37 episodes

The Founder's Foyer with Aishwarya Ashok is full of hallway conversations—the space where early-stage founders, builders, and creators look for all the foundational concepts and support to grow their ideas into products.

Follow this show for all things Product, Ideas, Growth.

The Founder's Foyer with Aishwarya Ashok The Founder's Foyer

    • Technology

The Founder's Foyer with Aishwarya Ashok is full of hallway conversations—the space where early-stage founders, builders, and creators look for all the foundational concepts and support to grow their ideas into products.

Follow this show for all things Product, Ideas, Growth.

    #37 Mountain climbing to product building—Endurance, Empathy & Rituals ft. Lane Shackleton (CPO, Coda | Athlete)

    #37 Mountain climbing to product building—Endurance, Empathy & Rituals ft. Lane Shackleton (CPO, Coda | Athlete)

    00:00 Introduction to Lane

    01:14 Lane's Nonlinear Career Path

    04:09 How Endurance Helps With Success

    12:51 Importance of Mindset in Product Building

    23:19 Power of Shipping and Learning by Making

    26:49 The Origin of the 'Rituals' Concept

    29:03 Offer Parties: Gusto’s Ritual with Job Offers

    29:51 Transforming Status Quo Rituals

    30:58 Impact of Feedback in Product Development

    33:01 Influence of French Literary Salons

    37:46 Authenticity and Serendipity in Community Building

    43:44 Creative People and Connections

    46:14 The Ritual Pack: Enhancing Team Meetings and Decision Making

    58:01 Intentionality in Building Culture



    Everyone’s got an interesting journey into crafting their product careers—the best part is to embrace all of our facets and dimensions and see how to bring them into one picture. And over time, that translates to exploring habits that help us stay in those dimensions and keep learning, not just from our own work but from networks around us. How to channelize these non-linear paths, find rituals, and focus on growth while building products?Lane Shackleton is the CPO of Coda. Lane previously led product teams at YouTube and Google, and brings in a set of unique work experiences from before. Lane works with so many creators across the globe and digs deep into empathy, goal setting, and stories.In this episode of The Founder's Foyer, Aishwarya and Lane delve into the concept of product rituals and the importance of habits in fostering product growth. Lane shares insights from his nonlinear career path, his approach towards leadership, the significance of enduring pain, and the role of mindfulness in product development. He highlights the significance of mental models, the role of serendipity, and the importance of maintaining authenticity in community engagement

    • 59 min
    #36 Building, launching, and growing your creative work (& career) ft. Aarthi Ramamurthy (CPO, Podcaster, Angel Investor, Founder)

    #36 Building, launching, and growing your creative work (& career) ft. Aarthi Ramamurthy (CPO, Podcaster, Angel Investor, Founder)

    00:00 Introduction to Aarthi

    01:38 A Deep Dive into Creation

    02:22 The Importance of Focusing on Value

    02:43 The Evolution of The Aarthi and Shriram Show

    07:20 Persistence in Creative Work

    18:15 The Importance of Genuine Connections

    23:22 Curiosity in Learning and Networking

    29:21 Consistency in Creative Output

    30:27 Handling Criticism and Negative Energy

    31:21 Dealing with Self-Doubt

    32:39 Power of Positive Surroundings

    33:05 Handling Negative Feedback and Emotions

    35:28 Journey of Self-Reflection and Growth

    39:05 The Power of Techno-Optimism and Entrepreneurship

    44:54 Individuality in Creative Pursuits

    45:11 Authenticity in Content Creation

    52:12 Self-Reflection in Personal Growth

    52:54 Authenticity in Business and Personal Interactions

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    Shipping a piece of work brings inexplicable joy—so much that we learn and grow every time we do it. While this comes with a lot of challenges, adding to the effort is the way tech platforms, market, and so many external factors keep fluctuating. How do we get better at our craft, focus on a creative long game, and win against the odds in the internet world?

    Aarthi Ramamurthy is entrepreneur, creator, product advisor, angel investor, and someone who has so many other facets. Aarthi runs the Good Time Show along with her partner Sriram, and trust me she has had a fantastic lineup of conversations with tech and creative geniuses. Their dinner table is so full of ideas, sometimes I wonder if it’s even more than the food. She’s currently heading product at Rithum, formerly led teams at Clubhouse, Netflix, Facebook, and Microsoft, while also co-founding two startups.

