Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Building high-performing teams | Melissa Tan (Webflow, Dropbox, Canva)

Building high-performing teams | Melissa Tan (Webflow, Dropbox, Canva)

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Melissa Tan is an advisor, investor, and growth expert. She’s worked with fast-growing startups like Dropbox, Canva, Grammarly, and Miro, and for the past 2.5 years has been the Head of Growth at Webflow. There, she led the company's self-service business across Product, Marketing, and Growth, in addition to leading the charge on pricing and packaging. Prior to Webflow, she was Head of Growth for Dropbox’s B2B product, where she played a pivotal role in propelling their growth. In today’s episode, we discuss:

• Attributes of high-performing teams

• Tips for developing talent and seeking a mentor

• How to create a strong culture of ownership

• Frameworks for hiring PM and growth talent

• Common pitfalls companies face when implementing growth strategies

• Lessons from scaling Dropbox

• The DACI framework for increasing team velocity

• How to actually embrace first-principles thinking

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

Where to find Melissa Tan:

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

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

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) Melissa’s background

(04:12) What’s next for Melissa

(06:45) Lessons learned from Dropbox

(11:49) When to add sales to product-led products and vice versa

(14:28) Managing people with a people-focused and results-oriented approach

(17:14) An example of people-focused leadership

(20:26) The importance of talent development and why Melissa invests in it

(22:26) Tips for finding a mentor

(24:58) Specific questions to ask when you are interviewing for a role

(27:49) Companies Melissa has worked with

(28:33) Attributes of high-performing teams

(31:38) Creating a sense of ownership among team members

(34:36) Building a team-first culture

(36:54) Avoiding burnout by knowing your limits

(39:24) Developing talent and unlocking potential within your organization

(42:45) Melissa’s hiring practices and what she looks for in a product manager

(44:40) The exact interview sequence Melissa utilizes

(49:58) Common pitfalls when creating growth teams

(53:43) “Flying formation” and the DACI framework

(56:48) Who should own revenue

(58:19) When to invest in growth

(1:01:06) What to look for in your first growth hire

(1:04:35) When it’s appropriate to hire an advisor

(1:06:19) First-principles thinking

(1:09:50) Lightning round


• Jiaona Zhang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jiaona/

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead: https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Women-Work-Will-Lead/dp/0385349947

• Tim Ferriss: How to Find a Great Mentor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVo1aZCyfO4

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Revised-Kick-Ass-Humanity/dp/1250235375/

• How to Monetize a Freemium Business: https://www.ycombinator.com/blog/how-to-monetize-a-freemium-business

• DACI framework: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/daci/

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't: https://www.amazon.com/Leaders-Eat-Last-Together-Others/dp/1591848016/r

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself: https://www.amazon.com/Untethered-Soul-Journey-Beyond-Yourself/dp/1572245379/

The Four Agreements: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424319

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/winning-time-the-rise-of-the-lakers-dynasty

• ChatGPT: https://chat.openai.com/

• Webflow: https://webflow.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.