20Product: Why Product Memes Are More Important Than a Product Roadmap, Why Writing is the Essential Skill for Product People, How AI Changes The Role of Product, Big Mistakes Founders Make When Hiring Product Teams with Kevin Niparko, VP Product @ Twilio

Posted on 29th September 2023 by Harry

Kevin Niparko is the VP of Product @ Twilio. Kevin joined Twilio through the acquisition of Segment where he spent an incredible 8 years in numerous different roles including as Head of Product. Before entering the world of product, Kevin was a Management Associate at the world-renowned, Bridgewater Associates.

In Today’s Episode with Kevin Niparko We Discuss:

1. From Bridgewater to Head of Product:

  • How Kevin made his way from the world of asset management and analytics to leading product teams?
  • What are 1-2 of Kevin’s biggest takeaways from his time at Bridgewater with Ray Dalio?
  • How did the 8 year journey with Segment leading to their $3BN acquisition impact his approach to product?

2. What Makes a Great Product Person:

  • Does Kevin believe that product is more art or science? If he were to put a number on it? What would it be out of 100?
  • Why does Kevin believe that all product people should learn to write?
  • Why does Kevin believe that the best product people are generalists and not specialists?
  • Why does Kevin think that analytics is an insanely good start for product people?

3. How to Hire the Best Product People:

  • How does Kevin approach the hiring process for product hires today?
  • What are the non-obvious traits of hires he looks for? How does he test for them?
  • Does Kevin use case studies? Where do many fall down? What do the best do?

4. Product Reviews: Good vs Great:

  • How often does Kevin do product reviews? Who is invited?
  • How have product reviews changed in a world where the company is now fully remote?
  • What is the difference between good and great product reviews?
  • What is the single best product decision Kevin has made? What did he learn?
  • What is the worst product decision Kevin made? How did that change his approach?

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