On to my next mission

Akhil Jayaprakash
Aug 19 · 3 min read

This is a thank you note to everyone who has had an influence in my career at Akamai, my journey from being a pre-sales engineer to a senior product manager at Akamai and details of my next mission

How did I get into the CDN business?

I started my CDN career on Sept 26th, 2011. I had the privilege of being interviewed by awesome folks like Gagan Achar and Nirupesh Joshi for a pre-sales engineer role at Akamai Bangalore, they did take a risk by hiring someone with no professional work experience. My first Akamai whiteboard was a disaster and I had no clue what a CDN was, fast forward 2 years I designed and developed a new traffic filtering and ad beacon aggregation solution for some of the major ad delivery networks on Akamai’s platform. Later on, this solution evolved to what is called now as Cloud Monitor.

Transitioning to product development

The joy one gets from hearing a customer say that your solution helped them save millions of dollars is indescribable. This is where I learned about product management as a career option and thus began my relentless pursuit to become a product manager. In the summer of 2013 I was working on multiple new product ideas like building a “CDN trial automation platform” and proposing how we can place a CDN inside a browser(this was at a time when service workers didn’t exist) and the benefits Akamai and its customers can have from this idea.

That same summer Liz Maida and Lior Netzer heard my story and I went on to join their team to help solve mobile delivery and performance challenges. We did some crazy prototypes like putting a server within a base station and time-shifting delivery of HD videos into mobile apps (similar to what Netflix now calls opportunistic delivery)

Being serious about product management

In summer of 2014 is where the fun begins and over time I realize product management is not about building cool stuff, instead, it’s about building things that solve a real-world problem which customers care about. Craig Adams & Maya Bustan gave me the opportunity to prove myself as a product manager, Eric Graham helped me make the transition from “defining the solution” to “defining the problem”. Michael Folkers and Cliff Crocker helped me sharpen my PM skills to a level where I am today, both of them were critical in trusting me with what I do and backing me up when needed. This was necessary for me to transition to be a confident PM.

Product management is an exciting role to be in where you need to relentlessly think of your customer and their problems. As a Product Manager, your only role is to represent the customer's voice.

What’s next?

Over the past 8 years, I have interacted with some of the largest business in the world and understood their challenges in delivering the best digital experience to all their end-users across the world. My next chapter is about taking these lessons and learn what it takes to build consumer tech with the help from our friends at Amazon’s Lab126, I will be moving back to Mumbai, India August 2019. On to my next mission of building exciting new products for the India market.

This isn’t a goodbye note, Akamai and its people have taught me a lot and shaped my career in many ways. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you, Akamai, till our paths cross again…

Akamai Alumni Slack Group

If you wish to stay in touch with me and other Akamai Alumni, please sign up here https://www.xAkamai.com/

Akhil Jayaprakash

Written by

Product Owner Akamai Sandbox & Core CDN @ Akamai | Co-Creator of Akamai Developer toolkit https://developer.akamai.com/tools/akamai-toolkit-chrome

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