Notes and questions in preparation for Vice President of Product job interview


  • SEO oriented solution on consumer side?  Not necessarily enterprise side.
  • Reviews and social media focus on enterprise side
  • 1 million users
  • 50K rooftops
  • profitable
  • Acquired mysocialgood and paperKarma (learned these are not core parts of the business)
  • Vision of consumer data vault.  Consumers charging advertisers for access to their data. (learned this is just PR and not part of the real strategy)


I know the power of SEO, of user reviews, of social media, and of analytics all through my experience in running a global $90 digital biz and other media properties.
As somebody who sells online an participates in the digital sharing economy, reputation hits close to home.  I’m always ensuring reviews of me paint a positive and accurate picture of me.
From my consumer perspective, I go to great lengths to scrutinize the validity of online reviews and to weed out either noise or outliers to get to the real helpful insight. From my product management perspective, I’ve spent countless cycles working to deliver the most relevant and insightful reviews to consumers.  So I understand the need for high quality review content and place a great deal of value on it.
What do I want to do (irrelevant after learning this is more about PR than a real strategy)?
I believe that for a marketplace to be most equitable, the intelligence can’t be so one-sided in favor of the sellers.  There has to be more of an equilibrium.  Less information asymmetry.  More transparency.  Got screwed by Amazon’s dynamic pricing.
Make online ads a lot less annoying and much more timely and relevant.  How many times have you encountered an ad for something that you’ve already purchased simply because the ad servers think you’re still in the market for that product.
When advertisers have as much behavioral data as they do, it’s like the telemarketer who knows you’re name and phone number, calling at the wrong place, wrong time asking for donations.
  • Analytics – Reputation score to sales ratio
  • The browser that protects you.  the browser that pays you
  • Future of reputation is in closed (1:1) communications platforms (snapchat, whatsapp) and new social content publishers (tumblr, medium).  Need to think about that space.


Web pages —————————————————–SEO

Review sites, local search ———————————-Review site management

Social media—————————————————-Social media management tools

Snapchat, Whatsapp, tumblr, medium———————?

Notes and questions in preparation for Vice President of Product job interview

Notes and questions in preparation for HelloSign Director of Product Management job interview

Product Critique

  • Demo is a good idea
  • No way to clear a signature without leaving screen
  • Navigation (not actions) unclear.  Back button is not visible.  Send is only nav item.
  • Where are my documents?
  • Idea:  Using OCR (optical character recognition)to prefill fields.  “Signature” “Date” are the obvious ones.
  • Straight forward, not like docusign
  • Great integration
Used docusign extensively to buy my house
It’s not very intuitive.  Still a learning curve.  They let the complexity out of the bag.  Worse when signature requests are not business initiated.
I moved to using SignNow.  Interface is much more consumer friendly.  Drawing a signature is actually easier and your signature actually looks like your signature instead of some ugly chicken scratch.
? who reporting to
? Make up of team and product team, dev team, design
35 ppl
8-9 eng.
dev ops
api evang
2 designers
3 marketing
1 product manager
? Strategy (focus on signatures)?
Enterprise, SMB, Verticals like insurance (agency level), sales, HR, real estate.
? Financial situation
Series A
$100K in sales, sept
Why HelloSign?
Technologies that help consumers interact with businesses more seamlessly.  So much complexity in modern life, that if one task can be made more blissful, then that’s a victory.
Biggest opportunities are seized by the smallest most nimble competitors because the biggest 800 lb gorillas are so entrenched in their current business.
Notes and questions in preparation for HelloSign Director of Product Management job interview

Notes in preparation for Sharethrough SFP (Sharethrough for Publishers) Product Director job interview

.11 desktop-.25 mobile CTR on native
scalability issue in dealing with multiple ad formats, publisher rules, content requirements, labor intensive
Dan Greenberg is the founder & CEO of Sharethrough
eMarketer projecting $4.3 billion in U.S. native spending for 2015
5B 2015
targeting an annual revenue of $100 million.  Launch RTB
$38 million in funding to date.
Five straight quarters of profit, on revenue of $46 million
Mobile is now 70% of the business,” he claims, and that mobile revenue is up 700% year on year.
BI Intelligence predicts spending on native ads will reach $7.9 billion this year and grow to $21 billion in 2018, rising from just $4.7 billion in 2013. Of that 2015 prediction, $1.9 billion will be made up by the “native-style display” sector in which Sharethrough sits, while the majority will be made up by social native ads.
What about the backlash?  John Oliver
  • John Carroll, Here and Now media analyst and publisher of Sneak Adtack
Advertising sites
Journalism links
Times innovation report
Notes in preparation for Sharethrough SFP (Sharethrough for Publishers) Product Director job interview

Notes in preparation for Wix App Market Product and Business Development Director job interview

