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How can I develop and improve my product mindset?
Question from Abhishek
How can I develop and improve my product mindset?
Answered by Shivansh Chaudhary
Chief Product & Technology Officer @ Fabric | Previously Product Lead @ AWS and Amazon, Engineer @ National Instruments

A decade ago, I transitioned from being an engineer to a product manager and one of my biggest learnings is that developing a product mindset can be beneficial to any role, not just product management. In my opinion, product mindset is a combination of multiple skills such as empathy for customers, ability to clearly communicate customer needs (verbally and mentally) and having a data-driven approach towards defining actions, setting goals and measuring outcomes. These skills can be practiced in any position, such as, sales, customer support, engineering, marketing or product management.

Now, I’d like to address the second part of the question about ideas for transitioning to product management. While there is always the conventional approach of pursuing the MBA path, I chose the unconventional path for myself and here are some suggestions based on my learnings -

  1. Shadow and assist PMs: I urge you to explore opportunities to shadow and assist PMs in your organization in their day to day tasks. For example, you can request PMs to join their brainstorming meetings or sprints with engineers/key stakeholders, join the roadmap review meetings or review their product documents and ask clarifying questions asynchronously. I was fortunate to have complete support from my manager on shadowing PMs for a few hours every week.  So I highly encourage you to request your manager for helping with such career growth opportunities.
  2. Cohort based courses: Cohort based courses (CBCs) bring together the best of traditional education and group-based learning in a byte-sized and targeted syllabus format. PM-focused CBCs include various activities, such as, reviewing case studies, creating mockups and wireframing, defining goals and metrics and brainstorming exercises. Some of the best PM-focused CBCs can be found on - reforge, maven, and udacity.
  3. Volunteering as a PM for local communities: You can practice and build your PM skills by helping out your local communities or friends with their business problems. For example, you can assist your neighborhood library to create gamification and rewards for deeper engagement with the library members or you can help in creating a neighborhood web app to track the local community events and yard sales. You can find these volunteer opportunities on websites such as, and LinkedIn.

In summary, one can practice and benefit from building a product mindset in any role, not just product management. My top recommendations for transitioning to product management are i) explore shadow and assist opportunities, ii) join cohort-based courses and ii) find opportunities to volunteer as a PM for local communities, businesses, organizations or startups.

About the author
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Shivansh Chaudhary
Chief Product & Technology Officer @ Fabric | Previously Product Lead @ AWS and Amazon, Engineer @ National Instruments

Shivansh is the Chief Product & Technology Officer at Fabric, a venture-backed startup at the intersection of augmented reality, sports and web3.


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