Product Decoded: Interview with Michael Sippey, VP Product, Medium
Product Decoded Season 1 | Episode 5
Michael Sippey, Vice President of Product at Medium, shares his passion for tapping into the zeitgeist of what customers love — in his words, “to catch magic in a bottle” — to create world-class products. He is the former VP of Product at Twitter and is unique in that he is both a starter and a builder and has built both consumer and enterprise products.
In the fifth episode of the Product Decoded podcast, I am once again the host! It’s great fun for me because I compare notes often with Michael and he even taught a class with me at Stanford. We also share a unique background: we are both English majors. The two of us are happily reunited for this podcast, though we forgot to take a picture to prove it!
If you listen to the podcast, you’ll hear “dirt,” juicy insight, and a few “universal theories” from Michael:
- How to decide “enough is enough” when banging your head against a wall at a startup.
- What’s different — and the same — about building consumer and enterprise products.
- The positive and negative surprises Michael has seen as social media grew from its infancy, to what we see today. (Michael was one of the world’s first bloggers.)
- His unique definition of a product manager’s job, and beyond this, his “universal theory of work.”
- His unique superpowers as a product leader, some of the “wicked hard decisions” he made at Twitter, including a few of his high-stake mistakes.
- How Medium plans to dent the universe as the platform for written word over the next decade.
- His “Universal Theory on Podcasting” and why creative folks engage in the format.
I’d also love it if you could give feedback on the podcast. The link takes you to Survey Monkey and only takes one minute.
If you enjoyed this podcast episode, subscribe to Product Decoded on iTunes and SoundCloud.
Would you like to listen to other episodes of Product Decoded? Below are links to all of them:
- Ep: 1 — Deb Liu, VP of Marketplace at Facebook
- Ep. 2 — Chris Abad, VP of Product & Design at UserTesting
- Ep. 3 — Todd Yellin, VP Product at Netflix
- Ep. 4 — Aaron Levie, Founder & CEO at Box
- Ep. 5 — Michael Sippey, Head of Product at Medium
- Ep. 6 — Amanda Richardson, Chief Data & Strategy Officer at HotelTonight
Product Decoded is produced by Spero Ventures and Product Leader Summit.
Spero Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that is helping entrepreneurs build a future that belongs to everyone. Subscribe to our monthly Spero Ventures Insights newsletter here.
Product Leader Summit is a community of founders and VP Product leaders who gather together bi-annually to network and learn from one another. Subscribe to our quarterly Product Leader Summit newsletter here.