The typical diagram someone would draw to describe a Product Manager’s role

In my opinion, Google has one of the most difficult product management interviews. I’ve observed accomplished and smart people come to Google for onsites but later get the news that they didn’t make it this round.

While the interview is challenging, it is not impossible. Here are 5 thoughts that will help you land the PM Interview at Google.

1. Build a schedule and stick to it

It’s tough to find time to study but you’re going to need to. I solved this by building a schedule but keeping it simple. My challenge for you is to do interview prep every week day for 30 minutes, over a…

During college I was given a choice when I was interviewing for an intern position at Microsoft; I could become a Program Manager or a Software Engineer. I had interned at Tumblr the summer before as a Software Engineer and so I decided to give Program Management a try before I switched back to engineering.

I messed up on those plans though because I fell in love with being a PM.

What are we going to use to collect usage data on Ellie Calendar?

For this weekly update I’ll unpack a bit about how Ellie Calendar is going to handle app usage going forward. First it starts with admitting that I can’t build a robust analytics platform by myself because I’m not that great of an engineer and there is only one of me.

This week I’m going to dive a little into the multithreaded issues I’ve been running into.

Before jumping into my weekly update on Ellie Calendar, let’s recap on the basics of a computer.

A computer is essentially the equivalent of a massive calculator, and in the early days it did one calculation at a time. This quickly became an issue because in a world with series computing, moving your mouse while checking for new email wouldn’t be possible. Hard to imagine but bare with me.

The next step for computing was to create a method of doing multiple things at once and this started with threading. This allows processes to queue up mini-tasks for the computer…

So this past week I’ve been struggling with figuring out how to prevent crashes that are a result from CoreData and concurrency violations.

This is kind of a big issue because I’m finding as I scale Ellie Calendar that around 0.5% of users find a crash everyday directly resulting from this. At a small scale it’s not bad, but I find most user’s don’t come back after a crash. So it’s high priority.

I found a ton of resources on Google such as Pawan Poudel’s amazing post on how to deal with this crap but I find myself in two…

A few weeks ago I posted about how we are trying to re-imagine a modern calendar (it’s called Ellie) and the response was nuts. Our little hypothesis might actually have merit; people aren’t really satisfied with their calendars.

Thanks to amazing videos from people like Francesco D’Alessio (who somehow found our app), over 1,500 people gave Ellie a try witin 2 days and sent us some passionate feedback about what they want in their dream time management app.

Francesco’s awesome review of Ellie Calendar.

We listened and have been replying to every single of the 100+ emails we received. From…

One morning after a few months into working at Microsoft, my co-worker brought up that she felt super disorganized, and had been searching for years to find the perfect app to organize her life. She brought up that fact that no matter what you do through out your day, it will always take up some amount of time.

This led us to look towards the calendar at the culprit of our problems.

We started talking about how most apps are fairly straight forward. Safari lets me browse the internet. Uber/Lyft let me get places. Yelp gives me reviews about restaurants.

The app iterations that EventList went through before we shut it down.

Everyone loves talking about their successes but here’s a refreshing story of failure and learning.

You have this amazing app idea or want to start a business that solve a problem that you think a few people have. The next step is usually to go ask people for advice; where do I get technical or business talent, do I need a lawyer, I might need a few thousand dollars, etc. Fairly quickly you’re going to run into someone who claims you should create a Minimal Viable Product, or a very rough cut attempt at validating that other people have the same problem that you have. …

While I was in the begining stages of interviewing at Uber, they asked me to improve their product. This report got me through a few rounds so I thought I would share it with everyone.

Increase Transparency and Rider Comfort

If given the opportunity to make a positive change to Uber’s product, I would focus on increasing transparency with riders by providing limited information about a driver before a pickup is confirmed. Also, allowing users to select that their driver identifies with the same gender of their own would increase trust and comfort. This enhancement was driven by potential competition, minor incidents in the past and personal experience being in a college environment.

This past summer I worked for Tumblr, which has over 450 million blogs but only 300 employees. It’s one of the most popular social networks, and consists predominantly of incredible creators from around the world.

I was one of the 17 interns at the company and the experience was extraordinary. With that in mind, the best advice from my 12 week internship is that everyone should work at a startup at least once in their lives. It’s really incredible, and here’s why…

1. You can talk to your CEO.

At most large companies, the CEO is someone you see give speeches on a web cast or interviews…

Liam Bolling

Product Manager on Google Maps. Building Ellie Calendar on the side.

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