Aakash Gupta Profile picture
May 7 11 tweets 3 min read Read on X
This data really stuck with me...

There's a huge gulf between what PMs and designers think each other's responsibilities are.

🧵 Image
From the chart:

1. Do PMs own stakeholder buy-in?
→ 53% of PMs think they do, but only 16% of designers do

2. Do PMs own what features the team should build?
→ 56% of PMs think so, but only 15% of designers do

Source: @NNgroup

3. Does design own product discovery?
→ 73% of designers think so, but only 19% of PMs do

4. Does design own explaining designs to leadership?
→ 76% of designers think so, but only 29% of PMs do

Each discipline thinks it owns things the other doesn't.
It's worth asking: "Why?"

• There is not industry standardization
• There's enough vagueness in each, unlike disciplines like engineering
• PM, in particular, does not have clearly defined artifacts or deliverables

It leads to everyone having their own opinion:
→ The empowered PM folks yell, "designers own discovery and PMs features to build, with each as key partners!"

→ The feature factories yell, "PMs should frame both, design should be a contributor!"

→ A designer who is much more senior than a PM yells, "I should own it all!"
So... What should PMs and designers do?

Here's the practical reality: We don't live in an ideal world.

If you want to get promoted, you typically have to be a pragmatist.

I recommend 3 things:

I'd focus on 3 things:
1. Lean on your job responsibilities and org context

What is expected where YOU work?

Assess what leaders and other PMs and designers want you to do.

Each company is different. Adapt as needed.
2. Have a discussion with each other

It doesn't matter who starts the conversation, but it's worth defining responsibilities.

At Apollo, we used to do this at our half-year off-sites.

Do whatever cadence works for you.
3. Stay close to the ground and iterate

There's going to be practical things that you do that the other may not have expected.

The key is to have a close relationship, where you feel open to share these things with each other.
Of course, this all sounds simple theoretically.

It's much harder to do in practice.

That's why everyone disagrees.
So how do I think PMs and designers can work better together?

I interviewed 14 PMs, designers, and UXRs to hear from the best:


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More from @aakashg0

May 3
The product trio is merging.

And it's not just because of AI.

🧵 Image
I first saw this concept from Yuhki Yamashita (@yuhkiyam), CPO of Figma, in 2020.

Well before the current AI boom.

It's driven by 3 key trends:

(Video: @productschool)
1. Engineers are taking an active role in the problem space

It's just a pre-requisite for engineering success these days.

Promotion committees don't just ask, how big was the feature, or important the technical innovation.

They ask: how big was the impact?
Read 10 tweets
May 2
The product leadership job search is completely unlike the IC PM search.

Here's what you need to know:

(That most people don't) Image
My collaborator (and 3x Sr Dir of Product) @xolin and I talked to:

• 7 external executive recruiters
• 2 internal big tech executive recruiters
• 2 VC talent teams
• And 10 CPOs and VPs

To learn these 5 things:
1. Less and less jobs get listed

At the Group PM and Principal PM level, 90%+ of jobs are still listed on job boards.

But as you move up, those numbers drop considerably:

• 50-70% of (Sr) Director and Head Of roles
• 20-50% of SVP and VP roles
• <20% of top exec roles
Read 10 tweets
Apr 18
2 rules govern how much you can make:

Stage and success of company

Let me explain 🧵 Image
Factor 1 - Where You Work

At bigger companies, the same title earns a lot more. Take VPs:

• $10M rev/ Series A: TC $675K
• $100M rev/ Series E: TC: $750K
• $500M rev/ Series E: TC $750K
• $1B rev/ Small-Mid Cap: TC $950K
• $100B rev/ FAANG-like: TC > $2.15M
And there's a huge difference in how liquid the earnings are at these companies.

For most private companies, liquidity events are rare and capped.

Moreover, the outcomes are highly bi-modal: the equity could go to 1, or could be a multiple. It's hardly a certain thing.
Read 9 tweets
Mar 29
Remember the days of unlimited music skips on Spotify's free tier?

I bet you didn't know removing it increased paid subscribers 25%.

Here's the story: Image
Unlimited skips on the free plan was a golden age for music lovers.

But, for Spotify, they were losing money on each of those customers.

They needed them to upgrade.
So in 2014, Spotify limited skips on the free tier to six per hour.

The headlines were

• "Spotify’s free tier just got worse"
• "I’m quitting Spotify"
Read 6 tweets
Mar 27
I researched the pricing models of 50 leading consumer software companies.

These are my top 4 takeaways: Image
1 — Subscriptions have come to every industry

In every industry, it's worth considering if a subscription makes sense for you.

Recurring revenue, stable cash flow, and higher LTV are all potential prizes.

But, consumers might be annoyed.
2 — Subscriptions aren't the only game in town

Yes, subscription or “subscription-like” pricing is 56% of this list.

But options like one-time fee, ad-supported, and transaction-based also appear.

And consumers often prefer them.
Read 6 tweets
Mar 25
Companies kill their own messaging over time.

4 bad habits seep in as they grow.

Here's the breakdown: Image
@apierriPMM Bad Habit 1 - Speaking to multiple audiences at once

In the world of growth-focused companies, prioritization can be seen as weak.

But instead of effectively speaking to multiple audiences at once, you end up speaking to none.

In messaging, you must prioritize.
Bad Habit 2 — Choosing the Wrong Champion

Most commonly, people aim too senior. This has 2 problems:

1. There are exponentially fewer CEOs than VPs, directors, & managers
2. CEOs aren’t buying software

(There is one exception: if you’re targeting a small business.)
Read 7 tweets

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