Jimmy is the Product Manager for Lyft’s Dispatch product. This is the secret sauce that determines which driver to send when a passenger presses ‘Request’. A great Dispatch product allows Lyft to fulfill rides faster with less drivers – greatly improving the economics of the business. Jimmy shared with us what differentiates good Product Managers from the others.

What is the most valuable asset that differentiates good Product Managers from the rest? 

Being a good product manager is hard. You need at a lot of different skills. It also depends on what you are building and who your customer is. There are many skills that can help: analytics, engineering, UXR, design, etc. However personally, there have been 2 more fundamental skills that have helped me. 

Firstly, work hard. When I started I had no idea what I was doing. I had no skills. I told my professor I wanted to find a technical co-founder to build my ideas. He asked me “What do you bring to the table?”; the answer was nothing. I was dead weight. After that, I spent every waking moment learning the skills I needed. I switched degrees to computer science, and completed it in half the time expected. I interned at a tech company working 20-30 hours with full-time study on top. When you work twice as hard as others, you will learn twice as fast.

Secondly, learn how to learn. This is an easier one to put into practice. The Socratic or Scientific method are good starts. Here’s a quick primer: Before you do something, explicitly predict the outcome and why you are predicting the outcome. Next, do the thing. Finally, measure the outcome, and reconcile the result, and integrate this new information into how you are thinking.

Jimmy will be sharing more insights on Product Management at StartCon! Make sure you grab your tickets below. 

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