be solved. Product helps in bridging this gap as it is a role that is fairly balanced between strategy and execution.

Building 0-1 products: Nishad suggests relying more on qualitative learnings than metrics and understanding users deeply, hence building what is really valuable to them. 

User Interviews: Nishad shared that Sharechat has a dedicated user research team that helps them understand their tier 2-3 cities’ users. He also shared that the biggest challenge is to develop user empathy and not rely on answers at face value.

Resources for Strategy: The following are Nishad’s favourite Strategy resources: 

  • Articles from VC funds (a16z particularly) 
  • Consulting reports
  • Substack

Want to join the next conversation? We’ll be having another Product Chat soon, get your invite to our Slack community to get all the details. See you inside.

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