Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
An inside look at Mixpanel’s product journey | Vijay Iyengar (Head of Product)
An inside look at Mixpanel’s product journey | Vijay Iyengar (Head of Product)

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Vijay Iyengar is Head of Product at Mixpanel, and similar to myself, came from an engineering background before transitioning to product. In today’s episode, he explains how Mixpanel has evolved its growth strategy from a fast-paced, feature-focused approach to a more deliberate approach that prioritizes design and user experience. He also shares how Mixpanel irons out customer problems, including implementing internal tools that allow engineering and product teams to respond to customer feedback directly. Additionally, Vijay shares his top SaaS products, books, frameworks, and more. Tune in to gain valuable insights from a seasoned product leader.

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

Find the transcript for this episode and all past episodes at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/episodes/. Today’s transcript will be live by 8 a.m. PT.

Where to find Vijay Iyengar:

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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vijay4/

Where to find Lenny:

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

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

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


• Mixpanel: https://mixpanel.com/

• Figma: https://www.figma.com/

• Notion: https://www.notion.so/

• “Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work That Matters”: https://basecamp.com/shapeup

• The RICE prioritization framework: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/rice-scoring-model/

• BigQuery: https://cloud.google.com/bigquery

• Census: https://www.getcensus.com/

• Zoom: https://zoom.us/

• FigJam: https://www.figma.com/figjam/

• A Data Stack for PLG teams: https://mixpanel.com/blog/data-analytics-product-led-growth/

• Product analytics in the modern data stack: https://mixpanel.com/blog/mixpanel-partners-with-census-to-bring-product-analytics-to-the-modern-data-stack/

• Snowflake: https://www.snowflake.com/en/

• Amazon Redshift: https://www.amazonaws.cn/en/redshift/

• Event-Based Analytics: https://developer.mixpanel.com/docs/under-the-hood

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement: https://www.amazon.com/Goal-Process-Ongoing-Improvement/dp/0884271951

Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco: https://www.amazon.com/Cool-Gray-City-Love-Francisco/dp/1608199606

The West Wing Weekly podcast: http://thewestwingweekly.com/

WeCrashed on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/wecrashed/

Severance on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/severance/

• Gibson Biddle on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/gibson-biddle-on-his-dhm-product-strategy-framework-gem-roadmap-prioritization-framework-5-netflix-strategy-mini-case-studies-building-a-personal-board-of-directors-and-much-more/

• Shishir Mehrotra on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-rituals-of-great-teams-shishir-mehrotra-coda-youtube-microsoft/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Vijay’s background

(04:07) How Vijay learned to be more open-minded to new ideas 

(06:26) Mixpanel’s journey

(12:40) When to optimize for speed

(13:49) The feature phase vs. the design phase

(17:02) The importance of not losing focus on your core product

(19:52) How Mixpanel organizes teams around buckets of problems

(20:43) Mixpanel’s most recent six-month time horizon planning cycle

(25:08) The RICE framework for prioritization (and when to ignore the C and E)

(26:31) The problem with estimations, and why Basecamp suggests using a six-week time box

(30:04) How Mixpanel keeps product teams and engineers connected to customers via Slack 

(33:21) SaaS tools Mixpanel’s teams use

(34:54) The biggest product analytics mistakes

(37:34) The present and future of analytics 

(41:05) How adopting a product mindset has helped Vijay grow his career

(41:47) 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.