live online course

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

Valerie Nygaard
VALERIE NYGAARD
PRODUCT LEAD / GOOGLE
8 Dec 2020
– 22 Jan 2021
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A LIVE ONLINE COURSE WITH PRODUCT LEAD AT GOOGLE
5 weeks

12/08/2020 - 01/22/2021

(INCLUDING TWO WEEKS
HOLIDAY BREAK)
Get ready to convert your ambition into hard product management skills. Valerie Nygaard, product lead at Google, will help you establish or strengthen your existing PM foundation with the same research and analysis frameworks shared by elite product managers. You’ll come away from this course with a cohesive portfolio showcasing your product analysis and innovation, Silicon Valley-style interview practice, and behind-the-scenes insights from the world’s most in-demand software products. And you’ll have a lot of fun along the way.
PREPARE TO ACCELERATE

Professional Fast Track

This course is for anyone who wants to become an elite product manager, whether that means stepping into a more advanced PM role or preparing to make a career switch. Build a strong foundation of product analysis and problem-solving skills, develop your own MVP and learn how to nail your first big interview, with an expert Product Lead from Google by your side.

Live and Personal

This is not a sign-up-and-forget online course. You’ll learn and practice in live lectures every week, with direct feedback from the instructor on your projects and weekly opportunities to engage with her and your peers throughout. You’ll conclude your learning with PM interview training with Valerie to prepare you to land your dream job.

 
ABOUT THE COURSE
01
Analysis and Implementation
The heart of a PM’s job is understanding consumer needs and solving customer problems. You’ll get equipped to do that through rigorous units aimed to help you think, pitch, and experiment like a product leader. Then, you’ll use these skills to dream up the next big feature for your favorite existing product, lay out its value proposition, define a target audience, and outline an MVP.
02
Real-World Focus
You’ll learn using billion-dollar, inventive products like Pinterest, DoorDash, and Magic the Gathering to think deeply about products and features. The course culminates in a PM mock interview with real questions used by top Silicon Valley companies. This is a fantastic opportunity to synthesize your new knowledge and prepare for converting to your dream PM role.
03
Individual Feedback

Valerie will give you feedback on your analysis and assignments throughout the course, and she’ll coach you on the most notorious part of the modern job hunt: your personal brand. She’ll use her 20 years’ experience developing products for companies like Microsoft, eBay, and Google to help you build your own slide deck ready for the C-suite.

Instructor
VALERIE
NYGAARD
  • Product Lead for Google Duplex, winner of Popular Science's Best New Software of 2018 for its dramatic innovation in AI and conversational computing
  • 20+ years in product management with Fortune 500 companies and startups
  • Sought-after speaker and presenter at Google I/O and VB Transform
  • Rockstar technologist, people-focused product leader, and compassionate mentor
SYLLABUS
01
TUE 12/08 5 PM PDT
Think like a Product Leader

We'll kick off with a lightning tour of product fundamentals. We'll look at what a product manager is (and isn't). Then we'll dig into the core of product thinking - defining the problem. We'll look at popular products across entertainment, fitness, gaming, e-Commerce and others and discuss: What is the product really solving for? What is its special sauce that differentiates it from the competition?

  • Product fundamentals lightning tour
  • What is a PM? (What isn't a PM?)
  • Working on our core: Defining the problem
  • Special sauce: Differentiators

Project #1

Throughout the course, you'll build a slide deck as a portfolio of your product thinking. Today you'll choose an existing product to use as an anchor for the rest of the course. Using your anchor product, create a slide that shows:

  • (1) What is the core problem the product is solving?
  • (2) Go Deeper: What's the special sauce that puts this product in a unique position to solve it?
more
02
FRI 12/11 5 PM PDT
The Customer and the Opportunity

Who is your customer? We'll talk about target markets and customer profiles, and how they can shape crucial decisions in a product. Once you know your core value proposition and your customer, we start on one of the best parts of being a PM - what would we build next? You'll dream up the next big feature for your anchor product and start understanding how big the opportunity is.

