Jan 19 • 1HR 21M

Building your product strategy stack | Ravi Mehta (Tinder, Facebook, Tripadvisor, Outpace)

 
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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.
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Ravi was previously CPO at Tinder, Product Director at Facebook, and VP of Product at Tripadvisor. Currently, he’s co-founder and CEO of Outpace, a coaching platform designed to help people reach their professional goals. In today’s podcast, we dive deep into Ravi’s product strategy stack framework and how it was used to develop a powerful strategy at Tinder. We also cover his other popular frameworks—the frontier of understanding and exponential feedback—and how both of them can help you grow in your career. We discuss the differences between building product at a startup versus a large tech company, and how Ravi has had to shift his mindset as he’s moved away from a product leadership role into a founder role. Finally, he shares a bit about how Outpace is using AI to amplify coaches and help make them more efficient and effective.

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

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-your-product-strategy-stack-ravi-mehta-tinder-facebook-tripadvisor-outpace/#transcript

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for supporting this podcast:

• Merge—A single API to add hundreds of integrations into your app: http://merge.dev/lenny

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Where to find Ravi Mehta:

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

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

• Website: https://www.ravi-mehta.com/

Where to find Lenny:

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

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

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

Referenced:

Disclaimer: Lenny is an angel investor in Ravi’s company, Outpace

• Reforge’s Product Strategy Program created by Casey Winters and Fareed Mosavat: https://www.reforge.com/programs/product-strategy

• Matt Mochary on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/how-to-fire-people-with-grace-work-through-fear-and-nurture-innovation-matt-mochary/

• Indie Hackers: https://www.indiehackers.com/

• Everything Marketplaces: https://www.everythingmarketplaces.com/

• The Product Strategy Stack: https://www.ravi-mehta.com/product-strategy-stack/

• Balsamiq: https://balsamiq.com/

• Set better goals with NCTs, not OKRs: https://www.reforge.com/blog/set-better-goals-with-ncts-not-okrs

• Ravi’s product manager’s competencies framework: https://www.ravi-mehta.com/product-manager-roles/

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products: https://www.amazon.com/Hooked-How-Build-Habit-Forming-Products/dp/0241184835/

Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Working-Backwards-Insights-Stories-Secrets/dp/1250267595

• Ian McAllister on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/what-it-takes-to-become-a-top-1-pm-ian-mcallister-uber-amazon-airbnb/

The Ezra Klein Show podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ezra-klein-show/id1548604447

• Ezra Klein’s AI episode: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-skeptical-take-on-the-a-i-revolution/id1548604447?i=1000592835492

Andor on Disney+: https://www.disneyplus.com/series/star-wars-andor/3xsQKWG00GL5

• Airtable: https://www.airtable.com/

• Superhuman: https://superhuman.com/

• Descript: https://www.descript.com/

•  Outpace: https://www.outpace.co

•  Unlock Your Product Manager Potential: https://www.outpace.co/guides/unlock-your-product-manager-potential

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Ravi’s background

(04:24) Why Ravi left Tinder, and what he’s been up to recently 

(08:05) Differences between working at an established tech company vs. a startup 

(12:45) Why founders should network with “early-stage” folks

(14:29) Why you need to do some research and relationship-building before starting your company

(17:49) What the product strategy stack is and how to use it

(22:08) Mission vs. vision

(23:37) How Ravi developed his strategy framework at Tripadvisor 

(26:43) Why PMs should understand design, UX, and UI

(28:20) Examples of the product strategy stack in action

(32:42) Why Tinder resisted adding filters 

(34:10) Monetization features at Tinder and the “whales” who spend the most

(38:18) How customer feedback led to new features at Tinder

(42:28) Why goals come after roadmap in Ravi’s framework

(44:30) Tripadvisor’s strategy for increasing bookings

(47:25) How to set goals that drive outcomes

(50:24) The four buckets of the frontier of understanding

(51:38) Different methods for trying to hit goals

(53:08) Understanding why you hit or missed your goal

(54:34) The product management competencies framework

(1:02:08) The exponential feedback framework

(1:04:25) Why you should ask for feedback—and graciously accept it

(1:06:05) How to determine the right amount of leadership your team needs

(1:09:40) What selective micro-management is

(1:12:25) How Outpace uses AI to assist in coaching

(1:15:24) Lightning round

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