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  • Wix vs. Squarespace/Weebly – Playing ball in Nike Air Jordans vs. Converse.  Commuting in a Porsche vs Honda.  Wix Apps give you more than you need, but its nice to know you have some advantages.
  • Getting apps built with the technology is the easy part.  Hard part is selling companies on the value of this investment.
  • Developing and marketing Wix apps similar to mobile apps on iTunes and google play.
Why Wix?  Why this space?  Why this job?  What do I want to do?
I’ve successfully ran a global website.  So I feel that I have some value to add in helping other businesses run their websites.
I’m passionate about technology that empowers buyers and sellers.  It’s not about B2B or B2C.  It’s B2B2C.  Sure Wix is empowering businesses primarily.  But it is ultimately building experiences for consumers to aspire to something and be empowered to fulfill it. 
The App strategy if properly executed is a differentiator that will allow Wix to steamroll the competition.  It gives customers what they need and an easy way to use it.
Why Me?
  • Developing and marketing Wix apps similar to mobile apps on iTunes and google play.  
  • Service oriented architecture, REST APIs, JSON data in building mobile apps
  • Familiarity with technology to add client-side features to website platforms.
  • Consumer background
  • Led prospecting, diligence, and negotiation of a $MM deals.  and many other smaller deal.
  • Technology sales background.
  • Worked with several companies that could make great apps
  • Role also owns the front-end or only focused on the developer community and API?
  • Org Structure? Who does this role report to?
  • Difference btw SF, Tel Aviv and other offices?
  • Team members?
  • Types of deals?
  • Do all apps have a 70/30 rev share?  Or are there special economics for the deals I’d be trying to make?
  • How many partners is my goal?
  • Pipeline?
  • B2B Marketing?
  • Resources and budget?
  • How critical is monetization and advertising on Wix sites?
  • App Store interface – can’t tell what I need
    • Need to bundle apps
    • App recommendations in editor.
  • App interface can be better organized.
  • Doesn’t tell me what I already have.
  • Needs samples of real implementations
  • Dev documentation.  Case study of successful Hive and SDK integration
  • More monetization opportunities (ads, lead gen).
  • Pay for featured placement in app store.
Prospective Apps
  1. Google Translate
  2. Site search
  3. Optimizely/A-B testing framework
  4. Lead generation (Get a quote).
  5. Disqus
  6. Outbrain/Taboola
  7. Stumbleupon
  8. Bloomreach  SEO Product recommendations
  9. Native Advertising
  10. Content Streams
  11. ActiveEngage
  12. Contact at once
  13. Live-chat
  14. Survey Monkey
  15. Mail Chimp
  16. Constant Contact
Apps related experience
App Market in iframe.
How it works
  • frontend of the app must be built using HTML5 technologies.
  • delivered as iframes and hosted on your servers, so the backend of your app can be built using the programing language of your choice: Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, C#, etc.
  • communicate with the editor, website, or dashboard using our JavaScript SDK
  • All apps installed on the owner’s site share Activities and Contacts, and WixHive enables these apps to communicate with each other to share object data.
  • WixHive holds all the information collected from the site owner’s website or business, which includes his Contacts and Activities. This information is saved in the scope of a website, and every component installed in that website should report all data it collects. Using the information collected by the website, allows you to enhance your app capabilities.
    • What if the app developer doesn’t want its data shared to a competitor app?
  • integrates directly with Office 365 for website creation and management.
  • Acq OpenRest
  • Launched e-commerce
  • 57 million registered users
  • 190 Countries
  • 10 Million Apps installed, 37500/day installed
  • Prem Subscriptions – 1.13M, 1.9% of registered users
  • 2014 Collections – $171M  (= Revenue + Change in Deferred Revenue)  from proj $153M
  • Revenue – $141.8M
Market oppty
$50 B
     $16 B in Web and Apps
     $34 B in Enterprise Business Applications
Verticals focus – hotels, e-commerce, restaurants
Notes in preparation for Wix App Market Product and Business Development Director job interview

Notes in preparation for Tubemogul Product Leader, Client-Facing Products job interview

Links to relevant articles

  • Video Optimization
  • Programmatic TV Growth
  • Display Gestate
  • Native Video – Sharethrough
  • Global – china
  • Netflix, HBO, DirectTV, OnDemand, convergence of TV
  • Mobile toolset
  • publisher inventory
  • spectator gaming
  • multi screen
  • Social FBX
  • Vertical opptys  (automotive, financial)
  • Measurement, viewability, fraud, bots
  • location, local, payment = (brand + direct) now
  • ecommerce, billing
  • Meta DSP
  • The dashboard
  • Programmatic 5%-20% of TV ads 2015
  • Disintermediation In-house
    • HP, Kellogg, Netflix
  • C-level hirings and programmatic teams
  • programmatic advertising, will rise more than 50% this year to $21 billion worldwide, according to a new forecast by Magna Global
  • U.S. is leading global adoption of programmatic methods and will represent about half of programmatic transactions this year
  • The promise of automation is to make advertising more relevant than it ever has been. It’s not just about streamlining buying processes or reducing media waste. It’s about telling a different story to consumers based on where they live or who they are.
  • An emerging focus on ad effectiveness “We started off as an efficiency play,” said Mr. Fetters, describing the initial intent of Kellogg’s move. “We now want to pivot and start to focus on effectiveness. So how do we use all the capabilities that programmatic tools and data have to offer to begin to drive the effectiveness of our advertising.”
    • .11 desktop-.25 mobile CTR on native
    • scalability issue in dealing with multiple ad formats, publisher rules, content requirements, labor intensive
  • 73% Desktop vs 27% Mobile buying
Notes from Q3 Earnings Call
1. the shift of ad dollars into digital is driving tremendous growth in digital video advertising, particularly on mobile devices,

