36 episodes

Estee is a product management expert with an MBA who's navigated the startup world from the IC trenches to the VP role. She is a veteran of business initiatives that generated millions, but her biggest lessons came from failures that didn't pay off. From prioritizing short-term wins over long-term value or launching features without solid data, Estee has seen it all in Product Management. From big paychecks to unceremonious firings, Estee knows the highs and lows of this industry.
 
Her outspoken approach brings you great conversations with industry leaders and the latest in the world of business and product management. Enjoy a product management and business program that is not afraid to be honest and rough around the edges. Welcome to The Estee Show!

The Estee Show - Product Management & Business Insights Estee Goldschmidt

    • Business

Estee is a product management expert with an MBA who's navigated the startup world from the IC trenches to the VP role. She is a veteran of business initiatives that generated millions, but her biggest lessons came from failures that didn't pay off. From prioritizing short-term wins over long-term value or launching features without solid data, Estee has seen it all in Product Management. From big paychecks to unceremonious firings, Estee knows the highs and lows of this industry.
 
Her outspoken approach brings you great conversations with industry leaders and the latest in the world of business and product management. Enjoy a product management and business program that is not afraid to be honest and rough around the edges. Welcome to The Estee Show!

    36. How to Conduct Effective Reference Checks with Allison Yamamoto

    36. How to Conduct Effective Reference Checks with Allison Yamamoto

    Mastering the Art of Reference Checks: Deep Dives and Honest Insights with Alison
    In this episode, Alison delves into the intricacies of conducting reference checks, sharing her personal experiences and methodology for obtaining the most valuable insights. The conversation explores the importance of in-depth questions, how to detect sincerity versus bias, and the role of reference checks in the hiring process. Alison also shares practical tips on navigating backchanneling, dealing with potential red flags, and using silence effectively in conversations. Additionally, she touches on her side business focused on health and wellness for high achievers. This episode is packed with actionable advice for hiring managers looking to enhance their interview process and set new hires up for success.
     
    00:00 Welcome and Introduction
    00:05 The Art of Reference Calls
    00:24 Deep Dive into Reference Checks
    01:17 Evaluating Reference Feedback
    02:04 Setting Up for Success
    03:50 Identifying Red Flags
    04:27 Backchanneling Insights
    04:57 Cultural Context and References
    06:40 Effective Reference Questions
    19:23 Handling Biased References
    24:10 Importance of Reference Checks
    27:51 Backchanneling Strategies
    30:40 Understanding Weaknesses in Interviews
    31:27 Evaluating Growth Mindset and Self-Awareness
    32:13 The Importance of Culture Fit
    33:28 Real-Life Examples of Improvement Opportunities
    38:31 The Power of Silence in Conversations
    42:19 The Role of Reference Checks
    54:23 Red Flags in Hiring Decisions
    59:04 Balancing High Achievement with Health
    01:01:52 Final Thoughts and Key Takeaways
     
    Bio: Allison is a founder, fractional CPO, and product advisor, who's worked at LinkedIn, Oscar Health, and various early stage startups. 
    She's built and led high performing product teams, and coached other product leaders uplevel in their career and navigate the uncertainties in the job.
    Allison is passionate about women's health and has also developed a support program for high achieving women struggling with their relationship with food, exercise, and irregular periods.
    Allison's company: https://www.theallymethod.com/
     

    • 1 hr 8 min
    35. The Rise of Fractional Work in Product Management with Ben Erez

    35. The Rise of Fractional Work in Product Management with Ben Erez

    Transforming Tech Careers: The Rise of Fractional Work with Ben Erez
    In this episode, we explore the revolutionary concept of 'fractional work' and its impact on career trajectories in the tech industry. Our guest, Ben Erez, shares his experience transitioning from a full-time product manager to embracing fractional work. He discusses his roles with Continuum, benefits of fractional engagements, types of fractional roles such as advisory and interim positions, and strategies for building a successful career in this field. The conversation also highlights balancing personal and professional life, especially as a parent, the value of maintaining a diversified portfolio, and the importance of pursuing work that energizes and excites you.
    00:00 Introduction to Fractional Work
    00:20 Personal Background and Initial Exposure to Fractional Work
    01:02 Understanding Fractional Work
    01:43 Real-World Experiences with Fractional Work
    05:24 Financial Viability of Fractional Work
    07:24 Advisory Roles in Fractional Work
    16:25 Interim Roles and Their Challenges
    28:28 Part-Time Product Management
    30:58 Balancing Fractional Engagements
    31:23 Challenges of Context Switching
    33:01 Choosing the Right Tribe
    35:00 The Owner's Mindset
    36:54 PM and Interview Coaching
    46:22 Navigating Parenthood and Work
    51:16 Building a Fractional Career
    58:31 Final Thoughts on Career Fulfillment
     
