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Crafting a compelling product vision | Ebi Atawodi (YouTube, Netflix, Uber)
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Crafting a compelling product vision | Ebi Atawodi (YouTube, Netflix, Uber)

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Brought to you by Sidebar—Accelerate your career by surrounding yourself with extraordinary peers | Jira Product Discovery—Atlassian’s new prioritization and roadmapping tool built for product teams | Wix Studio—The web creation platform built for agencies

Ebi Atawodi is Director of Product Management for the Creator Experience at YouTube, former Head of Product at Uber, and a former Director of Product (Payments and EMEA) at Netflix. Known for crafting a strong, unified vision, Ebi empowers her teams to achieve outsized outcomes. In today’s episode, we go deep into vision and strategy, including:
• The four key elements of a good vision statement
• Three ways to determine your mission
• The four pillars of great product management
• How writing helps you gain clarity
• How culture influences product
• Tips on how to structure a strategy session
• Advice on building team culture and improving work relationships
• What’s coming soon at YouTube

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

Find the transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/crafting-a-compelling-product-vision-ebi-atawodi-youtube-netflix-uber/

Where to find Ebi Atawodi:

• X: https://twitter.com/ebiatawodi

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

• YouTube mixes: https://www.youtube.com/@EbiAtawodi/videos

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) Ebi’s background

(04:31) Four key elements of a product vision

(08:14) Examples of lofty but attainable visions

(11:43) Vision vs. mission 

(13:23) Examples of visions and missions from notable companies

(15:00) A simple framework for outlining a vision 

(20:51) Other methods for outlining a vision 

(23:29) The impact of writing clear headlines

(26:41) Using mockups to frame your vision

(28:24) A step-by-step approach to developing a vision

(32:58) Ebi’s “10 Things” document

(37:47) A quick summary of Ebi’s tips

(40:56) How to use the “10 Things” doc in a strategy session

(43:11) The three concentric circles of evangelizing 

(47:48) The cadence of developing a vision and bringing it to life

(49:26) Visions vs. micro visions

(52:58) First steps in developing a vision

(55:12) Infrastructure is the product

(56:39) Clarity and conviction, the main jobs of PMs

(59:58) Ebi’s narrative doc

(1:04:59) Conviction, its role in the job, and how to build it

(1:08:20) How to build company culture

(1:17:06) The monolithic culture at Uber

(1:19:09) The culture Ebi embeds in her teams

(1:23:58) How to evaluate your relationship with your engineering manager 

(1:26:02) What’s new at YouTube

(1:29:22) Ebi’s closing thoughts

(1:30:45) Lightning round

Referenced:

• Andre Albuquerque on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andre-albuquerque

• TED’s mission: https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization

• Stripe’s operating principles: https://stripe.com/jobs/culture

• Microsoft’s vision and mission: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/about

• Tesla’s mission statement: https://www.tesla.com/blog/mission-tesla

• Lyft’s mission on Comparably: https://www.comparably.com/companies/lyft/mission

• Ebi’s playbooks and templates: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1tU3jpbq_xHcF4x1bdANCVBsO6rbQ8h1HqvdQfwGW4MA/edit

• Working Backwards Press Release Template and Example: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/working-backwards-press-release-template-example-ian-mcallister/

• Patrick Collison on X: https://twitter.com/patrickc

Seinfeld meme: https://seinfeldmemes.com/you-know-how-to-take-the-reservation/

• Travis Kalanick on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/traviskalanick/

• Wimdu: https://www.wimdu.com/

• Leaving big tech to build the #1 technology newsletter | Gergely Orosz (The Pragmatic Engineer): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/leaving-big-tech-to-build-the-1-technology-newsletter-gergely-orosz-the-pragmatic-engineer/

The 48 Laws of Power: https://www.amazon.com/48-Laws-Power-Robert-Greene/dp/0140280197

The God of Small Things: https://www.amazon.com/God-Small-Things-Novel/dp/0812979656/

Outliers: The Story of Success: https://www.amazon.com/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017930

All About Love: https://www.amazon.com/All-About-Love-New-Visions/dp/0060959479

The Bear on Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/series/the-bear-05eb6a8e-90ed-4947-8c0b-e6536cbddd5f

Scavengers Reign on Max: https://www.max.com/shows/scavengers-reign/50c8ce6d-088c-42d9-9147-d1b19b1289d4

• Sleep Cycle: https://www.sleepcycle.com/

• Nanit: https://www.nanit.com/

• “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51642/invictus

• Burning Man: https://burningman.org/

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.

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