Martin is a Senior Product Manager working for a global leader in digital advertising conversion in San Francisco, California. We asked him a few questions to learn from his experience with this digital product, and asked him to share the lessons he has learned in the path that took him from his early career stages as a developer to the role he has now.
How did you become a senior product manager?
As every fresh student, I wanted to code the trending languages, use the most incredible technologies and build cool stuff. It took me almost three years to realize that coding was not my thing.
I started being eager to know more about the problems we were trying to solve, the design process behind the requirement, and how to measure success rather than build the solution.
Naturally, this excitement was perceived by leadership in the company, and I was offered a position as a Pre sales, Business Analyst.
My focus switched to understanding the business needs and offering customized solutions using a document management suite of products. This position helped me understand the importance of adding value, differentiating from the competition, and solving real problems.
After traveling all over Latin America, receiving tons of insights from our customers, it was time to move forward and use the knowledge acquired to grow our product.
This is when my journey in product begins.
I was offered the product management position without knowing what a product manager does. I had no formal education on products and not many references in Uruguay to identify with.
So I started googling and asking myself the following questions:
- What should we build?
- Why should we build it?
- When should we build it?
- How would we measure success?
After several frameworks and experiences, these are the most important questions to ask.
What digital product are you responsible for?
After working as Sr PM for Instapage, the worldwide leader in landing page creation, I lead two teams at Postclick. Postclick is the evolution of Instapage, where we combine data, ML and AI to increase conversion goals and reduce ROAS of our enterprise customers. We are building pages at scale and experimenting without human interaction.
The teams that I am responsible at Postclick are:
- Creation: We are building landing pages automatically at scale by using ML and AI to reduce ROAS and increase Conversion goals. We delivered MVP last January, and we are looking to go SAAS at the end of 2021. My team is responsible for the Content management system. It is in our team’s vision to generate automatic content (“Copyright”) for our customers at scale using AI.
- Design system: Create reusable, great-looking blocks (The Tesla of blocks) to tell a compelling story for our customers in a scalable way.
What are the resources that helped you the most along the way?
My personality and having a mindset that failure is good. Adapting to any situation, iterating fast, being empathic; as a PM, you need to be able to place yourself in someone else’s shoes. Having high standards and structure for the team.
What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
Making decisions based on what someone said or felt instead of making decisions based on data. With time, I’ve learned to be more data-driven, and it’s fundamental when creating a digital product. Our job as Product Managers is to make the best decision with the information we have.
If you have insufficient information, you will have poor outcomes and vice-versa.
What keeps you up at night?
The desire to go further in my career and make a change in peoples lives. I love changes, I adapt quickly, and this excitement keeps my adrenaline running!
I operate on my top performance under pressure and being challenged. I am always willing to embrace changes and love being agile.
What’s a myth about your profession that you want to debunk?
I would like to enumerate a few here:
- That we’re the CEOs of the products.
- A CEO manages people. The product manager needs to use their influence and convince people what is best for the product.
- We need to be evangelists and great storytellers.
- That a product manager is the only one responsible for specifying a user story
- It is the whole team responsible for contributing to define the user story.
- Everybody should contribute in defining tasks, acceptance criteria and how to measure success.
- That a successful product is thanks to the product manager
- The success of the product is thanks to the team
- The failure of the product is more directly related to the PM
What is the part of your job that you love the most?
It is constantly working in an ambiguous environment where you need to figure out things by yourself. Nobody tells you what to build; you start from a mission and a vision statement, and you need to get things done from there. I love working agile and breaking things fast. It helps you create a better product and be more confident with the decisions once the project starts moving forward.
Martin’s Recommended Books
- Product Management’s Sacred Seven: The Skills Required to Crush Product Manager Interviews and be a World-Class PM
- Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy
- Decode and Conquer
- Cracking the PM Career: The Skills, Frameworks, and Practices to Become a Great Product Manager
- The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
- Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
- Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself
Martin’s Recommended trainings
- Product Leadership Certification – Product School
- Product Management: Transforming Opportunities into Great Products
- Certified scrum product Owner
- Product-Led Growth Certificate
Martin’s Recommended links
Martin has worked in the tech industry for 15 years, gaining experience in Marketing, Machine Learning, Content management, and Artificial intelligence. As a seasoned product leader, he is passionate about solving real problems and adding value. In addition to working for Postclick, a SaaS company based in San Francisco, he is also involved in Product mentorship for Product League mentoring PMs worldwide. Outside of the office, Martin enjoys skiing, biking, and hiking with his kids.
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