Last update: 2021.03.28

A few years back, I made the decision to leave my current role leading an internally-facing, strategy consultant and make the move to Product Management. I made that move for a bunch of reasons, and was so damn lucky to have the support of an unbelievably generous set of partners who enabled my success.

As part of my goal to pay it forward, I’m starting a brief series of articles about my transition #FromGM2PM.

So here are my14 rules for Product Management.

  1. Everything — EVERYTHING — is a draft version of the next thing. Product Management, more…

I write about Product Management and Technology development. For more, you can follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

When I took over at Savi as their Head of Product, one of the first things I set out to do was to engage the entire company as Product acolytes. This is something I had seen done at Capital One, done myself at WEX, and was now repeating at a post-A startup. No doubt my Customer Service, Distribution, and Operations partners would have small requests for me (bugs, small features, etc.) that I would need to resolve. …

6 months ago, one of my Product Managers mentioned to me that she was pregnant. She had just changed roles and was a new PM, and was worried about taking time off so quickly in her new role. I assured her things would be fine, but we would need to work together to figure out a coverage model.

We considered several options:

  • One of the other PMs on the team would cover two teams rather than just one
  • I could play a full-time PM role and cede some of my day-to-day responsibilities as a team lead
  • We could ask a…

How I feel after trying most of my experiments (thanks to clement127 on Flickr)

One of the salient lessons I learned early in my transition from GM to PM, was that language really matters. Some (meetings magically became “ceremonies”) matter less than others (there’s a big difference between safe and SAFe). My favorite example of this is the in the prioritization of learning.

My mentor and the team he built emphasized thin slicing, iteration, and experimentation all for the sake of learning. Each slice delivered into prod either taught us something by doing it (e.g. how to work with containers, how to run more thorough testing) or something about the production environment (e.g. …

I’ve been asked by a couple dozen young analysts (some still in school, others 1–3 years into their career) for career advice over the past few months. I’ve met these folks at school (undergrad and B-school), at work, and at conferences. Given how many times I’ve given this speech, I figured the rest of the world might find some value in it as well.

What is the question?

There has been so much change within the financial services industry with a larger and larger influence on product management. FinTech startups seem to exclusively hire for them (not entirely true, we’ll…

I had the great fortune of attending Finovate this year. After sharing thoughts with some colleagues at Capital One, I thought it might be useful to share it with the broader world. Here are some quick notes on the demos that stood out for me.

(Update: I’ve added links to all of the demos now that they’re available on

Investing — there were a number of companies that demoed trading applications for consumers.

  • Trading platforms like NVSTR, Stash and Voleo were interesting, and all had admirable qualities. I really liked Stash’s UX, but the advice needs more context (see…

I attended Finovate last week and was amazed. There are so many interesting innovations being deployed in our industry:

Throughout the presentations, I kept thinking about @BrettKing’s article: The Death of Bank Products has Been Greatly Under-exaggerated. The TL;DR version:

“The future of product design isn’t products at all, it’s experiences”.

Two questions repeatedly came up:

  • Why are…

Recently, Santander sent me a letter informing me that my Extra20 account was being ported to a new, less exciting product called “Simply Right Checking.” I had been waiting on this letter since the day I signed up for the account (more on that in a second). More importantly, there are important lessons that banks and customers should learn from this ill-fated product.

An Overview of the Product

Santander announced Extra20 in late 2013 as part of an aggressive advertising and branch expansion campaign. …

Whether it’s the vision of Jimmy Stewart, or simply memories of free lollipops and clock radios, banks used to be associated with positive feelings. However, shrinking margins have led to fewer locations, limited giveaways, and diminished customer service. Simultaneously, scandals have tarnished the industry’s image.

Abhi Agrawal

Product Management, pizza, and podcasts.

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