I have a favourite PM case study question that I'm retiring today. I'll write up the question and the best answers I've heard in this thread.

This case study has been the highest signal, under 20 minute question I can ask potential PMs.
Question: Find a water bottle. You have one? Great. Tell me how you would improve it.

I always ask that question in that exact same way. “Tell me how you would improve it.”
The PMs that pass this test all start by recognizing that they need to first ask “improve for whom?” If you jump right into saying “I like this”, you have failed miserably.
The best candidates say there are 5 potential users: 1) users drinking water from the bottle, 2) buyers of the bottle, 3) those who manage logistics of moving/storing bottle, 4) people who sell the water bottle and 5) manufacturer. If you get 3 sets of users, you’ve done well.
Some good, but not great, candidates immediately jump into describing three or four types of end users (athletes, office workers, etc.) That’s okay. But not great.
Having described the set of users, the best candidates then go through a “jobs for people” process and describe what these users are looking for in a water bottle.

The candidates I fall in love with immediately narrow down to two sets of users and go through trade offs.
They pick one and describe the downsides of picking that user.

They then say “this is how I can most quickly test if I’ve picked the right user.” And describe how they would measure the answer to that question and set out the next two or three steps they would take.

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More from @CanadaKaz

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Every day, we are inspired by the stories of entrepreneurs like @SalimaVisram1 and @jogriffiths.
Today, we are making a change to Shopify dedicated to them and all our amazing entrepreneurs.

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Early money is like yeast. It makes the dough rise. But this early money is often the hardest to get. The first $200 is sometimes the hardest $200 to get.
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21 Dec 19
When I left the Bay Area to join Shopify, I was a little worried about how things would turn out. I was moving my family, including our 6 month old son, across the continent.
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1. No Cynicism: Bay Area can be a cynical place. This is partially because how short term everything feels. Avg employee lasts about 1.5 years at most big tech companies in the Bay Area. That’s incredibly not true at Shopify. Many ppl have made Shopify their life’s work.
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Some personal news.

After ~2 wonderful years, I am leaving Facebook Payments. Here is why.

Living in the Bay Areathe Bay Area, it is easy to think that there are more startups around today than anytime in recent history. This is wrong.
This problem is not unique to the United States. All over the world, people are starting fewer and fewer businesses. In the past decade, startup creation has dropped by ~20% in America, ~20% in Australia, and ~10% in Canada and Britain.
There are lots of reasons for this. To simplify: it is harder today than it was a generation ago to start a business, to build a business, and to sustain a business. Modern finance and technology have made it very difficult for small businesses to get started.
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