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Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Building Anchor, selling to Spotify, and lessons learned | Maya Prohovnik (Spotify’s Head of Podcast Product)
Building Anchor, selling to Spotify, and lessons learned | Maya Prohovnik (Spotify’s Head of Podcast Product)

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Maya Prohovnik is currently Spotify’s Head of Podcast Product. She was employee #1 at Anchor, which was acquired by Spotify in 2019 and now powers more than 80% of all new podcasts created in the world. In 2023, Maya was named one of the Most Important People in Podcasting by The Hollywood Reporter. In today’s episode, we discuss:
• How Maya operationalizes “dogfooding”
• How to balance data-driven decision-making and intuition
• Strategies for preserving startup culture in a large organization
• Tactical tips to improve at public speaking
• How Radical Candor and the Eisenhower matrix transformed her approach to managing people
• What’s next at Spotify for Podcasters

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

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-anchor-selling-to-spotify-and-lessons-learned-maya-prohovnik-spotifys-head-of-podcast/

Where to find Maya Prohovnik:

• Threads: https://www.threads.net/@mayafish

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

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) Maya’s background

(04:34) Spotify’s podcasting platform

(06:24) Maya’s personal podcasts

(11:36) The importance of “dogfooding” 

(13:24) How Maya operationalizes dogfooding

(16:31) How to balance data-driven decision-making and trusting your gut

(21:38) Building Anchor 2.0

(26:24) The beginning of Anchor’s hockey stick growth

(28:08) How Anchor utilized interns to make the Apple Podcasts integration “magical”

(35:36) Anchor and Spotify’s successful integration

(37:50) Maintaining a startup culture within a large organization

(39:20) Transitioning from a startup to a large company

(42:02) Challenges brought on by the acquisition

(48:49) How Maya’s leadership approach is guided by Radical Candor

(51:53) The Eisenhower matrix for prioritization and task management

(52:46) Productivity tips

(55:10) How to get better at public speaking

(59:38) The future of Spotify for Podcasters

(1:00:58) Lightning round


• What is “Dogfooding”?: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/14/business/dogfooding.html

The Derry Connection: A Stephen King Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ixSiYlj3A9NqEXZDBgycf

Blood on Their Hands: A Big Brother Fancast: https://open.spotify.com/show/4VP16lTL8sUniQXCFeBInv

Time Share: A Children of Time Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/38yhl2lNOUajccfsdluh5j

The End of the World as We Know It: A First-Time Parenting Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/3TUr0LxcueYo2nvnyR5rML

• Forgotify (stream Spotify songs that have never been played): https://forgotify.com/

 • Michael Mignano on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mignano/

• Lessons from scaling Spotify: The science of product, taking risky bets, and how AI is already impacting the future of music | Gustav Söderström (Co-President, CPO, and CTO at Spotify): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-from-scaling-spotify-the-science-of-product-taking-risky-bets-and-how-ai-is-already-impacting-the-future-of-music-gustav-soderstrom-co-president-cpo-and-cto-at-spotify/

Radical Candor: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Revised-Kick-Ass-Humanity/dp/1250235375

• What is the Eisenhower matrix?: https://www.figma.com/resource-library/what-is-the-eisenhower-matrix/

• Todoist: https://todoist.com/

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0143126563/

• Spotify for Podcasters: https://podcasters.spotify.com/

Children of Time: https://www.amazon.com/Children-Time-Adrian-Tchaikovsky/dp/0316452505

It: https://www.amazon.com/Novel-Stephen-King/dp/1982127791/

Poker Face on Peacock: https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-tv/poker-face

Barbie on Prime: https://www.amazon.com/Barbie-Margot-Robbie/dp/B0CB1TMKR6

Deadly Games: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096741/

• 1-800 Contacts: https://www.1800contacts.com/

• Lovevery: https://lovevery.com/

• CoopCrate: https://www.coopcratechickens.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.

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.