Build • Episode 11
Build 11: Julia Austin on the Making of a Great PM – Lessons from Harvard Business School, Digital Ocean, VMWare & Akamai
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Build 11: Julia Austin on the Making of a Great PM – Lessons from Harvard Business School, Digital Ocean, VMWare & Akamai
By Drift • View the Website

On this episode of #Build, board advisor and Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, Julia Austin, shares her point of view on what makes a truly great product manager. How does she know? Well years of experience spent as CTO at Digital Ocean and VP of Engineering at VMWare and Akamai.

Julia also opens up about her time as a lecturer at Harvard Business School and experience serving as a board advisor to startups including Drift, Wistia, Help Scout, ZappRx and others.

Before you go leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and share the pod with your friends! Be sure to check out more insights on the Drift blog at drift.com/blog and find us on Twitter @maggiecrowley, @drift, @seekingwisdomio and @austinfish.

In This Episode:

0:09 – Maggie introduces Julia Austin
0:40 – Introduction of the two big topics of today’s show: 1. What is a great product manager, 2. How one builds a carrier in production management
0:57 – Julia shares how she went from production itself to teaching about it
4:23 – Product manager is not a cool CEO position, but it turns ideas into made products and can be very gratifying
5:48 – The process of idea to realization in project management that she teaches in Julia’s class
8:32 – By taking a product management class one can walk through and gain knowledge about the whole process
9:05 – Kinds of people customarily being most successful in product management
16:29 – Julia explains what a ‘typical’ product manager looks like
20:24 – You don’t have to build the most fancy things all the time
21:57 – Sometimes you have to take scary risks
23:20 – What makes a great PM is someone who says ‘I know this is the right thing to do,’ and can make the call
23:28 – Julia shares advice on how one can get their first PM job
26:46 – Advice on how to evaluate the next carrier steps as a PM, and whether to go / remain in a big or a start-up company
35:32 – Julia shares some final pieces of advice
37:21 – Be willing to take risks
38:03 – Don’t be focused on titles, but on what you will actually do

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