    Bio: 
    Ben is a fractional product leader, interview coach, podcast host and newsletter author. He has been a 1st PM at 3 startups, and also worked for large companies including Meta. Ben is frank and insightful, and full of practical tips for anyone interested in fractional leadership.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    34. Bonus: Product Management Lessons from the Presidential Debate with David Lifson

    34. Bonus: Product Management Lessons from the Presidential Debate with David Lifson

    Navigating Product Management Through the Lens of Political Strategy
     
    In this bonus episode of the Estee show, David Lifson, a seasoned Chief Product Officer, joins the conversation to extract lessons from the recent presidential debate from June 27th, 2024. The discussion focuses on how product managers can learn from high-stakes political scenarios, touching on themes such as the importance of hypothesis-based thinking, planning for contingencies, managing expectations, and the necessity of effective communication. They also discuss leadership qualities, the need for adaptive strategy, and the value of surrounding oneself with diverse viewpoints. Lifson provides actionable insights for product managers on aligning strategy with execution and the critical role of messaging in achieving organizational goals.
     
    00:00 Introduction and Guest Introduction
    00:28 Analyzing the Presidential Debate
    01:17 Hypothesis-Based Thinking in Politics
    02:06 Lessons from the Debate: Execution vs. Strategy
    05:50 The Importance of Setting Expectations
    08:48 Leadership and Adaptability
    10:55 Surrounding Yourself with the Right People
    22:04 Effective Communication and Messaging
    28:18 Final Thoughts and Takeaways

     

    Bio: David Lifson has led high performing teams at startups, public, and private equity backed companies, delivering high impact outcomes through clear vision, validated product strategy, and collaborative culture. He’s gone 0 -> 1 multiple times, as well as led teams supporting $350M in revenue. His experience leading teams spans 15 years, including four as CEO/GM and eight as Head of Product & Engineering. Dave has a bachelors and masters degree in Computer Science from Cornell University, and is based in Austin, TX.

    • 31 min
    33. Mastering Product Decisions with Napkin Math with Gaurav Hardikar

    33. Mastering Product Decisions with Napkin Math with Gaurav Hardikar

    Gaurav Discusses the Power of Napkin Math for Product Management
    In this episode, Gaurav Hardikar, VP of Product at HomeLight, talks about his journey through the real estate and startup scenes at companies like Zillow, Trulia, and now Homelight. He dives into the concept of 'Napkin Math' for Product Managers, advocating for quick and efficient decision-making over extensive financial modeling. Gaurav explains how this approach informs product prioritization and testing hypotheses swiftly. He also discusses his course on Maven, which aims to equip PMs with actionable growth strategies. Throughout the conversation, Gaurav emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and adapting new approaches within various business processes.
    00:00 Introduction and Background
    01:53 The Concept of Envelope Math
    03:46 Practical Applications of Napkin Math
    05:46 Failing Forward and Iterative Testing
    06:25 Prioritizing Features and Roadmapping
    12:17 Training and Mentoring Product Managers
    15:19 Integrating AI in Business Processes
    19:33 Collaboration with Engineering Teams
    29:10 Course and Educational Initiatives
    32:34 Lightning Round and Final Thoughts
    Bio: 
    Gaurav is a Product Executive with over 10 years of experience building digital products. He started at Trulia and Zillow Group with a reach of 50MM+ monthly users, grew an established mobile commerce app (Shopkick), and helped take Brilliant Smart Home 0 to 1 across SaaS, embedded hardware, and mobile app platforms. He's currently VP of Product, Consumer at HomeLight where he owns Product, Ops, and Growth. 

