To Be A Product Manager | Day 7

This journal helps me improve 1% every day…

Welcome to Day 7 of

To Be A Product Manager

Last night, I hosted my first couchsurfer David from Germany. He’s obsessed in learning Chinese, and currently study Chinese in Peking University. I’m super impressed when he sent me a message with Chinese Characters and speak fluent Mandarin when we met for the first time.

He’s smart and self motivated, we talked a lot about self disciplines and what will our dream life be like in 10 years, and we can also provide feedback for each other. That’s why I started accepting other travelers to stay at my apartment for free. Because I’ve been given so much from random people and strangers, it’s a way of giving back as well.

I also wrote an article about Confidence vs Competence, and post on my Chinese blog this morning. There’s a loop called

Confidence Competence Loop

I wrote a article about confidence half a year ago, when I was extremely confident about myself. However, when I just joined this startup, everything is new for me, everything I had before is gone. So I asked myself how do you treat confidence and competence when you have nothing. And the answer I got eventually is to take action, learn and improve. It’s a great opportunity for me to develop my habit, work ethic and capability.

Goals & Challenges

If you’ve been following this series, you may know I just join this startup as a rookie product manager. I don’t have any experience about product except my blog and VR education project I’ve developed in Boulder, CO.

Besides, my product director is not around these days before Chinese New Year. It turned out that I was the only one left in Product Team. After I finished the tasks my boss assigned for me, I feel lost and not productive at all. I really want to learn and help our team pushing the product forward and providing research and data, but I’m not sure where and how I can help with.

I talked to our HRD Alen, and he suggested me to talk to other teams and be involved in their meetings.

Understanding what other teams are doing and how you can simplify the process and help them, should always on your Todo list as a product manager.

I was totally amazed, and probably start doing this tomorrow. I also asked him why they decided to give me the offer, not someone who’s more experienced and suitable for a startup. I felt totally honored to hear his saying that

because you always think deeper to a problem and try to understand WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO.

Other people might know more about product management, but their mindsets ask them to follow others. You want to understand why and be creative to solve the problem.

It’s easy to train someone’s skills to be a product manager, but it’s hard to change someone’s mindset and the way they approach a problem.

I’m not surprised and I’m also a big believer of this concept, even the words I always say at the beginning of my Chinese blog is,

I think deep about things, and I want others to do likewise.

— Aaron Swartz

Aaron is the reason I started blogging and thinking deep about everything I see and experience. Thanks Aaron and RIP.

Today, our founder and CEO taught us the importance of work habits and communication, which is the best I can ask for. I resonated the whole work concept with what I learned at Watson a lot.

We also had a Hands-On-Deck meeting, which also sounds familiar to me. But I learned more about out team, especially CEO, COO, CTO their personal experience and stories. It totally changed my view on VR ad industry(I thought about this when I was doing VR education project in Boulder, but our COO gave us real example and how this can overturn the ad industry), startup, business and entrepreneurship.

Everyone is so confident and firmly believe that by the end of this year, we can build up something great and unique. And I cannot wait to be a part of it and witness the birth of a giant!

We went for a dinner and then Karaoke, that’s why I’m a bit late for this post. But I swear it will never stop updating!

The next week is the week of Chinese New Year, wish you good luck and reunite with the loved ones!

Zake

be so good they can’t ignore you.

Product Manager / Content Creator || searching for mental clarity by making films.