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Brandon Chu on building product at Shopify, how writing changed the trajectory of his career, the habits that make you a great PM, pros and cons of being a platform PM, how Shopify got through Covid
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Brandon Chu on building product at Shopify, how writing changed the trajectory of his career, the habits that make you a great PM, pros and cons of being a platform PM, how Shopify got through Covid

Brandon Chu is VP of Product at Shopify, where he leads the app platform ecosystem, new initiatives group, and M&A investments. Brandon helped scale Shopify’s PM team from five to hundreds, and worked his way up from an IC Senior PM. Prior to Shopify, he was a Director of PM at FreshBooks and, before that, a founder. Brandon might be best known for his writing on the art and science of product management as part of a collection on Medium he calls “The Black Box of Product Management.”

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Stytch: https://stytch.com/

• Persona: https://withpersona.com/lenny

• PostHog: https://posthog.com/lenny

In this episode, we cover:

1) Brandon’s path to VP of Product at Shopify.

2) What has Brandon found to be the most important skill set for super-successful PMs?

3) What is it like to build product at Shopify?

4) How did Shopify adjust after the shock to e-commerce during Covid?

5) How did Shopify build a one-click team offsite flight/hotel/activity booking platform?

6) How did Brandon motivate himself to start, and keep, writing?

7) As a PM, why is writing one of the highest-ROI uses of your time?

8) What’s Brandon’s favorite piece of writing?

9) What are the biggest surprises, pros, and cons about being a platform PM?

Where to find Brandon:

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

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

• Brandon’s writing: https://blackboxofpm.com/

Making Good Decisions as a Product Manager: https://blackboxofpm.com/making-good-decisions-as-a-product-manager-c66ddacc9e2b

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