(Hello! I usually write about product management, and entrepreneurship, but this post will be a little different. A few weeks ago one of our good friends started sending my wife updates from her sister who had tested positive for COVID-19. The updates were so honest and detailed that I thought it would be worth sharing more broadly as we each decide what level of social distancing we’re willing to commit to. COVID affects different people in different ways but when it does find a vulnerable host, the results, even for those who survive, are scary.)

Preamble/Ramble

This is not a political…

Marsha can you please mute while Jan is talking?

As a product manager at Weave one of my favorite activities is bringing together a cross-functional team, clearly defining a problem, and then working together to discover solutions that delight our customers while helping our business win.

What if your company is temporarily (or permanently) working remote? Is it still possible to get everyone “together” to brainstorm? Yes! This is absolutely something you still can and should do. And the good news is, with a little extra work on your part it can produce the same great results you are used to getting in person.

There are lots of different…

Last month I visited New York City for the first time. We saw and experienced so many amazing sights and places but there was one unexpected thing that completely blew my mind; The side view of the Statue of Liberty.

I’ve seen countless photos of the Statue of Liberty from all different angles and have always thought of her as standing in place, as a beacon, holding her torch and tablet. But as we walked off the ferry at Liberty Island, I got my first close up view of the statue from the side and realized that her size 879…

The other day while eating a delicious bowl of Fruity Pebbles, I had this random thought: As a kid (in the 80s) it seemed like literally every popular cartoon or movie character had his/her own cereal. Without exception, all of them have disappeared EXCEPT for Fruity Pebbles. What is it about this cereal that has allowed it to outlive all the other character-based cereals of my childhood?

In one of Jerry Seinfeld’s most quoted bits he mentions a study he read that listed public speaking as the number one fear of most adults. Number two? Death. He juxtaposes those two statistics to deliver the famous punchline, “That means if you have to go to a funeral, most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.”

Here’s the thing Jerry, you’re wrong. And that’s why we laugh right? It’s a hilariously absurd conclusion to come to.

During my time working in product management I have come to, and seen others come to equally flawed conclusions…

Last July I was fired. I had worked at Nav for over 5 years. I was one of the first employees hired after a seed round of financing raised in 2013. I had helped the company grow from 5 to 125 employees, had been very involved in the A and B rounds of financing, and had worked with our great team to increase our revenue by 30x and our valuation by 60x. When I was let go, the two co-founders both told me I was one of the most “Nav” people at Nav. That I perfectly represented the company values…

Product managers, when was the last time you talked to a customer? If your answer isn’t “earlier this week”, I want to help you change that.

If you need convincing that talking to customers regularly is a vital part of your role as a PM, this is not the article for you. …

At the end of his “How I Built This” podcast, Guy Raz asks his entrepreneur guests some form of the question, “How much of your success do you attribute to hard work and how much do you attribute to luck?” At this point in the interview we’ve heard about all the successes and near fatal blows the entrepreneur has had, so it’s awesome to listen as they try to summarize years of ups and downs into a succinct answer.

I love the answer given by the founders of Warby Parker, Dave Gilboa & Neil Blumenthal. “We like to say that…

Last week my friend Mike and I had the awesome opportunity to interview at Y Combinator for their Winter 2019 class. Spoiler Alert: We didn’t get accepted. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I wanted to share how it went for us and how we might have approached it if we were able to hit rewind and do it again.

I’m going to go through all of the events leading up to the interview in some detail but if you want the TLDR version, go ahead and skip down to the section titled The Do-Over.

YCombinator is a seed fund accelerator based in Mountain View, CA that is well known for its track record in funding and mentoring some of the most successful startups in the world.

The Application

Mike and I are…

Jesse Harding

12 years early stage startup experience. Currently Director of Product at Weave. I like creating things that make people happy.

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