Full Stack Development: Finding Your Product Dharma
Brilliant Home Product Director on Building A Full Stack (Part 3)
One term that I talk about a lot is “dharma.” To me, product dharma represents your code. Specifically, what is your code for product? As you can imagine, everyone has a different code – and this will make an impact on how you operate in building a full stack.
It is essential to build your own code and build your own dharma. I started to build my code while I was working in growth product. Afterward, I got into web and mobile products. Soon, I became more of a generalist product manager and then went into more leading product teams at Shopkick and at Brilliant Home.
So, throughout all these experiences – I was able to build off of my previous experiences and become better. In other words, these are the tools that I use to find my dharma. That said, I’m not suggesting that these need to be your tools too. In summary, these are simply the tools that have worked well for me.
Finding Your Product Dharma
I would encourage anyone trying to be a full stack product manager to build up user experiences. Then, utilize these user experiences to your advantage and form your own philosophy on product. Simply put, you need to do what it takes. You have to have an unwavering commitment to actually leading and driving your product to success.
In doing so, you have to listen to and leverage each respective team member’s core expertise for the product and the team. Essentially, if I’m not the one that knows hardware components, then why am I the one commenting on that? I should be commenting on what the user needs. I believe the team or individual that’s actually much more suited for the problem can solve that problem for them.
Just be sure to set clear goals and expectations for the product to drive success. So these goals and expectations should be driven again with a framework that makes sense for the team. It can’t just be like, “oh yeah – we have to launch this next month.”
Well, why is it? What is the actual reason I’m doing that? Where am I trying to launch the product? Where are the right channels and how do I get there? In summary, answering these questions will enable you to operate as a full stack product manager with ease.