The bell has rung on the new year and a sense of hope hangs in the air. As we leave a tumultuous year behind and look to a promising Q1, it’s time to get to know more of our Awards Advisory Board members. The 2021 Product Awards will be here sooner than you know, so click here to nominate your favorite products and register for the biggest Product Event of 2021.
This week we’re focusing on the Operate Stage, exclusively brought to you by Indicative. Let’s get to know the legend himself, the leader of the Operate Stage: Bryce York.
Getting to know Bryce York
The Tatati Sr. Product Lead wears a couple of hats over here at Products That Count. As one of our Editorial Contributors, Bryce has published some of our favorite exposés of 2020, starting with a topic that often passes through product teams. It’s not easy knowing when to spend the time and resources to build a product or feature internally. In his article Build vs. Buy – A Product Manager’s Guide to Not Building Things, Bryce lays out exactly what product managers need to know when deciding whether to build from within or to buy and integrate instead.
Last year was flush with strategic lessons, almost overwhelmingly so. In another guide, Bryce presents a novel approach to strategic thinking for product leaders. Sharing his take on the “product portfolio”, he writes on how foundational projects can aid features down the line. Check out A Guide To Managing Your Product Portfolio here.
On choosing the Operate Stage
The Product Awards are divided into five different major stages based on the product lifecyle. If we take an even higher-level view, however, a product team can view the cycle in two distinct phases. The first phase encompasses everything from conception to design all the way to the building of the product. Then comes the product launch, a pivotal transition that leads to collaboration and ultimately, Operation.
In his episode of Product Talk, Bryce dives deep into the Operate Stage with Products That Count CPO, James Gray. Regarding his stage of the lifecycle, he lays it out short and sweet.
“The Operate Stage is all about using initial success as a launchpad for rapid growth and expansion. Getting that right is vital to sustaining success and competitive advantage.”
“It’s all about taking something that’s validated and then innovating on top of it. In a way, it’s kind of like the game operation or upgrading the engine of a moving car. Also, I think part of that Operate Stage is really taking the reins and automating those pieces away so that you can focus on higher-value, high leverage activities.”
On what makes a great product manager
“It’s three-fold, but the number one thing, and probably the hardest skill to develop, is empathy. Also, being able to find the problem in the haystack of suggested solutions is another. Finally, I think front-loading, value delivery is really important.”
“It’s vital for a product manager to have great empathy for all of their stakeholders, and for the engineers on their team. Being able to look at all those different angles, and put yourself in those shoes is what helps you create a really productive team. In the end, empathy allows product managers to find really great outcomes in terms of solutions.”
On what makes a great product
“When it comes to what makes a great product, I actually would defer on this one to Apple. I think they give a really good, succinct definition of that. So, something that comes out of the Apple handbook is that profit is our reward for delighting our customers. That touches on the pinnacle of what a good product looks like. Boiled down, a great product is something that delights your customers.”
On team mentorship
“The product managers on my team are more “my product” than the actual technology. In a product leadership role, we’ve got to apply all our product skills to help empower and grow our product managers.
“For me, one of the foundations is creating an environment of psychological safety. It’s impossible to expect your team to grow and seek mentorship if they feel afraid to ask for help or guidance. More tactically, I support and encourage my team to invest in their learning during work hours since not everybody has the liberty of investing their personal time into learning and development. Additionally, I work to connect my team with mentors both internal and external to help set them up for success.”
On what makes the Product Awards exciting
“With product management deeply solidifying itself as a career path across companies both inside and outside technology startups, the market for product tools is really booming. I’m excited to see those great products recognized for the work they do to enable and empower us, and in turn, make myriad other products better through us.”
Bryce touches on the entire essence of the goal of the Product Awards. When the community comes together to celebrate the best of us, it both encourages and excites the industry as a whole. The result, of course, is a renewed fire to build even better products that further delight customers.
The 2021 Product Awards, sponsored by Heap, Bluedot and Mighty Capital, are right around the corner. Registration opens this week, so make sure to sign up for our newsletter to catch the latest in Product.
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About the speaker
Bryce York, Tatari Director of Product, is a strategic product leader with over ten years experience successfully leading in-house and outsourced product, engineering, and design teams. After founding, scaling, and selling his original startup, Seed The Change, a SaaS platform that helped eCommerce companies grow profits by planting trees, he now drives Product at Tatari, an ad-tech startup democratizing TV advertising across linear and streaming TV. Bryce continues to share his product expertise with the next generation of Product Leaders as an editorial contributor and New York Head of Chapter at Products That Count, the largest global product acceleration platform and networking community for product leaders.