Today our guest is Estee Goldschmidt, VP of Product Management at Parsley Health. Her experience varies from launching a startup and fundraising and understanding everything about that culture to managing multi-international product development teams. Estee came to the US at 17 and immediately got involved in the student community, holding responsible positions.
Interestingly, Estee’s first job was a position in the marketing department of a cosmetics company… Estee Lauder. Such concurrencies sometimes happen! One of her most important decisions involved a strategy for distributing free product samples. Instead of making everyone go through the headache of planning samples twice a year, Estee offered to match this with an actual sales pipeline, and it resulted in huge savings for the company.
Not all of Estee’s decisions were winnable. But she was not discouraged; on the contrary, she made more effort. In particular, she was fired up by the idea of creating a startup. Estee spent a summer in Israel at a startup gas pedal, watching other founders do it. Instead of writing business plans, founding companies, assembling teams, pitching contests, and trying to find funding, they just started creating a product and offering it to customers. And when they got customers, they started saying, how do I make something official out of this? How do I get funding to launch this idea?
Esti then went back to the US and got 4,000 active users within two months-that was the result of creating a sales map, where people open it and see what events are happening near you. Esty shares the experience of reaching goals, “We didn’t have millions of meetings where we were trying to make a lot of different parts of the group happy, it was like whether or not we were doing it, and if we were, we all agreed, and we were working on it.”
In a fast-moving company, there’s a powerful alignment of mission and what needs to be done. In big companies, most of the work that needs to be done is already completed, everything is stable, the processes work, you know it’s a well-oiled machine, so if you bring in a new person or someone comes in, first of all, there are a lot of cases where there’s no work to justify team X, so many teams start working to understand what their purpose is, and that kind of white space can provide opportunities to discover new areas or what can be done better, but it can also lead to places where another big.
About the experience at Cerebral: I was working on what needed to be fixed, so in the beginning, I just made sure that our offering was relevant and that everything worked as it was meant to, and that was the first step and the second step was to strategize the following steps, what we offer, how to make what we offer better and stronger by listening to our customers and understanding where their pain points are, what we can fix, what we can take away, so the customer experience is better. The product manager doesn’t have to tell team members how to work, the developers and designers are professionals in their field, and they know better.
If you follow that path and use that as a guiding star, you’ll have a good strategy. There’s a precise balance in management between “get away from me with your micromanagement” and “I care about feeling your support”-the key is establishing trust.
And if something goes wrong and you don’t know about it and then things blow up in your face, you want them to feel safe and be able to say, hey, this is going wrong, and then I’ll help them solve it, because I end up hiring people for work that I don’t want to do for them.
Three examples of these qualities the most talented professional product managers have been. The most important is an obsession with customers as a guiding star. Another quality is the ability to execute. A third is an ability to step back when necessary and let your associates do their job.
I have a work style and an idea of how to impact things, and ultimately, I want to be in a place that “wants” those skills and recognition instead of hiding and trying to conform to something I am not. You can be great at one place and wrong at another.
The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.
Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?
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