digital video advertising continues to grow rapidly. According to Magna Global, digital video is growing nearly 30% per annum and is forecast to be over $20 billion globally by 2017. Also, while the growth in digital video advertising is coming in part at the expense of other digital ad formats, it is now clear that large TV advertisers are beginning to shift real dollars into digital.

Two of our clients, Allstate and Mondelez, are on record with relevant declarations. Allstate has said from 2013 to 2015 that it will have shifted about 20% of its TV ad dollars to digital advertising. Mondelez, the world’s largest snack company with beloved brands like Oreo, Chips Ahoy, and Wheat Thins, has likewise indicated that they are targeting for 50% of their total ad budget to go into digital by 2016.

So it’s no longer a question of whether TV dollars will shift to digital. It’s just a question of how much of the $200 billion global TV ad market will shift and how long it will take.

2. rapid adoption in programmatic or software-based buying
advertiser adoption of programmatic is accelerating. Like other markets that software has transformed previously, the advertising ecosystem is complex, manual, and often opaque. The benefits of programmatic buying are tangible and significant, including increased simplicity through streamlined and consolidated workflow, cost savings, and enhanced targeting. It’s therefore no surprise that, according to Magna Global, programmatic video is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 60% globally from 2014 to 2018.
3. advertisers desire to gain more control and transparency over their ad spend by adopting self-serve software platforms.
while many of the early companies and business models that leverage programmatic technologies were black boxes, advertisers have spoken. And it’s clear that they want more control and transparency. So while many companies in the space are simply buying programmatically on behalf of their clients, we build self-serve software that gives advertisers all the functionality needed to manage their global video ad spend, while also gaining the control and transparency they seek, the antithesis of the black box model that is so prevalent in ad tech.
competitive advantage in Q3. First, we’re 100% advertiser-focused. We never own media or make money from media. Our only incentive is to do that which is best for advertisers. This positioning is unique amongst our direct competitors, and the large Internet companies that will inevitably build out or buy their own ad tech stacks.
Second, our business is global.
Third, our solution is cross-screen. It’s as easy to plan, buy and measure a video ad on a smartphone, tablet, or connected TV as it is on a computer. This is increasingly important as consumer video consumption shifts to mobile devices. And to accentuate the point, our total mobile spend increased to 9% of total spend in Q3, almost double the contribution we saw just in Q2.
Fourth, while most companies in advertising technology focus on direct response, we are focused exclusively on brand advertisers.
our focus on self-serve software is a true differentiator.
Product enhancements
we upgraded brand access. Our solution that allows advertisers to automate their direct deals with premium publishers or what is often referred to as programmatic direct. By enabling our clients to streamline their workflow with centralized planning, targeting, frequency capping,
 advanced our brand safety capabilities in Q3, including integrating third-party protection from [white ops and integral ad signs]. For every ad opportunity we evaluate, now more than $15 billion per day, we apply a variety of filters, depending upon the type of ad opportunity that together act essentially like a lie detector test against the information we receive
have pioneered the innovation and video viewability. While we already provide viewability reporting in our software at the site by site level, in Q3, we also published site-level viewability scores from excellent to poor. Then in our platform, advertisers can choose to switch on or off sites based on that information, helping them to maximize the viewability rates for their campaigns.
overhaul our analytics system
 Q3, we had 308 platform direct clients, up from 165 a year ago.
Notes in preparation for Tubemogul Product Leader, Client-Facing Products job interview

Welcome Feadbaq!

The idea for this blog is simple.  I’ve failed to land the jobs that I desired even after significant preparation and homework for the interview process.  So why not let someone else benefit from that work?

The content is going to be rough.  Mostly fragmented bullets that have been copied and pasted from my Evernote.  But I do hope you find it useful, especially if you got here after Googling, “product manager interview {XYZ Company}”.

I’m going to start with sharing my own interview preparation notes.  But it is my hope that this blog evolves into a community where job seekers can share with and learn from each other.  That way, the job interview process becomes a little bit less of a mystery and the job seekers less powerless in trying to understand what the company is looking for or why they were passed up.

Why the name “Feadbaq” (sounds like “feedback”)?

#1 – It stems from the difficulty of getting good feedback when one gets passed up for a job.

#2 – I’m feeding back to you folks my notes from and in preparation for my interviews.

#3 – I’m truly hoping to make some serious noise in how the interview process works – speaker feedback.

Good Hunting

Welcome Feadbaq!