    • 1 hr
    #35 Chasing the light, creating authentic content & power of serendipity ft. Danny Miranda (Podcaster & Creator)

    #35 Chasing the light, creating authentic content & power of serendipity ft. Danny Miranda (Podcaster & Creator)

    Sponsor for this episode: Recast, the AI-powered marketing assistant to create podcast highlight videos, show notes, newsletters, and social posts. Try - https://recast.studio/

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    All of us like to meet interesting people—we love getting to know about unique experiences, what inspired them, and how they’ve managed to ship something. We also like to be such interesting people—we love to share what we know and the ways by which we’ve created amazing things. What signifies this ‘interesting’ as an identity? How can we come up with ideas that in turn show us the way to both excel at what we do and find more people in the same league of excellence? Does serendipity help us in maximizing our success?

    Danny Miranda is very busy asking questions to the world's greatest entrepreneurs & thinkers. He runs the famous podcast, The Danny Miranda show, and has a fantastic roster of guests who’ve shared their musings. Danny himself is praised as the best podcaster by so many business stalwarts, and he recently created Art of Interviewing, the go-to course to learn about research, interviewing, and mastering the creative craft.

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    00:00 Introduction to Danny
    00:49 Sponsor - Recast Studio
    03:00 Exploring the Concept of Light and Darkness
    05:02 Self-Discovery in Creation
    18:18 Power of the Internet and Childhood Influences
    25:35 How Grandparents Shape Our Vision and Purpose
    29:41 The Long-Game in Content Creation
    30:28 Importance of Long-Term Goals
    32:11 Art of Creating Content That Ages Well
    33:31 Podcast and Press—the Synonymity
    35:29 Impact of Social Media on Content
    36:26 Journey of Starting a Podcast
    39:28 Podcast and Listenership
    40:21 Asking Questions in Getting to Know People
    52:49 Role of Research in Podcasting
    53:45 Why Serendipity Matters

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    • 58 min
    #34 Accelerating product growth, user activation, and monetization ft. Adam Fishman (Product & Growth Advisor)

    #34 Accelerating product growth, user activation, and monetization ft. Adam Fishman (Product & Growth Advisor)

    00:00 Introduction and Welcome
    03:10 Adam's Journey into Product and Growth
    09:06 The Role of AI in Growth
    10:48 Understanding Different Aspects of Growth
    14:13 The Impact of Branding on Growth
    14:53 The Patreon Rebranding Journey
    27:59 The Role of Subscription Models in Consumer Products
    32:06 The Importance of Pricing Experimentation
    32:13 Understanding Your Customers and Their Pricing Expectations
    33:02 The Art of Pricing and Value Proposition
    33:43 Exploring Examples of Pricing Strategies in Different Industries
    34:45 The Challenges of Monetization in Social Media Platforms
    36:44 The Risks of Reckless Pricing Experiments
    37:19 Understanding the Vitamin to Painkiller Product Spectrum
    39:07 The Importance of Pricing Experiments in SaaS and Consumer Apps
    40:18 The Role of User Psychology in Product Engagement
    40:40 Strategies to Reduce Churn and Increase User Engagement
    41:35 The Importance of Onboarding and User Motivation
    45:04 The Role of Gaming Mechanics in User Onboarding
    47:50 Understanding the Competition and Alternatives in User Time
    55:07 The Intersection of Fatherhood and Professional Life

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    Sponsor for this episode: Recast, the AI-powered marketing assistant to create podcast highlight videos, show notes, newsletters, and social posts. Try - https://recast.studio/

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    When it comes to building products, the biggest lever that pushes the journey forward is the signal of growth. The type of growth where users feel the joy of retaining with your product, the one where your company metrics such as signups and revenue take a happy upward curve. We must have probably heard “Oh that’s a growth problem” way too many times, whenever there’s a challenge with pushing the product to the wider world. So then how does one cross this chasm and see the better sides of growth?

