In this podcast episode, Cait Porte interviews Alicia Dixon, an experienced ecommerce product leader, about her favorite project and strategies for balancing innovation. Alicia shares the story of how she worked on a project that involved converting an application that ran on Windows Ce to an Android application, which was a gut project. She convinced her leadership to shift direction from using expensive handheld devices to using smartphones, which reduced costs significantly. The product was a success and was still being used by the company until a few years ago.
The conversation then shifts to how to stay connected and updated in the product community. Alicia emphasizes the importance of going back to basics and having intimate conversations with peers. With the explosion of courses and people trying to monetize product, Alicia actively stepped back from participating in Slack channels and social media. She instead committed herself to reconnecting with somebody else once or twice a week, who is doing similar work and could have challenges that she can relate to. This approach allows for more meaningful conversations, sharing of real-life experiences, and supporting each other's growth.
Finally, they discuss the importance of aligning with people to invest in your career. Alicia recommends finding a product leader whose thinking and style match your own and working for that person to learn from them. Companies are constantly changing, and what may be a good product organization this year might not be a good one next year. However, having a relationship with a product leader who invests in your career can be beneficial and can be carried to several different companies.
Overall, the conversation between Cait and Alicia provides valuable insights into product management, including the importance of balancing innovation and keeping the lights on, staying connected and updated in the product community, and investing in your career by aligning with the right people.