  • Target markets and customer profiles
  • Opportunity sizing
  • Dreaming up the next big feature

Project #2

  • (3) What's the next big feature for your anchor product?
  • (4) Go Deeper: What's the size of that opportunity?
more
03
TUE 12/15 5 PM PDT
User Research and Experimentation

Every flavor of product management has the customer at its core. How do you know what your customers need? Today is all about decoding signals - what are your customers telling you every time they click, every time they query, every time they purchase. We'll look at how to divine signals from user research, logs and industry data. Finally, you'll apply these techniques to your new feature idea.

  • User Research - How do you know what your customers need?
  • Decoding signals - What are your users already telling you?

Project #3

  • (5) Before you've built your feature, how do you know your customers want it?
  • (6) Go Deeper: Once your feature is launched, what signals will tell you how good it is?
more
04
FRI 12/18 5 PM PDT
Product Strategy and MVPs

Product strategy can give PMs serious writer's block. We'll break down strategy vs vision, tactics and roadmaps, and talk about how strategy is related to the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Finally, we'll work through how to define an MVP for your new feature.

  • A strategy for product strategy
  • Hitting the road(maps)
  • Defining your MVP

Project #4

  • (7) What's in your MVP?
  • (8) Go Deeper: What's out?
more
05
TUE 01/05 5 PM PDT
Metrics and Product Performance

Today is about product performance, the wonderful world of metrics. We'll cover key metrics used at billion-dollar tech companies and startups alike, including DAUs, MAUs, UUs, CSAT, CLV and other metrics acronyms that are common PM parlance. Most importantly, we'll look at one of the most critical questions for any product: What is the northstar metric?

  • AMAs (Awesome Metrics Acronyms)
  • Northstar metrics
  • Proxy metrics

Project #5

  • (9) What's the northstar metric for your feature? Why?
  • (10) Go Deeper: What's the northstar metric for your broader anchor product?
more
06
FRI 01/08 5 PM PDT
Launching a Product

You know your customer. You have your strategy and your roadmap, and you know what you'll use to measure success. Let's get to launching! We'll cover go-to-market plans for new products and features, talk about marketing, PR, distribution, and what can go wrong.

  • Go-to-market plans
  • Launching a product
  • PR

Project #6

  • (11) What's your broader GTM plan?
  • (12) Go Deeper: What's the PR headline you're aiming for?
more
07
TUE 01/12 5 PM PDT
Optimization and Gamification: Funnels, Buckets and Gold Coins

Launching a product is the beginning; now we make it better. Today we'll look at product optimization, including conversion funnels, guest modes and account creation, and the famous "leaky bucket". We'll also cover gamification, which is widely used in all kinds of products, not just games.

  • Product optimization
  • Conversion funnels
  • Gamification

Project #7

  • (13) What does gamification mean in your anchor product?
  • (14) Go Deeper: What are your biggest leaky-bucket risks?
more
08
FRI 01/15 5 PM PDT
What kind of PM are you?

Today we'll look at the different flavors of PMing: consumer apps, B2B, platforms, research, software vs hardware, front-end vs back-end and others, and what would make someone amazing at each. We'll discuss the cross-functional team PMs interact with - Engineering, Design, Marketing, PR, Legal, Privacy, Policy, Research, Analytics, etc. What does each bring to the table, and who should be your new best friend? Finally, we'll turn to you as the product. What's your elevator pitch for yourself?

  • The 31 Flavors of PMing
  • Cross-functional fun
  • You as the product

Project #8

  • (15) The 1-slide resumé
more
09
TUE 01/19 5 PM PDT
The PM Interview

One of the most frequent requests I get is how to prepare for a PM interview. Knowing what kinds of questions might be asked and having a framework for how to structure your thoughts can make the difference between getting the job or not. We'll discuss how to shine in the interview style done at top tech companies. This is a fantastic way to prepare for converting to your dream PM role.

  • Common Question Types
  • Amazing answers vs "meh" answers
  • Building a response framework

Project #9

  • (16) Record yourself giving a 2 minute response to our class interview question
more
10
FRI 01/22 8 PM PDT
The Art of the Executive Summary

This is serious PM-ing. We'll work on boiling it down, simplifying a complex message into a punchy narrative. Finally, we'll have a couple stories from my 20 years working in Silicon Valley tech, including some of the best "aha moments" and things I wish I'd known when I was first starting in Product.

  • Boiling it down - the executive summary
  • Punching it up
  • Things I wish I'd known as a new PM
more
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