What role does simplifying solutions and learning from failures play in long-term success? In this episode of the CPO Rising Series hosted by Products That Count Resident CPO Renee Niemi, Turo CPO Tom Wang discusses his journey at Turo and lessons learned along the way. He shares how simplifying solutions and finding bold ways forward have contributed to his success. Tom also opens up about failures, including an early initiative to leverage social media that didn’t work out and a mistake that removed too many hosts from the platform. Through these stories, Tom demonstrates the importance of being willing to admit mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. The conversation provides valuable insights for other product leaders on maintaining motivation over many years and navigating challenges with authenticity and care for customers.

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Show Notes:

  1. Simplifying solutions and finding bold ways forward can contribute to product leadership success.
  2. It’s important to continually simplify processes over time based on learnings.
  3. Maintaining motivation comes from passion for the work and team dynamics.
  4. Defining excellence for different product manager levels provides clarity and scalability.
  5. Admitting mistakes shows authenticity and allows others to feel comfortable taking risks.
  6. Modeling learning from failures is important for building a psychologically safe culture.
  7. Vanity metrics can distract from what truly drives business value.
  8. Startups should prioritize engagement over raw user/asset numbers.
  9. Customer stories can provide low-key inspiration at any stage of a company’s growth.
  10. AI will significantly impact product work by enhancing decision-making and innovation.
  11. Familiarity with emerging technologies like AI is important for product leaders.
  12. AI can both reduce costs and improve customer experiences authentically.
  13. Small, targeted uses of new technologies like AI are better than grandiose claims.
  14. Regular customer interactions provide re-energization during career journeys.
  15. Psychological safety allows bold ideas and mistakes to flourish.
  16. Reviews and career paths should be anchored to defined excellence.
  17. Intentional hosts drive more value than passive assets.
  18. Simulation failures can reveal important learnings if addressed responsibly.
  19. Choosing leaders wisely helps navigate challenges constructively.
  20. Simpler solutions may require more complexity under the surface to implement.
About the speaker
Roby Baruch Tipalti, Chief Product Officer Member

Roby is the Chief Product Officer of Tipalti. He previously was the VP Product of Snoox.com (a BBDO company) and co-founder and VP Product of Cent2Cent, a content ecommerce platform who was later acquired by Unicell. Before founding Cent2Cent, Roby worked at 888.com where he planned and designed their payment processing system. Roby served as an Officer at the prestigious IDF technological unit “Mamram”, where he fulfilled several leading positions.

About the host
Renee Niemi Mighty Capital, Partner
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