    Gaurav’s course - https://maven.com/insider-growth/pm-impact
    Link to Gaurav’s original post that inspired this conversation: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ghardikar_as-a-product-manager-using-data-in-every-activity-7206363910474506242-BFxr

    • 38 min
    32. The Intersection of Product Management and Design with Toma Lulgjuraj

    32. The Intersection of Product Management and Design with Toma Lulgjuraj

    Creating Quality Products: A Candid Conversation with Toma on Design and Product Management
    In this episode, Estee converses with Toma, the first designer guest on the show, about the integral relationship between design and product management. They reflect on how they connected through a humorously truthful LinkedIn post that Toma put up about the dilution of design quality during product development.
    The discussion delves into the challenges of aligning different stakeholders' priorities, the importance of shared values in achieving extraordinary outcomes, and the pitfalls of compromising on quality for fast metrics. Toma talks about the significance of maintaining high-quality standards and the impact of values-driven decision-making in organizations like Apple and Microsoft.
    The conversation also touches on the detrimental effects of MVP culture and how true product management focuses on creating excellent products rather than just checking boxes. The episode concludes with a lightning round exploring Toma's views on design podcasts, his admiration for Steve Jobs, and key takeaways for product managers to prioritize quality and fight for the product.
    00:00 Welcome and Introduction
    00:24 The Designer's LinkedIn Post
    02:44 The Importance of Aligned Values
    04:54 Design in Tech Companies
    08:34 Quality vs. Metrics
    10:20 The MVP Debate
    19:22 Top-Down Quality Culture
    22:22 The Power of Value-Driven Decisions
    23:13 The Problem with Compromising Quality
    24:10 Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Culture
    25:18 The Importance of Using Your Own Products
    26:40 The Role of Product Managers vs. Project Managers
    31:06 Creating a Strong Product-Design Partnership
    33:59 Evaluating Quality in Popular Apps
    37:45 Lightning Round: Insights and Inspirations

    About Toma: Toma’s journey to becoming a designer was unexpected. Originally from Australia, he studied law and business before life took a turn in 2006, leading him to Italy. There, he moved his first pixel and wrote his first line of code. Since then, Toma has brought his design expertise to tech companies across multiple continents, focusing on product and organizational strategy and design. Now based in Amsterdam, he is a Design Director at the European hospitality unicorn MEWS, where his teams spearhead the creation of outstanding guest experiences.
    Link to the image that inspired this episode: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/activity-7188806639368462337-QDrv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
     

    • 46 min
    31. Artificial Intelligence Strategies for Personalization and Pricing with Rachel Windzberg

    31. Artificial Intelligence Strategies for Personalization and Pricing with Rachel Windzberg

    Leveraging AI in Product Management with Rachel: Insights Beyond the Basics
    Rachel, an experienced AI product manager, shares her journey from electrical engineering to working at esteemed companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Instagram. She discusses her career transition, the rise of AI, and the essential paper 'Attention Is All You Need.' Rachel dives deep into practical applications of AI for product managers, emphasizing productivity, personalization, and real-world examples like Spotify and e-commerce. She also explores the future of product management and engineering roles amidst AI advancements, providing valuable insights and advice for professionals in the field.
    Referenced in the episode: 
    1. Article about Shein: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-data-science-artificial-intelligence-helped-shein-keep/
    2. Air Canada forced to honor refund policy invented by AI chatbot: https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/air-canada-ai-chatbot-9170822/
    00:00 Introduction and Welcome
    00:04 Rachel's Career Journey
    01:21 Impact of AI in Product Management
    01:49 Deep Dive into LLMs and AI Technologies
    06:26 AI for Productivity and Personal Use
    18:21 AI in Professional Settings
    31:33 Future of Product Management and AI
    35:48 Personal Insights and Hobbies
    38:57 Final Thoughts and Farewell
    Rachel's Bio: 
    Rachel started her path to product management as an Engineer in the semiconductors industry. Prior to that, she was a Digital Marketing and Product Specialist at Fiverr, where she was one of the first members of the team to focus on marketing and product research. As a strategy consultant at BCG, she focused on private equity and operations. Rachel joined YouNow as a Product Manager where she focused on broadcaster experience and internal tools, and joined DataDog to lead monitors and alerting product. Rachel holds an MBA from Columbia and a BSC in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University.

    • 44 min

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