How can product leaders build high-performance teams? In this podcast, join our host, Willow Innovations Product VP Melissa Pickering, for an inspiring conversation with our guest, Amazon’s Twitch Product VP Stephanie J. Neill. They delve into Stephanie’s diverse experiences, including her role as a GM overseeing technologists in the White House and her current leadership of the monetization product portfolio at Twitch. With a focus on transparent communication, personal development, and the power of empathy, Stephanie shares her expertise in cultivating high-performing teams.

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Show Notes

  1. Stephanie’s roles span startups and major media companies like New York Times and IAC.
  2. She served as a GM overseeing technologists in the White House.
  3. Stephanie currently leads the monetization product portfolio at Twitch.
  4. Her career was shaped by pivotal moments, including entering tech during a recession.
  5. She moved from a temporary role to a full-time junior product manager.
  6. Stephanie expressed ambition to lead a significant product line, valuing communication.
  7. Leadership during layoffs and administration changes taught empathy and vulnerability.
  8. Empathy and vulnerability were effective, especially with the younger generation.
  9. Stephanie emphasizes “product-led growth,” solving user needs without heavy marketing.
  10. She discusses product-led growth’s relevance at Twitch, known for diverse content.
  11. Twitch aims to build a community for creators and viewers, emphasizing connection.
  12. The monetization team helps streamers earn money, analogous to a concession stand.
  13. Leadership principles cultivate trust, learning, and normalizing failure.
  14. The “ugly draft” concept invites collaboration and feedback in work development.
  15. Individual strengths are addressed, adapting leadership to team members’ needs.
  16. High-performing teams have shared values, trust, and alignment with common goals.
  17. Resilience to change signifies a team’s progression to the performing stage.
  18. The podcast emphasizes shared values, clarity, and strategic context for team alignment.
  19. Advice for product managers includes overcommunication and soft skills, citing influential figures like Marty Cagan and Julie Zhuo.

About the speaker
Stephanie J. Neill Twitch, VP of Product Member

Stephanie Neill is a Product Executive with almost 20 years of experience across some of the internet’s biggest brands, including Lions Gate Entertainment, The New York Times, InterActiveCorp (IAC), and Amazon's wildly popular Stephanie is a big believer in sharing Product Management best practices and building community and has founded multiple Product communities across the United States, including Women in Product DC Chapter, ProductCamp San Francisco, and UXNY.

About the host
Melissa Pickering Willow Innovations, VP of Product Management

I'm a purpose-driven change agent with a track record of building & leading cross-functional teams to develop & launch products for kids. From Disney Imagineering, to EdTech startup founder, to product innovation at The LEGO Group, I have spent over a decade building and leading product teams to innovate kids' play and learning experiences. Most recently, I have joined another purpose-driven mission at Willow Innovations to bring more joy to motherhood, building products to make moms' lives easier.

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