December 6

Product Managers: What Do You Want in a Podcast?

Just about one year ago, my partner Paul and I made the decision that we were going to create a special environment for product people — particularly those between the coasts — where they can connect, collaborate, and ultimately be inspired.  Just several months later, we made good on that by producing the first iteration of Industry, a product summit built for product professionals that took place in the revived rust belt city of Cleveland, Ohio.

After Industry 2015, all we knew is that we were onto something and needed to offer even more to product people.   So, yes, that meant planning for an even better Industry that will take place in Fall, 2016.  (Keep your eyes open within the next couple of weeks for exciting details here).  But we also found ourselves asking each other how we could keep the energy, learning, and sense of community going throughout the entire year.

And then, we both realized that we shared a favorite medium that both of us use to satisfy our continued curiosity about not just product, but other things as well:  Podcasts.

Both Paul and I have 30 minute commutes — and we both love to multi-task.  So it’s not uncommon for either one of us to be devouring podcasts to and from work.  Some of my personal favorites include:

And while these are great, they are all really varied in terms of what their audience is and what their approach is.  For instance, Startup and Rocketship are both targeting those interested in entrepreneurial stories.  However, Startup is produced much more like a documentary and Rocketship is produced like a well-prepared interview.  Both are great.  But they accomplish different things.

Another thing we noticed, though, is that there aren’t a whole lot of podcasts specifically for product people.  If a product manager or VP of Product wanted to listen to a podcast to become better product professionals, they certainly could.  There are takeaways that they could get out of all sorts of different shows.  But very few are produced specifically for them.  It’s not to say there aren’t any at all.  This is Product Management is one, for instance, that does a good job producing a product-driven podcast.  But it’s one of a handful out of literally hundreds of thousands of podcasts that currently exist.

We want to change this.

We’re taking an active role in exploring what a great product-driven podcast (or podcasts!) would look like.  We have some ideas on potential formats we’d like to use.  But, like any great product, we’d be silly to not engage our own audience before bringing anything to market.  So we’re looking for product managers, Directors/VP’s of Product, and generally anybody else that considers themselves to be a “product person” who are interested in helping shape what this could become.

In any case, our goal with all of this is to:

  • Create useful content that helps anybody who listens feel like a smarter product person post-episode.
  • Better connect product thought leaders to the greater product community.
  • Inspire a creative spark that helps those listening create better products.

Drop me a line at mike [at] productcollective dot com.  I’d love to ask you a few questions via email and potentially phone or Skype/Hangouts.  And who knows, perhaps aside from giving helpful feedback, it could end up leading to an appearance on our show!

With all of that said, hopefully, you’ll “hear” from us soon.

Mike Belsito

About the author

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world. For his leadership at Product Collective, Mike was named one of the Top 40 influencers in the field of Product Management. Mike also serves as a Faculty member of Case Western Reserve University in the department of Design and Innovation, and is Co-Host of one of the top startup podcasts online, Rocketship.FM. Prior to Product Collective, Mike spent the past 12 years in startup companies as an early employee, Co-Founder, and Executive. Mike's businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere. Mike is also the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of us, one of the top startup books on Amazon.


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