Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
An inside look at how the New York Times builds product | Alex Hardiman (CPO at The New York Times)

An inside look at how the New York Times builds product | Alex Hardiman (CPO at The New York Times)


Alex Hardiman is Chief Product Officer at the New York Times, where she oversees the company’s news, cooking, games, audio and advertising products. Previously, Alex was Chief Business & Product Officer at The Atlantic, and before that she was Head of News Products at Facebook. We discuss how engineers and product people work with writers to create impactful stories, how teams build the incredible visualizations and experiences for NYTimes.com, how product teams are structured within the New York Times, and the good and bad about working at a company like the New York Times versus a FAANG tech company. We also talk about the details behind the New York Times’s acquisition of Wordle and uncover what the Times is dreaming up for its product over the next 10 years.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Where to find Alex Hardiman:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/alex_hardiman

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandrahardiman/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Miro: https://miro.com/lenny

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/lenny

• Vanta: https://vanta.com/lenny


• Jodi Kantor: https://www.nytimes.com/by/jodi-kantor

• Wordle: https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/

• Wordle Is a Love Story: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/03/technology/wordle-word-game-creator.html

• Josh Wardle on Twitter: https://twitter.com/powerlanguish

• Eric Kim’s recipes: https://cooking.nytimes.com/ourcooks/eric-kim/

• Wirecutter: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/

Framing Britney Spears: https://www.nytimes.com/article/framing-britney-spears.html

Hard Fork podcast: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/04/podcasts/hard-fork-technology.html

High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups from 10 to 10,000 People: https://www.amazon.com/High-Growth-Handbook-Elad-Gil/dp/1732265100

An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management: https://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Puzzle-Systems-Engineering-Management/dp/1732265186

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium: https://www.amazon.com/Revolt-Public-Crisis-Authority-Millennium/dp/1732265143

Giovanni’s Room: https://www.amazon.com/Giovannis-Room-James-Baldwin/dp/0345806565/r

The Daily podcast: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily

The Wire on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-wire

• Google Workspace: https://workspace.google.com/

• Slack: slack.com

• Figma: figma.com

• Mode: https://mode.com/

• GitHub: https://github.com/

• Fidji Simo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fidjisimo/

In this episode, we cover:

(04:48) Alex’s background

(07:37) How Alex fought disinformation on the news team at Facebook 

(11:11) How some product people thrive in chaos

(14:13) Alex’s return to the New York Times

(16:22) What product means at the New York Times

(20:42) How the product team at the New York Times is structured

(26:20) How the New York Times makes stories come alive with balanced creative and technical teams

(33:15) The acquisition of Wordle 

(42:00) What it was like to work at the New York Times during the onset of Covid

(47:11) How to avoid burnout on a product team

(49:26) How the New York Times has set itself apart with its subscription package

(52:21) How the New York Times’s products are rooted in helping in the real world

(52:54) Lenny’s tips for improving Wirecutter

(53:36) The differences and similarities on product teams in a news organization

(59:58) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.