If you’re a product person, chances are high you’ve logged on to something Brent Tworetzky has helped build or even attended an event that he’s hosted. He’s an all-in product leader with a passion for education and coaching. We talked to him about the role of data in building product and his path into product management.
Name: Brent Tworetzky
Current role: Senior Vice President of Product at InVision
Location: New York City
Brent is a keynote speaker at ROADMAP | San Francisco Product Summit on May 17, 2018. ROADMAP is coming through New York on May 31st; and London on June 5th.
How did you get to where you are today?
Like many product managers, I found my way into product management through a love of tech, wanting to do something that matters for the world, and testing different ways to achieve that impact.
I started as a software engineer, then tried my hand as a management consultant, account manager, venture capitalist, and startup founder before I found the right fit in product management. I love that product management combines my desire for strategy and leadership (the head), getting close to and advocating for the user (the heart), and being part of the team that brings it all to life (the arms and legs).
Since getting into product management, I’ve been lucky to work under great product leaders representing the PM schools of eBay, Netflix, and Google, and for product-centric companies where I can learn, test and grow my craft.
Understand and serve your users. That’s why you wake up in the morning
I’ve also scaled as a product leader through running larger product organizations, writing about the craft on Medium, and putting on the New York Product Conference. Most recently, I had the good fortune to join InVision, a leading product design software company, where I hope to influence and upskill the product industry.
What role do you think data has in product management?
Data thinking shows up in much of product management. We need data to deeply understand our users’ needs and behaviors. We need data orientation to understand the world we live in, so we can create winning strategies. We need data to deeply understand our users’ needs and behaviors. We need data to make outcome-maximizing decisions and bring others along with us.
I also find that it’s important to always balance data – the "what" – with qualitative user understanding – the "why." Data by itself is often part but not all of the story.
What’s the best thing you’ve read to learn how to be better at your job?
Feedback from generous mentors. Marty Cagan’s SVPG blog is foundational reading; Dan Olsen’s new book The Lean Product Playbook is well done; and Lean Startup, Crossing the Chasm, Getting to Yes, and Don’t Make Me Think are all classics I return to.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received on how to be a PM?
Understand and serve your users. That’s why you wake up in the morning. Serving them is always the right thing in the long term.
When it comes to personal professional growth, what are you most focused on right now?
Scaling product leadership. Teaching the craft to others and building a user-centric craft into an organization.
How I PM is an interview series with product managers that digs into their philosophies on product, their organizational habits, how they do their work, and anything else that could help other product people. Have a question you think we should ask or know a PM we should interview? Email Cara.