In a lengthy interview with First Round Review, Nikhyl Singhal – three-time founder and former chief product officer at Credit Karma – offers a wealth of insights into the product function. Founders and product leaders in early and growth-stage start-ups will appreciate Singhal’s incisive comments, which cover timing, hiring, common pitfalls and matching the product function to the company’s growth stage.
Founders and product leaders should build a product team that fits the company’s growth phase.
Each start-up phase demands different functions of the product team. If the product function doesn’t match the company’s phase, power struggles can ensue, and the team’s capabilities can fall short of the organization’s needs. Founders commonly make mistakes in the timing for introducing and scaling the product function, in focusing on the right priorities for each phase, and in providing leadership through growth and change.
During the scrappy, experimental first phase, the product team mainly serves as project management.
In this phase, the founder guides the company through experimentation aimed at discovering a product/market fit. Founders shouldn’t make...
About the Author
First Round Review publishes articles that allow experts to speak directly to technology entrepreneurs. Nikhyl Singhal, a three-time founder and former chief product officer for Credit Karma, advises start-up founders and product heads.