image of The Hardest Part Of Being The First Product Person In A Start-Up - Rachel Folz, Cerkl
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Hardest Part Of Being The First Product Person In A Start-Up - Rachel Folz, Cerkl

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Podcast information


Episode Details

Rachel Folz and Aram discuss what project management is like at Cerkl. Discover why their designers keep their cameras off during user testing, why scrum took them more time to do than they expected, how they create unparalleled synergies between developers and designers, and their product growth tipping point.

Show notes

How do you make sure you’re building product processes that scale? Can a new product manager easily pick up where you left off? Find out why hiring her first associate PM shook our guest today.
About Rachel Folz
Rachel Folz is the Director of Product at Cerkl. In fact, she was team member #3 there - right after the two co-founders. They started working together after Rachel took great interest in the product as an active and invested user. Being a pioneer at Cerkl, she helped form the product team and all the processes that come with the territory.  In a previous life, Rachel was a journalist for over five years.

Links we mentioned:
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug:
INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan:
Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your
Humanity by Kim Scott:
Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday:

00:00 | Who is Rachel Folz
00:28 | What’s exciting about product management?
02:18 | What is Cerkl?
04:19 | First things a new project manager must do
07:29 | Product growth tipping point
08:40 | How to have a great relationship with your principal designer 
10:31 | The secret to managing roles between designers and developers
11:46 | User testing process at Cerkl
15:46 | How to filter out bad advice
17:39 | Bad product advice on Reddit
18:19 | Hiring the first associate product manager (wake up moment)
21:28 | Don’t let great get in the way of good
22:24 | Passionless products
23:13 | Fireside: practice, rephrasing, listening, execution vs. strategy, it’s not always fun

(06:56) “My favourite question in user testing is: if you could wave a magic wand and change three things about your work inside [product] every day, what would you change?”
(10:02) “A designer is more than just a person who can move the pixels around for you. What they are is another creative partner who has a different kind of mind than you do - that can help you see around corners.”
(23:51) “You don’t want a product full of buttons, toggles, and switches - you want one that makes an impact.”

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What is Product Innovation Series with Aram Melkoumov?

Product Innovation Series is an in-depth interview series featuring product & innovation leaders from small startups all the way to Fortune 500 behemoths. Our guests share their battle-tested perspective on what prevents teams from shipping a great product. The show is hosted by Aram Melkoumov, the CEO of Crowdlinker.

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