Shreyas Doshi Profile picture
Led a couple of Stripe's most successful products from their early days. Led & grew several products at Twitter, Google, Yahoo. Now advising, coaching, teaching
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Mar 30, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Product life in midsized & large companies starts making a lot more sense when you understand that a large % of middle & upper management thinks their main job is to (i) try & decipher what the CEO wants done (ii) align their org with it (iii) propose a plan that the CEO approves This is instead of *often* telling the CEO what actually needs to be done, in a way that is grounded in (a) deep insight into customers & market (b) creative product & GTM solutions

Many in middle & upper management will of course blame incentives set by the company for this.
Mar 7, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Those who don’t understand the great value of instinct call it luck. Useful to understand
Mar 3, 2023 19 tweets 4 min read
Everything we create, everything we do, it all starts with our thinking

Clear thinking drastically improves odds of success in all departments of career & life

While clear thinking is quite rare, it can be developed with practice

Advanced principles for clear thinking:

(1/12) 1) Essence first. Not story. Not analogy

Most people get seduced by great analogies & exciting stories.

Clear thinkers don’t *form* their thinking via analogies. They identify the essence of the issue, in their specific context. Then, they use analogies as one of their inputs.
Feb 23, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
Apple Pie Position:
A statement that instantly elevates the person who is saying it and is simultaneously hard for anyone else to push back on, and so everyone avoids the personal risk and just nods “yes”, even though its actual value in this specific situation might be… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… Okay, so now that you understand Apple Pie, here’s your crash course on dealing with Apple Pie:

1) The greatest thing about Apple Pie Positions is that you now have a name to assign to a complex behavior (and it is a cute name, which helps a lot). Once you share this idea with… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Feb 17, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Which book would sell more copies?

Business (auto)biography 1:
Failure 1, Failure 2, Hit rock bottom, Success 1, Failure 3, Wild success

Business (auto)biography 2:
Mild success, Major success, Mild failure, Mild challenges, Wild success

(Wild success being the same in both) Now, imagine you must choose to live one of these lives.

Which one would you choose?

(note: you *must* choose one of these, you have no other option)

(think & be honest to yourself)

(this is a thought experiment for you only, so pick one, don’t reply with “it depends”)
Feb 13, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
Failure is the absolute worst way to learn something and sadly so many people spend their entire lives under the illusion that failure is the best way to learn anything.
Feb 9, 2023 10 tweets 2 min read
Some thoughts on Individual Contributor (IC) vs. Manager paths in product management:

1) The manager path isn’t the “evil path”. The IC path isn’t the “loser’s path”

2) Early/mid-level PM Managers need to mostly exercise core PM skills, just at greater scope & throughput 3) So early on, fixate on the goal of building core competence, not the goal of “managing PMs”

4) Try being a PM manager at least a couple of times before you decide it is not for you. You might hate it early on, but you might just surprise yourself with how much you love it
Feb 7, 2023 22 tweets 4 min read
A really important concept to understand in work & life: the Antithesis Principle.

It is best explained through some examples, so that’s where I will start this thread.

(1/18) First example.

Observation:

Most people learn better when the content / teaching is entertaining.

Many people *only* learn if the content is entertaining.
Jan 29, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
The next cohort of my Career Management course is now open for enrollment. I have designed this course to pack a massive amount of content very efficiently in just 2 days (4 hours each on Saturday & Sunday, plus 2-3 total hours of optional Q&A sessions).

maven.com/shreyas-doshi/… Course modules:
- How to craft your path
- How to grow your competence
- How to shortlist companies
- How to get hired
- How to choose the right offer
- How to grow within your company
- Review and reflection
- Bonus: The tech jobs downturn
- Plus: 2 Q&A sessions
Jan 27, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
It is easy to make fun of PMs in big companies who are just launching features and are focused on “outputs over outcomes”, but also understand that some environments are so messed up that a launch (really any launch) is by itself a huge achievement requiring superhuman effort. A lot of times, these PMs know that this is not ideal. They should be doing things differently. But the mess around them is just overwhelming. It would be impossible for anyone at the IC / first-level manager level to fix the mess. You might think you can fix it, but you can’t.
Jan 21, 2023 9 tweets 3 min read
The biggest problem with saying that Execution is more important than Ideas is that it demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of how you get outstanding Execution: you get it through 100s of excellent (and usually correct) Ideas about what to do & how to do it, day in and day out. To elaborate:
The notion of That One Great Idea is silly. Think of Idea in plural form, not singular. It is not just the Ah-ha Archimedes Lighbulb moment. In the real world, to make any product spectacular, that moment must actually be followed by countless other ideas & choices.
Jan 8, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
High performing senior PMs are always very busy and often overwhelmed with the endless list of things they want to do, and it is important for their sanity, effectiveness, impact that they identify the 2-3 people to whom they can delegate many of their product-related tasks. Such folks exist on most teams, especially in companies with a high hiring bar. The problem is that these folks are often in engineering, design, ops, finance, analytics, etc. and many company cultures make the mistake of stressing that PM tasks can/should only be done by the PM.
Dec 27, 2022 6 tweets 1 min read
One huge mistake that many managers make is to tell a senior member of their team:

