When should PMs prioritize execution over strategy? In this episode of Product Talk with Jonathan Ozeran, Thumbtack CPO P.J. Linarducci speaks on his career in product management and lessons learned. PJ shares insights from his experiences at Meta and other companies, emphasizing the importance of execution over perfect strategy. He outlines rituals and ceremonies that Thumbtack uses to keep teams aligned, such as business reviews, product reviews, and execution reviews. PJ also discusses the value of role models, mentors, and sponsors in one’s career.
- Execution is more important than perfect strategy and planning.
- Getting things done is more valuable than having great ideas.
- Learn through many iterations and experiments rather than waiting for the perfect solution.
- Focus on end-to-end ownership of problems rather than blaming external factors.
- The value of role models, mentors, and sponsors in one’s career.
- Earn a sponsor relationship by proving your potential.
- Rituals and ceremonies keep teams aligned such as business reviews, product reviews, and execution reviews.
- Communicate vision, strategy, and roadmaps at multiple levels of the organization.
- Use written artifacts to document strategies and goals.
- Bring different teams together to co-author shared goals and strategies.
- Use in-person time strategically for creative problem-solving.
- Design remote-first but not remote-only models.
- Prioritize asynchronous communication and focused work.
- Leverage a travel budget to deliberately bring people together.
- Grow into a broader leadership role beyond just product.
- Develop communication and leadership skills.
- Pursue personal growth and learning from many mentors.
- Product leaders can tackle medical issues through technology.
- Share learnings through blogs and LinkedIn.
- Keeping an open dialogue to compile best practices.
About the speaker
P.J. serves as Thumbtack’s Chief Product Officer, supporting the Design, Analytics, and Product Management functions. He has a track record of scaling product development organizations while delivering software to consumers and small businesses across the globe. Prior to joining Thumbtack, P.J. served in numerous leadership positions at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more. Over the course of his career, he has developed expertise in marketplaces, payments/financial services, business and consumer messaging, and e-commerce applications — driving economic empowerment by connecting professional merchants, casual sellers, service providers, and creators with consumer audiences. Prior to his work at Meta, P.J. held a number of business development, strategy, and business operations roles at PayPal and other consumer technology firms in Silicon Valley. P.J. started his career as a management consultant with First Manhattan Consulting Group in New York City. P.J. holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and well as dual Computer Science and Electrical Engineering bachelors degrees from Duke University. P.J. lives in Menlo Park, CA with his wife and 3 daughters.
About the host
Jonathan is a product and operations leader, company builder, investor and advisor. He has assembled, scaled and led product, design, software engineering, hardware engineering and machine learning teams across numerous financing stages (pre-seed through Series G).