Products That Count: Brilliant Product Director
Every month, Products That Count will bring you stories from each of our crew members across the country. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Brilliant Product Director Gaurav Hardikar – who’s been a part of our community from the very beginning.
Introduce yourself to the Products That Count community – tell us who you are and what you’re up to as a product leader?
My name is Gaurav Hardikar and I am the Director of Product at Brilliant Home Technologies. Specifically, we make a smart-home control that replaces light switches with enhanced connectivity throughout your house. Simply put, our goal is to connect smart-home devices together.
In other words, we seek to democratize your home and drive ease of use. However, many competitors are adding tech into people’s homes without any guiding principles. Instead, we’re focusing on keeping the human side of your in-home experience intact. After all, do you want a smart home, or a home full of smart devices?
How did you get involved with Products That Count?
Fun fact – my connection to Products That Count starts at the very beginning. Specifically, SC Moatti (who you might’ve heard of) brought me into product management at Trulia! During my time working with SC, I learned a lot and stayed in touch after she moved on to start Mighty Capital and Products That Count.
SC reached out to me during the early days of building out the community and I’ve contributed to several online programs over the years. Currently, I write monthly editorials that focus on career development and product leadership. For anyone entering the product or tech industry, product management can be very ambiguous and easy to misunderstand. As a result, my recent articles have addressed the following questions:
- What does it mean to be a product manager?
- How do you think about your role?
- What are the different types of product managers?
In your opinion, what is the definition of a great product?
To me, great products should answer the following question. Does it actually solve problems in a usable way? We shouldn’t strive to make products that solve problems that people don’t have. Ultimately, there are always use cases to solve. However, you should ask how often the use case applies to daily life? Good products solve common issues that appluy to wide groups of people. Great products should also make people’s lives easier.
From your perspective, what makes a great product manager?
As I talk about in my articles, being a product manager is not just about mastering one task or skill. Instead, you need to think about a myriad of product management skills that you can apply to your team. For example, there’s a difference between operating as a true “end-to-end” product manager (strategy to execution of product) and taking on one task.
Furthermore, you need to represent the needs of your consumers with unbiased decisionmaking with input from multiple feedback loops. Generally, people get wrapped up in emotional decisions too often. As a result, it’s critical to break down every decision you make into a thoughtful/logical presentation to affirm why you’re moving the product in one direction.
To become a true product leader, product managers must learn to build culture, teamwork & collaboration across the organization.
What are some of your favorite resources – blogs/podcasts/books/etc.?
Outside of checking out Products That Count every day (shameless plug!), I’m following hashtags on Medium that are relevant to product management and product design. As a product manager that also is able to design (final UI & UX assets), I also enjoy reading up on product design trends. For example, there are many fresh insights from this space that are critical for product management success. In addition, I like to see what’s up for discussion on Product Coalition and Product School. Ultimately, it’s most helpful to get a little bit of everything to stay current.
About the speaker
Gaurav is a Product Leader with more than 5 years of experience across all aspects of Product Management, Design, and Strategy. He is passionate about companies with a mission to better people's lives in a tangible way, and is a large proponent of product management through collaboration and emotional intelligence.