What are the commonly faced challenges of product management? In this podcast, join Bill.com VP of Growth Heidi Gibson as she engages in a thought-provoking discussion with Zeda.io Founder Prashant Mahajan on navigating the common challenges of product management. With experience as a product manager and leader in dynamic startups around the world, Prashant shares insights from speaking with hundreds of product leaders, offering a unique perspective on the evolving landscape of product management. Dive into the transition from feature-focused approaches to customer-centric problem solving, strategies for effective communication and alignment within organizations, and the delicate balance between autonomy and accountability. Discover how a problem-solving mindset, clear problem definition, stakeholder inclusion, and strategic decision-making can shape successful product management.

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Show Notes

  1. Heidi Gibson interviews Prashant Mahajan, founder and CEO of Zeda.io, on product management challenges.
  2. Prashant is a product manager with experience in high-growth startups worldwide.
  3. Prashant refers to himself as a “product leader therapist” for aiding other product leaders.
  4. Navigating the challenges in product management include transitioning from feature-focused to problem-solving approach.
  5. In addition, communication and alignment issues arise in larger organizations regarding product strategy and customer goals.
  6. Balancing autonomy and accountability in teams is challenging for overall company performance.
  7. Many product leaders report teams focusing on feature delivery over customer problem-solving.
  8. Hierarchical challenges exist in larger organizations, affecting vision execution by junior product managers.
  9. Communication gaps lead to duplicative work and misaligned priorities across departments.
  10. Clear problem definition is crucial for effective product leadership, ensuring teams understand customer pain points.
  11. Involving all stakeholders (customer success, marketing) maintains alignment and prevents duplicated efforts.
  12. Likewise, strategic saying “no” to ad hoc requests is important for maintaining focus on problem-solving goals.
  13. Effective communication cascades from leadership to the entire organization ensuring goal understanding.
  14. Aligning product teams with customer problems and maintaining communication is key.
  15. Additionally, impostor syndrome and vulnerability are common among product leaders.
  16. AI’s impact on product management involves AI-generated PRDs and future AI-trained assistants.
  17. Great products solve customer problems, provide value, and offer a delightful experience.
  18. Successful product managers deliver consistently while managing stakeholders.
  19. Advice for product managers: think innovatively and embrace change.
  20. Reading recommendations: explore areas like finance, philosophy, history, and fiction.
  21. Overall, this episode emphasizes challenges faced by product leaders and the importance of adaptability, communication, and innovation.

About the speaker
Prashant Mahajan Zeda.io, CEO Member

A product manager turned founder of a product management platform. I worked across high growing startups across the world and built some super successful products and teams. Now building Zeda.io to enable other companies to do the same. I love to read philosophy, history, and find ways to lead a better life. Also love dogs and exploring different cultures.

About the host
Heidi Gibson GoDaddy, Sr. Director Product Management

Heidi Gibson has over 20 years of product management experience, with most of that focused on SaaS consumer/small business software. She is currently Senior Director of Product Led Growth at Adobe, and past companies include Typeform, GoDaddy and and other industry leaders. Heidi has a B.S. and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT.

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