What does it take to successfully lead product teams through times of change and disruption? In this episode of Product Talk with Kaboo Founder Neha Shah, Informatica CPO Jitesh Ghai shares insights from his career journey leading product at companies including Cisco, startups, and now Informatica. From his early days as a hardware engineer to pivoting into product management, Jitesh discusses the importance of cross-functional alignment, understanding markets and customers, and driving organizational change. He also offers perspectives on what separates good from great product managers and how to evolve your skills from technical to more outward-facing leadership. Tune in for valuable lessons on product strategy, innovation, and people leadership from an industry veteran.

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Show Notes

  1. Product managers must understand why they are building something, not just how.
  2. Defining a good product goes beyond design and features to market fit and customer need.
  3. The product manager is the CEO of the product and responsible for its commercial success.
  4. Cross-functional alignment is critical for bringing the product to market effectively.
  5. Experience in different roles provides valuable perspective for product leadership.
  6. Consensus leads to mediocrity while alignment drives action.
  7. Business instincts and commercialization mindset are important for product managers.
  8. Products don’t exist in a vacuum – the go-to-market is essential.
  9. Evolving skills from technical to more outward-facing leadership is important.
  10. Making hard calls and prioritizing amid constraints is part of the job.
  11. Conviction in solving an unmet customer need is key.
  12. Risk-taking is required for product management careers and disruptive change.
  13. Aligning with personal passion fuels the hard work of product leadership.
  14. Books like Zero to One and The Hard Thing About Hard Things offer insights.
  15. Data and AI are transforming industries and the role of product teams.
  16. Cloud technologies enable new approaches to data management.
  17. Startup experiences provide learning opportunities different than large companies.
  18. Junior product managers focus more on tactics while seniors drive strategy.
  19. Disruption can come from new technologies or business models.
  20. Purpose and vision are important for recruiting talent to product roles.

About the speaker
Jitesh Ghai Informatica, EVP, CPO (Product and Technology) Member

My mission is to help businesses grow, adapt and scale with fact-based, data-driven decisions. As EVP and Chief Product Officer, I spearhead product management, user experience/design, engineering and cloud operations at Informatica.

About the host
Neha Shah Kaboo, Founder

My experience covers the trifecta of B2B Product Management, Sales, and Marketing. I also co-founded a B2C startup focused on family and education technology. I believe technology can be a creative and powerful driving force for change, and am passionate about building products that improve every day experiences.

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