Sep 25, 2020 Shishir Mehrotra is the Founder & CEO @ Coda, the startup that brings all of your words and data into a flexible all-in-one doc. To date, Shishir has raised over $140M from some great names including Greylock, Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst, NEA and Homebrew to name a few. Prior to founding Coda, Shishir spent an incredible 6 years at Google in a couple of different roles; first as Director of Product for Youtube Monetisation and then moving to Youtube VP of Engineering, Product and UX. Before Google, Shishir was with Microsoft for 6 years as a Director of Program Management. Shishir also serves on the board of Spotify.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How Shishir made his way into the world of tech, came to be VP of Engineering, Product and UX @ Youtube and how it led to founding Coda?
2.) What is the No 1 quality of a good decision? How does Shishir think through reversible vs irreversible decisions? What are the 4 phases of decision-making? When should decisions be based on speed vs not? How can teams adjust questions to come to more productive outcomes?
3.) How does Shishir encourage debate and dissent within team discussions? How can leaders build deep trust with their teams? How can leaders create true democracy for idea sharing and meritocracy? Should ideas always be acted on immediately? What are the pros and cons?
4.) How does Shishir think about and evaluate his own operating cadence? How has this changed over time? How does Shishir approach time allocation? What have been his core learnings? How does Shishir divide his time between proactive and reactive tasks?
5.) How does Shishir approach OKR setting? What can leaders do to create aspirational and inspirational goals? How should goals be correctly communicated across orgs? How many OKRs should one team/person have? How should attribution across OKRs be given?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:
Shishir’s Fave Book: Switch: How to change things when change is hard
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When I was dating a girl in college, I got invited to her father’s house in rural Illinois.
I went to their house…
And it was a MANSION.
All I could say to her father was, “you’re so rich. How did you get so rich?”
He handed me Alan Weiss’ book Million Dollar Consulting. He said if I read it, that I could have a mansion too.
Years later, I recommend Alan’s book not just for consulting, but for ALL business.
In today’s episode, I talk to Alan Weiss about growing a successful business.
You’ll learn 3 main things:
Why self-help books and motivational speakers DON’T help How to fix imposter syndrome (and increase real self-esteem) General lessons from someone who got fired and had to start from zero
Alan Weiss is someone who can call himself a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it. The New York Post called him "one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America" with clients from over 500 leading organizations. He’s a member of the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame and has written more books on consulting than anyone else.
However, in many of his books, Weiss notes that your real wealth is not defined in monetary terms. Rather, he is famous for noting that real wealth comes in the form of how much discretionary time you have. "Time is not a resource, it’s a priority," he added. Similarly, money is also a priority. We choose how to allocate both.
When it comes to managing these priorities, Alan shared his take on splitting your personal and professional time. "We don’t have two lives — work and personal. We don’t have an on/off switch — it’s more like a restat." We also explored coaching behaviors, the guilt that comes from feeling like you should be working all the time, and how someone in an office can reclaim some of their wealth. Alan also shared his own daily schedule (he starts his day early and ends early).
For shout-outs and shameless plugs, Nick reminded listeners that the code worktalk gets them special rates to any of his events including the Social Strategy Boot Camps and this fall’s Social Brand Forum, while DJ gave a shout to the TASTEdaily email newsletter. Alan offered a much deserved shout-out to those that work with the welfare of animals, especially his friends at the East Greenwich Animal Protection League. He also shared his common sense weekly video series for just $1 per video.
Until next week, we’ll see you on the Internet!
Here’s an Idea on How to Spend Your Discretionary Time — If you liked what you heard (or even if you didn’t), head over to iTunes and give us a quick rating and review to help others find the show.
Alan Weiss shares his journey to success, how to market yourself, and common mistakes that consultants make starting out.
lan Weiss, guest speaker at Harvard University, October 2012.
We had an amazing conversation on today’s show with Tom Sylvester, who had a mission to retire by the age of 35 (and he did it by age 32!). We talk about what goes on both in goal achievement and what happens after you achieve those goals. The first half of this conversation is all about systemizing, and how to figure out what to systemize, clearing out the bottlenecks in your business, and how to back yourself out of your business so that it can run without you.
In the second half of our conversation, we discuss what life is like once your business is systemized and how to deal with the new challenges that pop up once you do not need to focus on your business as much. It’s an interesting roadmap for sure, and that’s where we both got lit up, as we talked about the issues that arise about what you do with your life moving ahead. After listening, go check out our conversations with James Altucher and Austin Sams for more insight into how to dial it in to set up your life and your business on your own terms.
“That was how I built everything…if I could just get the businesses and the income to exceed the expenses, I can pretty much not have to worry about working, and have everything covered.” – Tom Sylvester
I think, by now, we all know that product management is hard. And while we spend a lot of time focusing on the things that we’re building and obsessing over our users, it becomes easy to neglect ourselves. That’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen our chat with Thor Mitchell (ex-Google and ex-CPO at Crowdcube) as one of my favourite episodes of the year. I’m a big believer in taking time to consider personal development – one of the main reasons I started ProductTank in Bristol in 2016.
It’s also one of my favourite podcast episodes because I LOVE practical advice. And Thor also gave us a great talk, full of practical advice, when he visited ProductTank Bristol, which covered how to move up the product career ladder and the difference in product roles in a big corporation vs a startup.
Hopefully you’ll find this episode just as insightful and useful as I do as you ponder where you’ve come from and where you want to go.
The Product Experience is hosted by Lily Smith and Randy Silver.
Lily enjoys working as a consultant product manager with early stage and growing startups and as a mentor to other product managers. Lily has spent 13 years in the tech industry working mainly with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She has worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank in Bristol, the Product Managers’ meetup with regular events and talks on Product now with 800+ members and growing. Now the Product Director at Symec, Lily also runs ProductCamp in Bristol & Bath.
A recovering music journalist and editor, Randy has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. After launching Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, Randy has worked with museums and arts groups, online education, media & entertainment, retail and financial services. He’s held Head of Product roles at HSBC and Sainsbury’s, where he also directed their 100+-person product community. Now a trainer, Discovery and Leadership consultant, he’s spoken at Mind the Product Engage (Hamburg and Manchester), at a number of ProductTanks (London, Zurich, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, and Brighton… so far!) and at conferences across the US and Europe.
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