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FullContact - Sean Porter

FullContact – Sean Porter

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About the Episode

Are you a product or design person that has a hard time communicating your vision to a developer? Well today’s guest shares the core skills of a good product manager and how to properly communicate to engineers. Also, listen to the story of how a dinner with another founder led to him selling his company to that founder’s business.

Sean Porter is VP of Product & Engineering at FullContact.

Show Notes

Core Skills of A Good Product Manager 

  1. Have a Beginner’s Mind. This is the ability of being able to look at a product, a user interface or a marketing copy through the eyes of a customer. A good product manager must be able to categorically state that a customer will be able to make sense of a marketing copy or must be able to put himself in the shoes of the customer and say for sure that a user interface has a work flow that will be user friendly.
  1. Have the ability of being able to work well with others. This balances the mindset of being the CEO of your product. CEOs have a tendency to have a non-negotiable attitude towards how they want their product to come out. A good product manager must be able to balance or offset this inflexibility with an ability to convey what he wants in such a manner that is not grating, offensive or too strong. This is called getting along with other human beings and a good product manager must have this if he wants things to work like a smoothly oiled cog.

How to Communicate To Engineers

Engineers are in a world of their own. It is important to be able to communicate with them at least on a level of competence that you can be understood by this special breed. As the person with the idea of the product to build, what one can contribute to the engineer are the following:

  1. A sense of purpose. Be sure to be clear about what the product is, what it can do and what is it supposed to solve. Engineers just like other people like to find meaning in what they do.
  2. Follow up, clear up after engineers. A good product manager knows that engineers like to focus on the work alone and what they do best. Following up and cleaning up for engineers are tedious work and a good product manager should not think that these kind of tasks are way below his job description because he should do these tasks for the engineers. Taking over these tasks or taking responsibility for these tasks will get a product manager the most grateful of engineers.

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