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All Product Managers Would Do Well To Listen To This Podcast

We've been in love with podcasts for a long time.  Now that it's not only hit the mainstream but it's becoming an important channel in its own right, podcasting is a medium where you get original content no where else.

Personal blogs of influencers like VCs and companies are still a great place to get original thought and content but podcasts as a whole, still generate the most exciting and interesting information in our opinion.

This is not a new podcast but we love what Patrick O'Shaughnessy is doing over at The Investor's Field Guide and his podcast, Invest Like The Best.

Patrick posts weekly on Tuesday and it's simply the best podcast we think for entrepreneurs, product managers alike.  He runs a quantitative or quant investment fund management company in his main gig, but this podcast he started really to start talking to interesting people inside and outside of the investment world.

It was Warren Buffett that was quoted as saying:

"I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and I am a better business because I am an investor."

I think this holds true in the product management world viewed through the lens as our role being the "mini-CEO".  Being able to understand investment can bring clarity in understand  the business value of building this feature over another.

Patrick's podcast routinely features both investors, business people.  They talk about it from all angles which is why we love tuning in every week to see who else he has on.

So far there's been over 100 episodes and there is no reason that Patrick is stopping there.  Last year Patrick got a promotion with his company and is running the company, but he still intends on spending part of his week interviewing guests and keeping up with the same pace as before.  Kudos to him.

Some Notable Silicon Valley Guests

There's been a few "silicon valley" type guests on this show.  Some notable ones that we think are worthwhile to listen to are the following:

Keith Rabois who is an investment partner at Khosla Ventures.  He invested in companies like Stripe, PayPal, LinkedIn, AirBnB so it's funded a lot of unicorns in the startup world.  Here's the link to the podcast episode.

There's also Hunter Walk from Homebrew which is a venture capital company. In this interview on Invest Like the Best, he talks to Patrick about fintech companies.

Then there's Niel Robertson's interview found here.  I've personally listened to this podcast over 10 times and I continue to go back and reference this interview.  The topic they talk about is about The Future of Media and it's fascinating since media is a personal interest of mine (and increasingly so).  I think this interview has something for everyone but especially for product managers who work in startups looking to build network effects, build moats or brands that require some form of content marketing strategy.  Robertson is very experienced with starting his own company and continues to be active in the startup world.

Guests to Learn from the Investing World

I think of finance and investing just like Warren Buffett does -- it's just two sides of the same coin.  Patrick's podcast probably was first intended to have people from the investing world (and if you look at the first 30 episodes, you'll see it's more focused on people in those spheres.

Some of my favorite guests also happen to be those that I've read books about.

William Thorndike wrote a book call The Outsiders and has been a quiet hit or cult following.  It showcases people lessor known in the business world where these CEOs were great at capital allocation.  The book stands alone in greatness of these brilliant CEOs were knew way to strike when it came to using their money wisely.  Patrick's interview with Thorndike help provide more color to these individuals lives and also talked about the other side of business where at the end of the day, profitability is important in a business (or a product).

There is a particularly interesting story about a new CEO of ABC Networks that's a good story for product managers to think about when it comes to agile product management.

Another guest is one of my favorites who has been on the show more than once.  Brent Beshore from Capital who runs a permanent equity firm where he takes lower middle-market companies and becomes an operator.  He's one of my favorite guests and his writings, and thinking is very much helpful in thinking about business and product management as a whole.

Lastly, Connor Leonard is a public markets investor and was on Invest Like the Best to talk about Capital Light Compounding machines.  Leonard talks about how there's only a few kinds of companies: companies with no moat, companies with a legacy moat, companies that can reinvest in their own moat, or companies that don't need any capital to grow (i.e. capital-light compounding machines).

At the end of the day, business and products by extension cannot live without capital and money.  The conventional world of finance is only touched upon by product or startups via the connects to Venture Capital or Private Equity firms but in reality these folks know about the business side.  Product Managers do well to learn about Business but also business strategy from those are create, run, sell and/buy legacy businesses.

Take a listen to these and comment below about what you think you can learn about Product Management from Investors, in the larger world of Finance.