Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Building a long and meaningful career | Nikhyl Singhal (Meta, Google)

Building a long and meaningful career | Nikhyl Singhal (Meta, Google)


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Nikhyl Singhal is VP of Product at Meta, overseeing teams building messaging, groups, stories, and the main Facebook feed. Before that, he served as the Chief Product Officer at Credit Karma and held various leadership roles at Google, leading teams on Google Photos and Google Hangouts. Nikhyl was also co-founder of three startups, including SayNow and Cast Iron Systems, which were acquired by Google and IBM, respectively. Alongside his successful career, he is passionate about coaching and mentoring, sharing his knowledge through the Skip podcast, newsletter and CPO community. In this episode, we discuss:

• Finding your North Star and building a long and meaningful career

• Why your superpower may actually be holding you back

• Wisdom for aspiring product managers in the early stages of their career

• Reasons you aren’t getting promoted, and advice on what to change

• How to avoid short-term thinking early in your career and how to become a better manager long-term

• Signs you work at an “ex-growth” company and that it’s time to leave

• Signs the IC path is a reasonable pursuit

• The importance of finding a community

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

Find the transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-a-long-and-meaningful-career-nikhyl-singhal-meta-google/#transcript

Where to find Nikhyl Singhal:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikhyl

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

• Newsletter: https://theskip.substack.com/

• Podcast: https://www.skip.community/

• Skip CPO Community: https://www.linkedin.com/company/skip-community-for-cpos/

Where to find Lenny:

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

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

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

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Nikhyl’s background

(04:37) Nikhyl’s mentoring approach during critical periods of change

(07:07) The power of long-term career planning

(10:36) The value of gaining varied experiences rather than merely collecting logos on your resume

(12:52) The unique benefits of working at a “MAGMA” company

(14:50) Ex-growth companies and the impact of 0% interest rates

(20:19) Signs your company may be struggling to find the right product-market fit

(21:32) When you should stay at an ex-growth company

(22:34) Early career advice for product managers

(25:25) Mid-career strategies for promotion

(29:47) Summarizing the 4 reasons you may not be getting promoted

(30:15) The value of authentic feedback

(33:29) Tactical tips for getting better feedback

(34:46) Addressing management challenges in tech

(39:50) Opportunities for those who prefer the IC path

(45:25) How to become a better manager through community building

(47:40) Nikhyl’s community, The Skip

(51:27) Lenny’s Slack community

(52:54) Late-career advice and identifying skills that need reshaping

(57:07) Why it’s so important to listen to contradictory feedback

(59:45) Nikhyl’s “superpower” and “shadow”

(1:02:20) Mental health challenges and the third act of your career

(1:08:44) Examples of North Star metrics in the third act of your career

(1:12:20) Lightning round


• Annie Pearl on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/behind-the-scenes-of-calendlys-rapid-growth-annie-pearl-cpo/

The Skip podcast episode about ex-growth companies: https://www.skip.community/should-i-join-or-leave-an-x-hypergrowth-company/

• Jules Walter on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/leveraging-mentors-to-uplevel-your-career-jules-walter-youtube-slack/

• Skip Community for CPOs on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/skip-community-for-cpos/

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers: https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-3rd-Disruptive-Mainstream/dp/0062292986/

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box: https://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Self-Deception-Getting-Out-Box/dp/B07H3G1KCN

Rise on Disney+: https://www.disneyplus.com/movies/rise/6Yv1uRnw2uAJ

• Arc browser: https://arc.net/

• Josh Miller (CEO of The Browser Company) on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/competing-with-giants-an-inside-look-at-how-the-browser-company-builds-product-josh-miller-ceo/

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.

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.