Jun 13 • 1HR 2M

Gokul Rajaram on designing your product development process, when and how to hire your first PM, a playbook for hiring leaders, getting ahead in you career, how to get started angel investing, more

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Lenny Rachitsky interviews 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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Gokul Rajaram serves on the executive team at DoorDash, where he leads the Caviar product line. Previously he worked at Square, where he was also on the executive team and led a number of key product lines, and as a product director at Facebook, where he helped the company transition its advertising business to become mobile-first. Earlier in his career, Gokul was a product director for Google AdSense, where he helped launch the product and grow it into a substantial portion of Google’s business.

Gokul also serves on the boards of Coinbase, Pinterest, and The Trade Desk and is a prolific angel investor, having invested in companies like Airtable, Khatabook, and 100+ more.


In this episode, you will learn:

1. How to navigate your next career

- What should you focus on in order to improve your optionality?

- What should you consider as you look for your next career adventure?

- Why join winners in a space?

- Why should people entering the workforce join mid-stage companies?

- Why there are many paths to success.

2. How to build a product development process at early-stage companies

- What does the best product development process typically look like at different company stages? 

- What are some common pitfalls when building these processes?

3. Hiring PMs

- When should you hire your first PM? What should you look for?

- When should you wait longer to hire a PM?

- What’s the number one secret for hiring a product leader, regardless of industry? 

- How much time should you allocate for hiring as a founder?

- How might job titles impact your company’s work culture?

4. How to start angel investing 

- How did Gokul start investing in startups? What would he have done differently?

- What does he look for in a startup pitch? 

- How much time should you spend as a part-time investor? 

- How do you find deals as a new investor?


Where to find Gokul:

- Twitter: https://twitter.com/gokulr 


References:

- Gokul’s current favorite app, Coinbase Wallet: https://www.coinbase.com/wallet 

- Favorite book, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works: https://rogerlmartin.com/lets-read/playing-to-win 

- TED talk: TEDxConcordia - Lenny Rachitsky - Losing Serendipity 

Thank you to our sponsors for making this episode possible:

Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

Flatfile: https://flatfile.com/Lenny

• Productboard: https://Productboard.com/