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Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Bending the universe in your favor | Claire Vo (LaunchDarkly, Color, Optimizely, ChatPRD)

Bending the universe in your favor | Claire Vo (LaunchDarkly, Color, Optimizely, ChatPRD)


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Claire Vo is the chief product officer at LaunchDarkly and the founder of ChatPRD, likely the most popular PM-specific AI product out there. Before LaunchDarkly, she was a longtime chief product officer at Color and Optimizely. Claire has founded and managed two other companies, Pretty HQ and Experiment Engine, the latter of which Optimizely acquired in 2017. In our conversation, we discuss:

  • Knowing what you want in your career and being clear about it

  • Finding your zone of genius and how to operate within it

  • How to maintain a fast pace in larger companies

  • How to make it easy for your boss to help you achieve your goals

  • Advice for navigating the tech industry as a woman

  • The role of a CPTO and the benefits it brings to organizations

  • Why she built ChatPRD

  • Tips for building your own AI tools

  • The impact of AI on product management and what skills will continue to be important

Some takeaways:

  1. While it’s important to have career goals, don’t let the pursuit of promotion consume your focus. Instead, concentrate on delivering value in your current role and continuously improving your skills and performance.

  2. When discussing potential promotions or role changes, frame the conversation around how your advancement benefits the organization rather than solely focusing on personal advancement. Highlight the value you can bring in a new position and why it’s essential for the company’s success.

  3. Discover your “zone of genius” by categorizing your monthly or quarterly calendar activities as “hated it,” “liked it,” and “loved it.” Prioritize tasks you loved and allocate more time to them. Investing in what you enjoy and excel at typically generates value for the company and fosters career growth.

  4. To maintain a fast pace within large organizations, you need to communicate expectations clearly as a leader. Try to operate at a pace one click faster than the current norm. For instance, if something is projected to be completed within a year, push to accomplish it within a shorter time frame, like a quarter or a month. This sets a higher standard for speed and encourages momentum within the organization.

  5. To maintain a high bar for quality, Claire recommends the following:

    1. Define specific expectations: Clearly articulate what success looks like at each level within your organization. This means setting measurable goals and behaviors that align with your leadership principles and organizational values.

    2. Normalize feedback: Create a culture where giving and receiving feedback is encouraged and valued. Feedback should be constructive, clear, and focused on behaviors and performance, not personal attributes.

    3. Address misalignments promptly: When individuals are not meeting expectations or there are conflicts hindering collaboration and productivity, address the issues directly and promptly. Provide clear feedback on where they’re falling short and what changes are necessary for improvement. Be prepared to make tough decisions if individuals are unable to meet the expectations despite support and guidance.

  6. Claire’s AI chatbot, ChatPRD, is rapidly gaining traction in the product space. This underscores the potential for AI tools to augment and streamline various aspects of product development, including:

    1. Idea generation and specification: ChatPRD enables users to input ideas and receive detailed PRDs, complete with objectives, user goals, user stories, UX walkthroughs, narratives for product positioning, sequencing, milestones, measurements, and goals.

    2. Document improvement: Approximately 30% of users utilize ChatPRD to enhance existing specs, PRDs, strategy docs, or roadmaps, indicating its effectiveness in refining and iterating on initial project documentation.

    3. Brainstorming and internal PM work: Beyond generating PRDs, users also leverage ChatPRD for brainstorming sessions and internal PM tasks such as creating agendas for meetings or organizing project workflows.

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

Where to find Claire Vo:

• X: https://twitter.com/clairevo

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

• TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@chiefproductofficer

Where to find Lenny:

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

• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

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

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Claire’s background

(04:50) How to achieve career progression

(10:11) Avoiding promotion obsession

(13:50) How Claire stepped into leadership roles

(17:24) Operating in your zone of genius 

(23:03) How to maintain a fast pace

(27:46) Setting a high bar for quality and talent

(29:54) Normalizing feedback

(33:09) Being a woman in tech

(47:09) The role of a CPTO

(54:19) Building ChatPRD

(59:39) Tips for building a GPT

(01:02:27) The impact of AI on product management

(01:08:08) How AI is changing the product management role

(01:14:36) Efficiency gains with ChatPRD

(01:16:39) Contrarian corner: sales-led product organizations

(01:20:11) Lightning round


• LaunchDarkly: https://launchdarkly.com/

• Define your zone of genius: Laura Garnett at TEDxMillRiver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ7_r2oWlrw

• Energy Audit: https://beta.mocharymethod.com/blog-post/energy-audit

• How to fire people with grace, work through fear, and nurture innovation | Matt Mochary: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work-through-fear-and-nurture-innovation-matt-mochary/

• Radical Candor: From theory to practice with author Kim Scott: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/radical-candor-from-theory-to-practice-with-author-kim-scott/

• Optimizely: https://www.optimizely.com/

• GitLab: https://about.gitlab.com/

• ChatPRD: https://www.chatprd.ai/

• You should be playing with GPTs at work: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/you-should-be-playing-with-gpts-at

• SpaceX’s Starship: https://www.spacex.com/vehicles/starship/

• GitHub Copilot: https://github.com/features/copilot

• Product management theater | Marty Cagan (Silicon Valley Product Group): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/product-management-theater-marty-cagan-silicon-valley-product-group/

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

Scaling People: Tactics for Management and Company Building: https://www.amazon.com/Scaling-People-Tactics-Management-Building/dp/1953953212

• Stripe Press: https://press.stripe.com/

Circe: https://www.amazon.com/Circe-Madeline-Miller/dp/0316556327

Poor Things: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14230458/

Mythic Quest on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/mythic-quest/umc.cmc.1nfdfd5zlk05fo1bwwetzldy3

Silicon Valley on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/silicon-valley

• Chrysler Pacifica: https://www.chrysler.com/pacifica.html

• Waymo: https://waymo.com/

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

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

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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.