Get ready to convert your ambition into hard product management skills. Nino Tasca, Lead Product Manager for Speech at Google, will help you establish or strengthen foundational PM skills and stretch further, training you in the same research and analysis frameworks used by elite product managers.
You’ll come away from this course with a presentation-ready pitch deck, pitch coaching from a Silicon Valley leader, and behind-the-scenes insights from the PM behind one of the world’s most in-demand software products. And you’ll have a lot of fun along the way.
Throw out the textbooks and learn by doing, with a Google Product Lead at your side. Build a strong foundation of product analysis and problem-solving skills, develop your own MVP, and learn how to nail your first big product pitch in just 5 weeks.
You’ll learn and practice in live lectures every week, with feedback from Google's Lead Product Manager for Speech on the pitch deck you'll develop during the course. Want to go deeper? Connect with Nino during weekly office hours.
Nino will give you feedback on your analysis and assignments throughout the course. He’ll use his 20+ years of experience leading transformative digital products to help you build your own slide deck ready for the C-suite.
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?
Choose a product to use as an anchor for the rest of the course and create the first slide in your portfolio deck, defining the core problem for your anchor product and the special sauce that differentiates it.
What's that you say...? Your product is for everyone? Today we'll bust the myth of the universal customer profile, talk about target markets, and understand how all this shapes crucial decisions in a product. Then, we'll look at one of the best parts of being a PM -- what would we build next?
You know the core product, the core problem and the target market. Now let's add a feature. :) Consider the following as you determine your new feature:
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 some of the best industry reports and commentary. Finally, you'll look at how to apply the techniques we discuss to your new feature idea.
Product Strategy (capital "S") tends to be hard for PMs. They either get writer's block or end up doing something else -- vision, tactics or a roadmap. We'll break down the fuzzy boundaries among those product elements, and talk about a practical way to think about strategy and roadmaps.
We'll also talk about how strategy is related to the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and look at some classic product playbooks. You'll look at how to define the MVP for your chosen feature.
Add to your deck. For your proposed feature, make two lists:
Today is about the wild and wonderful world of product performance metrics. How do you know if your product is any good? How do you know the changes you've made had the intended effect? We'll look at one of the most critical questions of any product -- what is the northstar metric?
Add one slide to your deck:
Let's get to launching! Today, we'll cover go-to-market plans for new products and features, talk about marketing, PR, distribution, and what can go wrong.
Launching a product is the beginning. Now we make it better. We'll look at key things to know about product optimization, including conversion funnels, guest modes and account creation, the famous "leaky bucket".
We'll also cover gamification, which is definitely not just for games anymore. You'll learn how to spot potential drop-off zones and gamification opportunities for your proposed feature.
Today we'll look at all the different flavors of PMing: consumer apps, B2B, platforms, research, software vs. hardware, front-end vs. back-end. What's it like to PM different kinds of products, and what would make someone amazing at each?
We'll also discuss the cross-functional team you might interact with as a PM, who should be your new best friend, and how to pitch yourself to get on that team in the first place.
Practice your elevator pitch and record a video of yourself. Try a few styles to understand what works best for you.
In the first part of today's class, we're getting into serious, advanced PMing: the executive summary. We'll work on boiling everything in your pitch deck down and simplifying any complex messaging into a bite-size, punchy narrative.
Then, we get to take all of the information from the previous 8 classes and combine it together for one killer Product Pitch. Over this and the next class, each of you will pitch the room on your product. I'll be taking notes on every pitch and give you feedback at the end of the course.
This is your opportunity to play the role of a Product Manager in a 2-3 minute impromptu meeting (that you have been secretly practicing for) with your VO, your company’s CEO, or a prominent VC. Review all of the points we discussed in class and deliver a great Product Pitch that knocks them over and gets them to say YES or invest in your idea.
Finally, a couple stories from 20 years working in Silicon Valley tech, including some of my best "aha moments" and the things I wish I'd known when I was first starting in Product Management.