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Competing with equity, passion, and entrepreneurship

This week we lost both Betsy and Byrne to true start ups (venture backed companies as opposed to our corporate backing). The lovely Nicki Dexter is in town, and we’ve been jamming about what it is that makes TokBox tick.

The combination has led me to think quite a bit about how we can fight the Silicon Valley game.

The obvious things don’t make for an interesting blog post. They are what they are, and we’ll do our best to make them work. The selling points for joining the product team at TokBox are actually quite simple:

  1. You want to solve a problem that can fundamentally disrupt a 100-year old industry
  2. You enjoy solving problems that have non-obvious finish lines because getting there is most of the fun
  3. You’re going to come out of the experience as a premier product-experienced platform talent

#1 really speaks to the kinds of problems you want to solve as a product manager or designer. Do you really want to customer insight your way to the next widget on the machine that makes it 10% better? The answer should be yes for 99% of people. And that’s okay. I want that 1%

#2 speaks to your personality. The non-obvious, and the vaguely defined have to be friendly or somewhat well known playgrounds. Coming from a well established place that has millions of customers doing trillions of events against your stack isn’t going to translate. We’ll be there in two years. But today you’re playing with different numbers, and so the game has less of a playbook.

And I think #3 is the one that should speak to your career the most. Platforms are the next (or current) major contribution that Silicon Valley is throwing into the world. Platforms take really hard problems, and they make them accessible to folks who don’t want to solve those hard problems. Learning how to be great at developing product is transferable to the fullest order, and we know how to build platform.

So I can’t give you equity or visibility to the latest VCs in the business. But I can help you change the world, and be excellent at it in the process.

So come join us 🙂

Published in Becoming a PM Building a business

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