Tell me about your most difficult customer

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Tell me about your most difficult customer I’ve dealt with many difficult “users”, customers, and clients. At Zillow, we placed Zestimates on 40 million homes — it was inevitable some owners would disagree with those estimates of value. They did, and we heard from those users (they weren’t customers or clients since they weren’t paying anything for goods/services) via email and phone calls. Several were very irrational with their expectations, though the majority simply needed to be listened to & educated about how the service (and algorithm) worked. Occasionally, I’d … Continue reading

Posted In: Business

Tell me when you made a judgment call since you didn’t have any data

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Tell me when you made a judgment call since you didn’t have any data. A few examples… When considering the “mobile, social email newsletter reader” concept (one of many potential pivots for Oh Hey World) — I didn’t have enough hard data to make a decision about putting money toward building the product. I interviewed numerous additional publishers, as well as readers. What I heard was (most) readers didn’t have a real problem in need of a solution — even though publishers would love to have more … Continue reading

Posted In: Business

Why are you leaving your current role?

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Why are you leaving your current role? Virtually every company asks this one, and it’s no wonder why. They want to know you’re seriously ready for a new job. They want to know they’re not wasting their time with someone who is just playing the field. I somewhat answered this in the post announcing that I was looking for a full time opportunity — but thought I’d elaborate slightly here. Oh Hey World, Inc was setup in September of 2012. That’s 5 years legally. In fact, … Continue reading

Posted In: Life

Tell me About a Time you Disagreed with your Manager

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager David G was my manager for the majority of my time at Zillow. He and I disagreed on a range of issues. One specific time I remember was about the Local Market Explorer wordpress plugin. I’m not going to get into the super specifics here, but the disagreement was around strategy of accepting data integration of data providers in other verticals. What did we do to resolve the disagreement? Talked. We talked the issue through, each explaining … Continue reading

Posted In: Business

What was your proudest moment in your career? What part did you play in making that happen?

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. What was your proudest moment in your career? What part did you play in making that happen? Launching Horizon on the app store following 12 months in planning/development — after having already spent 18 months and a considerable amount of my own money ($70k) trying to gain traction for our prior Oh Hey World product concept. I did everything but actually design/code — as well as put up a big chunk of the money.

Posted In: Product

How to Solve a Complex Technical Problem

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. What do you do when you need to solve a complex technical problem? The first step is to fully understand the technical problem you’re facing. In Horizon’s case, the largest technical challenge we have is that for users with many friends, friends of friends, and groups on Horizon — the calculations for “counts” are extremely slow because they are checking every single user against their “visibility” field. Those calculations are being done on the fly, rather than loaded from a cache / pre-calculated results table. Further, … Continue reading

Posted In: Product

How do you detect whether or not a word is a palindrome?

Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. How do you detect whether or not a word is a palindrome? Compare the 1st letter with the last letter, 2nd letter to 2nd to last letter, 3rd letter with 3rd to last letter, etc.

Posted In: Life