Micro-Interview: Martin Parvanov, Lead Product Manager

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Martin Parvanov leads a team at Halo Dx, a precision diagnostics startup.

In under 500 words, he shares: 

  • How he starts his mornings…
  • His three most important learnings about product management…
  • What his sources of learning are…

And more…  

Enjoy!


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“How did you get into product management?”

Back in the day, I was a risk manager at a fintech startup. I made a few suggestions to the product team, helping them solve some important issues. Then we kept collaborating and not so long after I joined their team.

“How do you start your mornings at work?”

I like to finish my workday by planning the next one and start the morning with an already set agenda instead of doing morning reviews. I try to keep my tasks organized in a bullet journal, so I start with the first thing on my list.

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

1.     Don’t ask users what they want, understand their job and pains instead.

2.     What you write is not always what others read. Make sure that everybody is on the same page.

3.     Don’t be afraid to fail. Create a working environment where the team can test a hypothesis, learn, and iterate. It’s not that easy since most of us are raised to fear failure.

“What did your biggest product failure teach you?”

Search for the cause and validate the problem which you are trying to resolve. Sometimes the solution can have nothing to do with the product itself. As a product manager, you should be open to discovering new areas and understanding different business aspects and interpersonal relations. 

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

I have been lucky to be part of a team with more experienced people than me. Great professionals who were willing to share their skills and knowledge. This experience helped me learn a lot in a short period of time. Of course, all of that comes with a good amount of practice and a proactive search for feedback. 

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

The most common places where I find answers are podcasts and blogs. Occasionally I dive deeper into a book that has been mentioned in an episode or an article.

When I am not looking for something concrete, I listen to Product Thinking, read HBR’s tip of the day, and follow this guy