How has product management evolved? In this episode of Product Talk with Kaboo Founder Neha Shah, The Trade Desk Product SVP Gruia Pitigoi-Aron speaks on how product management has evolved throughout his career. He shares his career journey from studying computer science to breaking into product management at Microsoft. He discusses lessons learned from early mistakes in job interviews and the importance of treating the job search process seriously. Gruia also provides insights into building a strong product culture of honesty and integrity. He emphasizes the value of giving timely feedback and constantly improving.

Subscribe to the Product Talk podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and catch every conversation with leading product executives. Episodes drop on Wednesdays.

Show Notes

  1. Gruia didn’t know what product management was as a career option initially
  2. He found his passion for programming early on through a Commodore 64.
  3. A professor encouraged him to pursue computer science.
  4. His early job interview mistake at Microsoft taught him to properly prepare.
  5. Gruia treated future interviews like classes to ensure he was fully prepared.
  6. He looked for “trouble” projects at Microsoft to take on and prove himself.
  7. He was transparent with his manager about wanting new challenges.
  8. He took a risk moving from Microsoft to a smaller startup, The Trade Desk.
  9. Culture and values are important to build from the top down in an organization.
  10. Honesty and integrity are crucial to a product culture.
  11. Feedback is a kindness when given timely and constructively.
  12. Constant self-improvement is important at any stage of one’s career.
  13. Courage comes from feeling safe to be vulnerable within a culture.
  14. Leaders must embody the values they espouse for the culture to thrive.
  15. Technical skills are the baseline but must be paired with “cultural goodness.”
  16. Raising one’s hand for tough projects helps advance one’s career.
  17. Treat interviews and the job search as seriously as classes.
  18. Small mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.
  19. The best teams push each other to help each other improve.
  20. A long product career is like running a marathon – sustain a fast pace.

About the speaker
Gruia Pitigoi-Aron The Trade Desk, VP, Product Member

Gruia Pitigoi-Aron is the Senior Vice President of Product for The Trade Desk. In his role, Gruia oversees teams that are responsible for all product management, user experience, and enterprise solutions at TTD. Closely working with all internal Trade Desk business teams, engineering, clients, and partners is a common theme as they aim to ship the right product at the right time with global impact and scale. Prior to joining the Trade Desk, Gruia spent 10 years at Microsoft as a Product Manager in various capacities, while working on, Windows Live Agents, and BizTalk Server. The general focus was always on core parts of the systems, with the largest amount of time spent scaling and managing Hotmail’s ever increasing storage infrastructure. Gruia received his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of California: Los Angeles, and his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science for the University of California: Berkeley. He is based in the Trade Desk’s offices in San Jose, CA.

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.

Provide your rating for this post
If you liked this post, please use the buttons to the left to share it with a friend or post it on social media. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Read more

Andreeson Horowitz General Partner on The Evolution of Product Management

We recently sat down with Andreessen Horowitz General Partner, Anish Acharya, to discuss the evolution of product management.

BioDigital CPO on Product Management Evolution

There are many entry points product management careers, with future product leaders starting out in business, engineering or design functions.

Marqeta VP of Product Management on the Evolution of Products in Fintech

Marqeta VP of Product Management Archana Prasad shares insights on how fintech and product management interplay.

/ Register for Free

Don’t be left behind in your career. Join a growing community of over 500K Product professionals committed to building great products. Register for FREE today and get access to :

  • All eBooks
  • All Infographics
  • Product Award resources
  • Search for other members

Coming soon for members only: personalized content, engagement, and networking.