“<XYZ> is entirely your decision. I am here to serve you. I will defer to whatever your decision is here.”

This happens at all levels e.g. a Founder/CEO delegating “product strategy” to the CPO. By saying this, they are trying to be a “good manager”. But then, to be a “good leader” for the company, to make the company-optimal decision, they often overturn this team member’s decision. This causes a lot of confusion for everyone & major frustration for said team member.
Dec 27, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Listening and thinking actually don’t go well together. Your job as a listener is to consume in a few seconds / minutes what the speaker might have experienced over weeks / months / decades. So, as a listener, odds are stacked heavily against you.

What can you do about this?
👇🏾 Partition listening & thinking.

View them as phases or modes, not concurrent activities. When you are in listening mode, just be in listening mode. Just absorb. Don’t judge, don’t filter, don’t be overcome by emotions. This is not easy, but I have found it to be very powerful.
Nov 21, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
If you work in a company with many 100s or 1000s of employees, the best networking strategy actually lies in plain sight within your company.

Here’s how it works: Ask trusted colleagues to name 5 people they know are *really* great in your company. Reach out to them with a friendly message. Not everyone will be able to respond, but usually 4 out 5 of them will. Share what you work on, learn about their work, build rapport, get to know them
Oct 21, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
A subtle reason why creativity, attention to detail & pace of product progress suffers as a startup scales is that the Visionary founder has hired an Operator to run the product (which is fine) but that Operator has simply hired other Operators & there are no Craftspersons left. Main thread here:
Image
Sep 30, 2022 6 tweets 1 min read
New product initiatives within already-successful companies often fail to achieve their potential because they have too much rather than too little.

Too much of:

1) headcount: you are now under pressure to come up _something_ for all these people to do

👇🏾 2) democratic decision making: creative product ideas usually get killed (or watered down) by groups of people

3) optics requirements: need to manufacture metrics & milestones to *show* straight-line progress and demonstrate certainty during an inherently uncertain journey
Jul 8, 2022 12 tweets 2 min read
Sharing a brief memo I wrote for a founder in response to this question:

What is product management?

Product management is the art, science, and practice of making successful products and making products successful.

(1/12) 2/
User adoption, Customer satisfaction, Business impact are good ways to begin measuring product success. Consistent product success comes from unique insight on customers & market, creative product solutions, and methodical execution in building & distributing the product.
Jul 6, 2022 12 tweets 3 min read
Some people who succeed wildly in school don’t achieve their apparent potential in the business world. Some others who do okay (or worse) in school manage to build an extremely successful life. Why is that?

What we learn in school & must unlearn in business & in life:

(1/10) 1/

In school:
Your teacher provides a rubric, you follow the rubric to a tee, you deserve an A.

In business & life:
There is rarely a rubric. Even if it exists, and you follow it to a tee, you often end up with average results, not outsized returns.
May 23, 2022 13 tweets 5 min read
10 really great books:
(for B2B product people) 1/
The Mom Test: the bible (in my opinion) of how to understand what customers want and avoid the biases that nearly everyone in B2B falls prey to. This is among the books I recommend the most to B2B founders and senior product people.

amazon.com/The-Mom-Test-R…
May 20, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
This took me a long time to really understand: some people’s implicit goal in every interaction is to see themselves as higher status relative to the person or persons they are interacting with. That motivates (and explains) their body language, what they say and how they say it. How to deal with such people at work?

1) If you report to them, and you don’t like this style, frankly you can’t do a whole lot. Just plan an exit/change when/if it makes sense for you

2) If they are a peer, frustrate them by being completely impervious to their shenanigans