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Episode 165 - From High-Frequency Trader to Investor in Good Ideas (with Pooja Parthasarathy, Head of Product @ AbstractOps)

Product Culture
Product Leadership
Product Ops

Episode 165: From High-Frequency Trader to Investor in Good Ideas

Pooja Parthasarathy, Head of Product @ AbstractOps

20 February 2023

Proudly sponsored by

My Mentor Path
20 February 2023 Pooja Parthasarathy head shot

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Content Warning - May Contain Adult Language or Themes
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Proudly sponsored by

My Mentor Path

About the Episode

Pooja Parthasarathy is a product leader who started out her career in the high-pressure, high-volume world of high-frequency trading. She took some time out with me to reflect on her unconventional career journey, what it taught her, and how to make an impact as a product leader.

A message from this episode's sponsor - My Mentor Path

This episode is sponsored by My Mentor Path. I'm a passionate advocate for mentoring and believe it to be one of the highest-leverage activities you can undertake to get ahead in your career. I try to do my part but am but one man, so I helped set up this FREE mentoring community to try to help out at scale. Sign up now as a mentor, a mentee, or both!

Episode highlights:

High-frequency trading is as stressful as you'd imagine, but it has lessons for early-stage product managers

Working with traders teaches you to think on your feet in volatile environments, think three steps ahead & build a thick skin. These are all valuable traits for PMs.

We should all be comfortable asking basic questions

Working in a variety of jobs has helped her get comfortable with first-principles thinking and asking even the most basic questions. It's important to model this behaviour for your team.

Be kind to yourself and the stories you tell yourself

Pooja was hard on herself after her first child and wondered if she could make a success of work after going back. She learned to appreciate the job she was doing and be her own champion.

The job of a product person is to be an investor in good ideas

A PM's job is not to have all the answers or all the best ideas, but to be the Socratic Police Officer and ask good questions to get those around you to bring their own insight to the table for you to tie together

The CEO & CPO relationship is the most important in the company

It's important to create leverage with the CEO, by having the right motivations, setting clear expectations about who owns what for what time horizon, and being comfortable delegating to other leaders.

Contact Pooja

You can catch up with Pooja on LinkedIn, although she's about to have a baby so maybe wait a bit!

Pooja Parthasarathy and me before the recording