    Adam Fishman has built some of the fastest-growing consumer companies like Patreon, Lyft, and Imperfect Foods where he served across various roles like CPO, VP of Product & Head of Growth. From driving a company’s critical pivot and rebrand to helping a company scale to $100M revenue—Adam has been the face behind core product growth phases. He is the author of the FishmanAF Newsletter and the creator and host of the Startup Dad Podcast.

    The conversation traverses from building products that grow, dealing with 'growth problems', the role of branding in a company's growth, intricate aspects of consumer applications, and transitioning to subscription models. Adam also touches upon the psychology affecting product engagement and shares insights on reducing churn. Towards the end, he delves into his podcast 'Startup Dad Podcast' and the unique blend of professional and personal topics he explores through it. Tune in to expand your understanding of product growth strategies and the ongoing shifts in the tech industry.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    #33 Fostering creativity, diversifying identities, overcome mental blocks ft. Matt Munson (2x Founder & CEO Coach)

    #33 Fostering creativity, diversifying identities, overcome mental blocks ft. Matt Munson (2x Founder & CEO Coach)

    0:00 Intro to Matt Munson's work

    03:51 Story of ups and downs in starting up

    08:20 Moving to coaching founders and CEOs & learnings

    12:26 Tackling intellectual loneliness and building a trusted community

    25:42 Freedom to experiment & experience outcomes

    30:22 How a sense of separation from the work fosters creativity

    36:41 Embracing creative play and curiosity for self-awareness

    40:12 How can founders figure out their maximum focus areas

    44:25 Balancing leadership with company growth

    45:46 Diversifying identities to not get locked up with beliefs

    53:57 Why 'rest' is termed as a dirty word at work and how it shouldn't be


    -------------Sponsor for this episode: Recast, the AI-powered marketing assistant to create podcast highlight videos, show notes, newsletters, and social posts. Try - https://recast.studio/

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    Living the founder or builder life is like a permanent oscillation between “I feel so good” and “I feel shitty”—and this is something common with creative people that it often gets passed off with a laugh. But what would it be like to take notice of our moods and energy patterns, see what amplifies our effort and what saps out that enthusiasm? Is there a way to change the outlook to our own thinking and observations, just as we are high on potential to achieve something? How to obsess less about us to learn more about us?



    Matt Munson is the founder & CEO coach at Sanity Labs. Matt draws on his own experience as a venture-backed founder to help other founders, CEOs, and product builders navigate the journey of leadership, self-awareness, and team building. Prior to this, Matt co-founded Twenty20, the world’s largest crowd-sourced commercial image catalog.



    Tune in!

    • 57 min
    #32 Product thinking, creative resistance, & evaluating growth ft. Shreyas Doshi, Product Advisor (Ex- Stripe, Google, Yahoo, Twitter)

    #32 Product thinking, creative resistance, & evaluating growth ft. Shreyas Doshi, Product Advisor (Ex- Stripe, Google, Yahoo, Twitter)

    Being a founder or product person calls for enjoying the ride even when things are uncertain. While grit and passion are the regulars, it takes a few more skills like competence, agency, clarity of thought, to be able to navigate that uncertainty. And this means, you’ve got to be ready to embrace challenges, relearn some of what you seemingly thought you knew already, and find new pieces of information to put together. First things first, how to get started with all of this?

    Shreyas Doshi is a seasoned product leader and presently a fantastic advisor to many founders across the globe. Shreyas formerly led product teams at Stripe, Yahoo, Google, Twitter, and is most known to this world as a product coach who writes detailed ‘threads’ on many unsaid and important topics.



    In this episode, Shreyas and Aishwarya discuss about: Distilling product knowledge through observations, shared vocabulary & how it connects teams without blame, human comprehension and the LLM in our minds, power of 'Why' over 'What' and 'How much', high IQ & cognitive empathy, recognizing the inner creative resistance, combating the 'product builder' fear with actionable steps, signals of growth for better and clear thinking, unlearning traditional programming of the mind for better evaluation.



    Sponsor for this episode: Recast, the AI-powered marketing assistant to create podcast highlight videos, show notes, newsletters, and social posts. Try - https://recast.studio/



    [ Note: For folks who enjoy Shreyas' thoughts just like me, you can check out his product management course on Maven. I loved taking this up and the best part was to meet a bunch of brilliant PMs through the cohort. Learn More: https://bit.ly/shreyas-course ]

    • 56 min

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