20Product: The Five Step Process to Hiring the Best Product People, The Four Core Skills the Best PMs Need to Have, The Two Product Documents that Drive World Class Product Teams & Why the Best PMs are Writers with Scott Williamson, Former CPO @ Gitlab

Posted on 21st February 2024 by Harry

Scott Williamson was most recently Chief Product Officer for GitLab, where he led a team of 65 in Product Management, Product Operations, Growth, Pricing, and Corporate Development functions.  Before GitLab, Scott was VP of Product for SendGrid for over six years, where helped lead the company to a successful IPO and $3B acquisition by Twilio. 

In Today’s Episode with Scott Williamson We Discuss: 

1. From Sales to Product Leader:

  • Why does Scott believe sales is a great starting point for product people?
  • To what extent does an MBA help someone wanting to pursue a career in product management?
  • What does Scott know now that he wishes he had known when he started his career in product?

2. What, Who, When: How to Build a Product Team:

  • Is product management art or science? What is the ratio?
  • What are the four core roles of a product manager today?
  • When is the right time to hire your first PM?
  • What is the ideal profile for this first PM hire?
  • What are the single biggest mistakes founders make when hiring PMs?

3. Hiring the Best Product People:

  • What does Scott’s hiring process look like for all new product hires?
  • How does Scott test for systematic thinking and problem-solving ability?
  • What questions does Scott always ask in interviews?
  • What are the best case studies to use to test a candidate’s skill set?
  • How important is it for the candidate to have domain expertise in your product category?

4. The Best Product Teams are the Best Writers:

  • What are the two different types of documents that product teams must use?
  • How do you know when to use a one-pager vs a six-pager?
  • How does the discussion and planning cycle for the different documents differ?
  • How important is it for PMs to be great writers also?

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