Micro-Interview: Anton Aleksandrov, Sr. Product Manager

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Anton Aleksandrov is a Sr. PM at Clevertap – the complete platform that helps personalize and optimize all customer touchpoints.

Some years ago he switched from management consulting to product management and never looked back.

In under 500 words, he shares: 

  • How he starts his mornings…
  • Useful sources of learning…
  • The #1 thing that has helped him shorten the product management learning curve…

And more…  

Enjoy!


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“How did you get into product management?”

I was an account manager for a customer that was using the company’s software. When the PM at the time decided to leave, they put me forward for the position, partially because I had spent quite a bit of time working with the product itself and “suffering” together with my client. Once I started as a PM, I felt I would want to keep doing it for a long while.

“How do you start your mornings at work?”

For me, it’s the best time to get some work done before my meetings start. I spent an hour working on my top To Do task (or 2nd from the top if I want to avoid the 1st one). 

Before doing actual work I also have a solid cup of coffee and spend some time reading the business news or watching something fun on YouTube.

“What do you know about product management now that you wish you’d known when you first started?”

Everything 🙂 I can’t name a single thing as all of the experiences I went through profoundly changed how I approach PM work.

But one thing I would have done differently was spent more time building up some theoretical knowledge from books/courses/networking, as opposed to learning everything by doing it (and failing too often).

“What did your biggest product failure teach you?”

  • To strike a balance between meeting urgent customer needs and making sure you build out and follow your product strategy (PM 101).
  • To be mindful of the overall business model and make sure it is sustainable in the long run.
  • Always push for changes if you feel the existing processes or resources are not going to cut it.

“What’s the #1 thing that has helped you shorten your product management learning curve?”

Having worked something else before becoming a product manager. My previous job in consulting taught me the necessary work ethic, hard and soft skills, and general business knowledge needed to start learning to be a good PM. I feel like product management is not supposed to be an out-of-school job but I might be biased 😊

“How do you stay updated on the best practices in product management?”

Mainly by following product leaders, product-driven companies, and product communities on LinkedIn. They tend to churn out a good amount of content so I find it easy just to scroll through my newsfeed and stop and read what appears interesting. A few of the ones I follow include Mind the Product, Productboard, and the Product Podcast by Product School.