Ep 4 — “Lessons from the Enterprise”

100 PM in conversation with Chris Brereton, Cornerstone OnDemand.

Chris Brereton got his start in product management as the lead screamer for the band Avarice.

“The process for me is very much the same [as being in band], where you’ve got multiple people with multiple talents that have to somehow come together and work on their instruments or their talents in harmony and come out with some product, or song, or record, and hope that somebody enjoys it enough to buy it.”

Chris tells me this with a softer voice, in concert with the sound of barking dogs and decorative water fountains. We’re in Santa Monica, just beyond the mega office of Cornerstone OnDemand — a cloud-based learning and talent management solutions company with nearly 2,000 employees — where Brereton works as Senior Product Manager.

But Chris wasn’t always a “cog in the big wheel.” He started his tech career as a web development consultant before pivoting his way into product management as a founding partner of a too-soon-for-its-time photo sharing platform.

“The big appeal for me was to learn from the CEO. Adam is about thirty feet away from my desk, and he’s obviously built a company way larger than I ever did. I figured in the interim of figuring out what I’m going to do next, this would be a really good place to learn from somebody who’s done it on a grand scale.” — Christopher Brereton

In this episode of 100 PM we cover:

  • How even a team of thirty-five product managers still find themselves short on resources
  • The “seasonality” of stakeholder demands and the politics of corporate life
  • Why it’s hard to be lean when you’re big
  • The pros and cons of outsourcing product management
  • A true tale of pivot, pivot, pivot

I so much enjoyed meeting Chris. He’s talented and generous and funny as hell. And, he’s bursting with recommendations for great product management resources — which you can check out at the 100 PM reading list. I hope you’ll give our conversation a listen below, and be sure to give Chris a follow on Twitter!

Listen to Episode 4— “Lessons from the Enterprise”

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Prefer text? Read the entire transcript here.

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