Calling on more than two decades of experience working with some of the biggest companies in tech, Shreyas Doshi joins The Knowledge Project for a deep dive into the connection between building a solid team and building a better product. He also discusses the three levels of product work, the origins of conflict on your team, the difference between measurement and evaluation, the benefits and drawbacks of a writing culture, decision-making, growing your competence, and the agency/talent matrix.
Doshi is best known as the leader of some of the most successful products from Stripe, where he was one of the company’s first product managers. He also led and grew several products at Twitter, Google, and Yahoo. He currently advises fast-growing startups on strategy, scaling, and product management. Doshi is also a frequent angel investor and has privately coached product managers from Amazon, Meta, Salesforce, Uber, and LinkedIn.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
Oftentimes conflict between people and teams arises mainly because we’re not talking at the same level.
If you come into this kind of product review as the product manager and you drown the group in all sorts of execution-level detail…you are going to lose the audience.
When the founders are actually living the values that are put up on the wall, that means that they’re not just words on a wall. We can all say, “Yeah sure, you need to be customer-centric,” and so on. But the actual process of doing so involves a lot of discipline, commitment, and consistency.
By forcing ourselves to write down our thinking, it enables the reaching of consensus or a decision better than if we were trying to do it all just in a meeting.
Given a choice between hiring a frustrated genius and hiring a go-getter, if it is a role that has a high degree of ambiguity, I would rather hire the go-getter than the frustrated genius.
If you come across a game changer early in their career, you better hold onto them, and you better provide them with the opportunities and the support that is necessary for them to achieve their potential.
It is actually not in your best interest to be the kind of person who only learns from entertaining content.
You should turn yourself into a person who can do really good work even without having a great manager.
00:00 – Intro
00:54 – The 3 levels of product management
11:19 – Evaluating vs. measuring progress
26:24 – On the lessons learned at Stripe
34:45 – How to break a tie in product decisions
38:14 – The difference between good teams and great teams
45:15 – The Agency-Talent Matrix
52:35 – The pros and cons of a writing culture
01:04:44 – The Antithesis Principle (A life-changing idea)
01:14:38 – On opportunity costs
01:21:04 – How to be more confident
01:27:50 – What is success for Shreyas Doshi?