organizational anthropology rich mironovIn this Topical Zoom episode of The Design Your Thinking Podcast, I speak with Rich Mironov, a seasoned tech executive and serial entrepreneur, about Organizational Anthropology and Product Management.

Who is Rich Mironov?

Rich coaches product executives, product management teams and agile development organizations.  He also parachutes into software companies as interim VP Product/CPO to fix company-level product/market/engineering/revenue issues.  A seasoned tech executive and serial entrepreneur, Rich has been the “product guy” at six start-ups including as CEO and VP Products.  He is a relentless blogger, speaker, teacher and mentor on software strategy, product management, and aligning “what-we-can-build” with “what-markets-will-pay-for.”

Rich earned his software stripes writing COBOL at HP, then spent six years at Tandem Computers, where he launched the company’s first TCP/IP stack. At Sybase, he oversaw database connectivity to more than 40 operating systems, and shipped the first commercial solution for dynamic linking of web pages with databases (web.sql).

He was the first “product guy” at four networking-related start-ups, including iPass (NASDAQ: IPAS) and AirMagnet (acquired by Fluke Networks). Later, he was CMO of Enthiosys, an agile product management consultancy.  In 2010-11, he was co-founder/CEO of Suddenly Social, a social game infrastructure start-up.

Since 2001, Rich also has been an interim executive, consultant or adviser to dozens of early-stage companies and larger technology firms including Yahoo, Cisco, Wealthfront, WhiteHat Security, Varian and VeriSign.

Rich has a BS Physics from Yale with a thesis on dinosaur extinction theories, and an MBA from Stanford.

In this particular episode, you will learn

  1. What is Organizational Anthropology?
  2. What are the common mistakes Product Managers make in understanding attitudes and motivations of executive management and peers?
    • Are the above mistakes only in enterprise product companies or other product businesses too?
  3. How to differentiate the motivation and biases between sales and customers they represent?
  4. How do the best and the worst Product Managers handle a good customer meeting?
    • How much of preparation is enough for a Product Manager in order to have a good customer meeting?
  5. What are the best ways for Product Managers to understand the motivations and biases of other functions within the company?
  6. Conversational intelligence and roadmaps
  7. Roadmaps and the role in having meaningful conversations with executive management
  8. What are the three things Rich sees in a company to conclude if the product team is working well or not?
  9. Top learning resources for Product Managers Rich reads and recommends

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