David Cutler

David CutlerShare

VP Product, CookUnity
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David Cutler
David Cutler
VP Product, CookUnityJune 26
Assuming this is an early stage company, the priority should be learning the basics of the business and building relationships with as many colleagues as possible. Use those learnings to construct a map of current products, problems and opportunities. Considering you are the first PM, any foundational product-related frameworks you put in place will be welcomed by most of your colleagues, so don't be afraid to suggest new ways of working. I'd also suggest reading some of the popular PM books which contain some really helpful tips and tactics: The Lean Product Playbook, Inspired, Product Man...
David Cutler
David Cutler
VP Product, CookUnityJune 26
I've noticed a trend in the tech industry for product organizations to follow a structure that Spotify helped craft over the years, in which a company is organized into business sub-orgs that roll up into their own respective product and engineering leads. And those leads oversee various squads that make up the product areas within that sub-org. At CookUnity we call the product areas "zones", in which a product lead exists to drive the product strategy and manage the PM team. In smaller companies (<500), those product leads are likely the direct leadership team for the Head of Product.  ...
David Cutler
David Cutler
VP Product, CookUnityJune 18
I love this question because it's something I'm currently involved with at CookUnity. At a B2C company the marketing team is a Product Manager's best friend, especially in the early startup days. You can build the greatest product in the world but there are only so many Field of Dreams "if you build it they will come" success stories. You need someone out there telling your product's story and building awareness, hence the PM's need for a great relationship with the Marketing organization.  Launching a new product, a new major feature release, or even a rebrand requires a collaborative d...
David Cutler
David Cutler
VP Product, CookUnityJune 18
All Product Managers need to be a sales person at different times in their career. As someone establishing a PM function for the first time, you'll be selling the vision of how an effective product manager will help the business and company achieve their goals. There's obviously at least one champion considering you got hired by somebody! But don't be surprised if some colleagues don't understand the need or value of a product manager, so this is the time to set expectations and build trusted relationships. The first step is learning as much as you can from the people around you. Try and be...
David Cutler
David Cutler
VP Product, CookUnityJune 18
In my experience a prioritization framework is foundational to establishing a great working relationship within your own team and stakeholders. I'd also argue that if executed well in the beginning, the framework may not change much regardless if you are the first or 10th PM at a company. In fact, it may be a bit more straightforward as a solo PM since the prioritized list of needs and deliverables is a direct negotiation between you, stakeholders and your delivery team(s). As the product organization grows you'll notice that blockers, dependencies and enablers exist within your own product...
David Cutler
David Cutler
VP Product, CookUnityJune 17
The first PM hired into a company, or in a division of a company, will usually be an individual who can wear different hats on any given day. (see one of my favorite product management graphics: https://medium.com/@productboard/the-many-hats-of-product-managers-4692aab2fff) The decision to grow and scale the PM team beyond your first product hire is made after discussing needs and opportunities with stakeholders, but also by gaining important insight from the existing PM that's been working in the trenches.  When deciding who the next hires should be, I've found it helpful to first valid...
Credentials & Highlights
VP Product at CookUnity
Product Management AMA Contributor