Apr 9 • 42M

Product lessons from Waymo | Shweta Shrivastava (Waymo, Amazon, Cisco)

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Lenny Rachitsky
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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Shweta Shrivastava is a Senior Product Leader at Waymo, an autonomous driving technology company backed by Alphabet. Prior to joining Waymo, she was the CPO of Nauto, where she also worked on AI-assisted driver tools. Shweta has worked in product for over 15 years in senior roles at several companies, including Amazon and Cisco. In today’s episode, we discuss:

• How Waymo builds trust with riders

• Product management at Waymo vs software-only products

• The state of self-driving technology

• The importance of being a disruptor and why large companies need to disrupt more

• Underrated product management skills

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

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/product-lessons-from-waymo-shweta-shrivastava-waymo-amazon-cisco/#transcript

Where to find Shweta Shriva

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

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) Shweta’s background

(03:47) What Shweta and her team are responsible for at Waymo

(05:30) About the autonomous driving vehicle hardware, software, and simulation tools 

(08:14) Differences in working at Waymo vs. a more traditional software company

(11:02) How Waymo builds trust with riders and the difference between driver assist and fully autonomous

(13:57) An example of how Waymo builds trust with riders

(15:55) The commercial, operational, and system behavior metrics Waymo uses 

(20:38) What are L5 autonomous vehicles and why Shweta thinks L4 vehicles are good enough

(22:53) How to keep investors enthusiastic when it’s a long-term investment

(25:24) Building successful teams and successful products

(26:39) Determining what you’re not building, especially before product-market-fit

(27:49) Why large companies need to disrupt their own models 

(29:33) The most underrated product management skills

(33:07) Tips for getting promoted

(35:19) Where is Waymo and how to try it out

(36:46) Lightning round


• Waymo: https://waymo.com/

• Nauto: https://www.nauto.com/

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

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers: https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-3rd-Disruptive-Mainstream/dp/0062292986

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail: https://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Technologies-Management-Innovation/dp/1633691780

Top Gun: Maverick on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/Top-Gun-Maverick-Tom-Cruise/dp/B0B18G8R9B

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