1. 21. Can Product Managers Thrive in 'Feature Factory' Environments? with Ben Erez Estee Goldschmidt 50:11

Navigating the Realities of Product Management   This podcast episode dives into the complexities and challenges of product management, particularly in environments far removed from the idealized ‘product-led’ approach advocated by thought leaders like Marty Kagan. The episode discusses the controversy around current product management practices, emphasizing the difficulties PMs encounter when trying to implement change within their organizations. Ben shares his perspective and experiences, outlining the challenges of transitioning a company from being output-oriented to outcome-oriented, highlighting the risks and personal consequences PMs face in such endeavors. The conversation also covers strategies for PMs in ‘feature factory’ settings and the importance of aligning job performance evaluations with the realities of the work environment. Through this discussion, the podcast sheds light on the contrasts between the aspirational aspects of product leadership and the on-the-ground realities for PMs, offering insights and advice for navigating these challenging terrains.   00:00 Welcome & Introduction to the Product Management Controversy 02:34 The Heart of the Controversy: Product-Led vs. Feature Factories 04:28 Ben’s Perspective: The Realities of Implementing Change 05:27 The Reaction to Ben’s Post and the Broader Implications 11:23 Navigating the Feature Factory: A Telehealth Case Study 14:03 Strategies for Product Managers in Challenging Environments 17:52 The Art of Influence and Navigating Corporate Dynamics 25:22 Reflecting on Agency and the Role of Product Managers 27:21 The Ephemeral Nature of CEO Priorities 27:58 The Discrepancy Between PMs and Executive Satisfaction 28:56 Outcome vs. Output: The PM Dilemma 30:28 Navigating the Feature Factory: A PM’s Guide 31:24 Empowerment and Rewards: The Key to PM Success 35:25 The Reality of Product Management in Different Environments 40:34 Supra Insider: A Community for Product Leaders 41:06 Identifying the Right Company Culture for PMs 46:23 The Challenge of Changing Company Culture 47:39 Final Thoughts: Navigating Product Management  

Ben’s Bio: Ben Erez is an experienced product leader specializing in 0 to 1. He scaled startups, drove significant revenue at Facebook, and most recently led product and design at Continuum, a marketplace for fractional executive talent. He’s currently advising and consulting early stage founders on product management.

Ben’s Podcast: Supra Insider – Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/6TMmn1S1ATCD4U4brZowMI

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Estee is a digital product leader in startups who is also a wife and mom of two. In her podcast, she navigates through the challenges with her guests.