The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 7: Ira Renfrew from iRobot on Innovating in Hardware (+ Robots!)

July 19, 2017

With something as complex as a robot, can you still use short cycle innovation techniques like Lean Startup? The answer from Ira is a big "Yes" and he'll tell you more about how they do it at iRobot, makers of the widely popular (and super useful) robot vacuum, Roomba.

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The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 6: Duygu Karaboncuk (Amazon) on Optimizing Customer Experience

April 28, 2017

In this episode you'll hear how Amazon product manager Duygu Karaboncuk keeps their Woot property fresh and relevant for users. Duygu describes where and how she finds insights about how to improve customer experience and how she grooms and tests new ideas. You'll also hear about her use of Amazon's vaunted 'press release process' where PM's write a future press release to describe the impact of a new idea.

 

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The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 5: Nastia Root (Google) on Finding the Right User for the Right Product

March 20, 2017

"We need to find the right user for the right product. That's my goal."

If you're interested in the role of 'growth product managers' or growth in general, tune in for a first hand perspective from Google product manager Nastia Root. In this interview, Nastia describes the role and focus of the growth PM. You'll hear about the ways she drives growth on Google for Work (formerly Google Apps) and how she arrived at the role of growth PM. 

 
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The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 4: Zach Mayo (RelishMBA) on Taking a Project From Idea to Tested Business Model

December 20, 2016

In this interview, you'll hear how RelishMBA co-founder Zach Mayo took his project from idea to tested business model. If you have a new idea and you're just dying to get some software built, don't listen to this interview because that's not what happened. Zach and his co-founder put their idea through the paces with minimum viable product (MVP) vehicles like PowerPoint and curated emails. Their idea changed substantially during the process and so did (ultimately) their software. If you want to hear about a lean, disciplined approach to new product development, tune in!

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The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 3: Oren Root (VMware) on Managing Customer Product Value

December 1, 2016

Cultivating successful relationships between enterprise software vendors and their customers is a challenge- you know if you've been there! The customer has a lot of moving parts and your job is to listen, consider, and deliver them a good outcome. That's why they came to you in the first place. In this episode, Oren talks about his process at Socialcast (a VMWare company), balancing customer input with data and purposeful experimentation to get the customer great outcomes. 

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The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 2: Kiran Kadambi (eBay) on Creating New Features in a Complex System

August 1, 2016

In this episode, Kiran describes a project where he was creating an in-store pickup option for buyers on eBay. When you've innovating in the context of a large, existing infrastructure you have to consider how a new concept will fit within the existing customer experience, not to mention, technical, logistical,and legal/regulatory frameworks in place. Kiran discuss his process for engaging with this web of people and process to introduce a successful innovation. You'll also hear a little about Kiran's career story- spoiler alert: it involves packing a car, driving across the country, and finding the cheapest possible place for a job seeker to live while in Silicon Valley.

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The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 1: Josh Andrews (Google) on Concept Development and Prototyping

August 1, 2016

In this episode, Josh describes a project where he was enhancing the signup and conversion on Google for Work. You'll hear about the project charter and how Josh and his colleagues used a disciplined process to iterate toward better and better outcomes. You'll also hear a little about Josh's career story. 

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