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These are the Podcasts Product Managers Must Subscribe To (and the Exact Episodes You Should Listen to)

Product manager jobs -- what are they, why are they important?

You may be like me, a Product Manager with experience for a several years or you're new, every product manager wants to learn more, learn from other product managers given all our experiences are different.  As we often say on, no two product managers are alike just like no two snowflakes.  (Yes, YOU are a snowflake.)

We are no longer starving for advice.  There's so much advice out there and so much advice at your fingertips by Googling that it's just massive.  It's a nice problem to have if you're like me who can't get enough information.  At some point, it goes over to the dark side where you're an information junkie and you get withdrawals being away from any news apps.  I guess that's why Apple and Google are "trying" to make their business models and products less additive.

I try to find more efficient ways to take my drugs for news and information.  Articles are good if I can save and read it later, like posts on Medium.  But podcasts are by far my favorite.  There's so much more interesting, raw and you also don't get the nuances of the information like the inflection in the interviewee's voice or the context with pauses and laughter.  I also am partial to interviews so I'm biased that way, but boy are interviews fun.

Where was I?!

Yes, podcasts and the exact episodes I recommend.  Seriously this is good, useful interesting information.  Now, not all Product Managers do the same thing, but I think we all need and have a desire to like the same things, building products being one of them.

So here are so many of the podcasts I love listening to better understand our product manager jobs.

A16z podcast

This one probably goes without saying but this VC's blogpost, interviews, and podcasts are invaluable.  Sometimes they are over-my-head and overwhelming.  Sometimes they are very academic and nerdy and theoretical. I guess one has to be when you're future-oriented.  But most of the time, it's dense podcast episodes have a lot to say about our product manager jobs.

Product manager is a frequent topic as all startups, seed-stage companies etc, need great product managers.  Especially at startups where the product sometimes IS the entire business, there is a lot to ride on when the company comes out of product-market fit and need product-productmanager fit. :)

Product managers in that stage of the company have a lot of gain and a lot of contribute.  They typically are going to be working with a Founder or Founder(s) that have been the defacto product owners and now they need to let go a bit and let you focus on executing their vision and roadmap.

One episode that I think stands above the rest and talks about what product management is (and also more importantly what product manager is not).

Here have a listen:

Some points they talk about what a Product Manager's main responsibilities are:

  1. Own the Product Roadmap
  2. Synthesize information from various stakeholders
  3. Navigate the tension between various inputs

Next up...

Inside Intercom

Love this podcast, though for some reason I don't listen that devoutly.  I think part of the hesitance is to that they, at the end of day, are selling a customer success chatbot product, which doesn't necessarily always help in every single case.

But I do have say that Des Traynor is an amazing coach and great speaker.  

This is maybe not a podcast, but it is a condensed into a fireside chat Des did recently:


I love how Des summarizes things in a 2-d chart, as all great talks do.  You should not solve small, painful problems, or larger unpainful problems nor solve, non-existing and mass-less non-problems.  Instead you should solve big, and bigly painful problems.  Sounds easy, huh?! 


Invest Like The Best

This is hands-down my favourite podcast in the last couple years.  I am a Product Manager by day, but my heart is really as an investor and business owner.  I consider myself all of those and as a Product Manager honestly, there must be a seed desire in all of us that we are all interested in business.

You've seen this before, but product manager work in the areas where:

  1. Desirability
  2. Feasibility
  3. Viability

The making viable part is the part about the business that we love.  We are attracted to Product Manager jobs because it's a change for us to contribute and be rewarded with equity and outside returns.  We are all investors, we are all "owners" be it the product or the business and we all are product managers.

Patrick O'Saughnessy is a great interviewer, waiting patiently for his guests to get their thoughts out, while asking pertinent questions.  But honestly by far the most interesting part of this set of interviews is diverse, is fascinating.  They span from guests from hedge funds, private equity, mutual fund managers to founders, entrepreneurs in as diverse conversations as bitcoin, blockchain and AI.

There are so many favourite episodes of mine and even more that I've listen to many times over and over and over again.  (They are that valuable.)

Here are some of my favourites:

Ep.25 Alex Moazed — Building Modern Monopolies

Ep.36 – Will Thorndike – How Skilled Capital Allocators Compound Capital

Ep.64 – Connor Leonard – Capital Light Compounders and Reinvestment Moats

Ep.69 – Chris Dixon – The Future of Tech

There's many more, but he really is well connected and gets the best guests.