Feb. 15, 2023

Upping Your Team's EQ with Urvish Khandwalla of Arctic Wolf

Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Apple Podcasts podcast player badge

Urvish (UV) is a Product Leader at Arctic Wolf, the leader in Security Operations. With 18+ years of cloud and web security experience, specializing in product strategy, product portfolio management, cross-functional leadership, and big data Urivsh is adept at leading product teams to execute roadmaps and achieve organizational objectives. Accomplished in building and leading diverse teams of Presales, Post Sales Engineering, Product Managers, and Product Owners, Urvish has built over 5 high-performing teams and led organizations of 45-60 people. Urvish is passionate about reading, skiing, photography, and has a unique talent of quoting “The Office” references in his daily life. 



Time Stamped Show Notes

Starting out [00:36]

Day to day [01:34]

Prioritizing projects [02:34]

Customers vs competition [05:01]

Setting customer expectations [06:48]

Hiring approach [12:53]

IQ vs EQ [14:41]

Supporting teams in hypergrowth [18:29]

Advice for aspiring product leaders [26:30]



Product Chats is brought to you byCanny. Over 1,000 teams trust Canny to help them build better products. Capture, organize, and analyze product feedback in one place to inform your product decisions.

Get yourfree Canny account today.


Stay Connected!





Kayla: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to Product Chats. On today's episode, I talk with Urvish Khandwalla, who is the Director of Product at Arctic Wolf, and we talk about really understanding your customers, hiring for the sum of the parts, and upping your team's EQ. So hope you enjoy and don't forget to leave us a review,

Hey Urvish. Thanks so much for coming on today.

Urvish: Hey Kayla, thank you so much for having me on. Excited to be here.

Kayla: Yeah. So, in a minute or less, tell us about yourself.

Urvish: So I've been in the industry primarily for about 20, little under 20 years. I moved from India to US to do my Masters back in 2002 in telecommunications, and then I've worked across industries but heavily focused on cybersecurity.

Kayla: Yep.

Urvish: I had, I was privileged enough to ride the rocket ship and Akamai Technologies where I spent a bulk of my career and joined that company when they were about [00:01:00] 500 people given a little under 400 million revenue. They had gone public by then. But they were on an expanse. They were on a growth stage, right?

Extreme growth stage, hyper growth stage, and after 13 years when I left they were about eight and a half thousand people. So kinda, I had the I was fortunate enough to kind of ride a rocket ship and see the different directions . And I keep joking that I worked for four different companies, worked in various functions, got a lot of leadership opportunities, and eventually took on my latest role at Artic Wolf technologies where again, it's another rocket ship to get on and I'm super excited to be here.

Kayla: Awesome. And so with that, tell us about like your current role and what your day to day looks like.

Urvish: Oh, absolutely. So at Artic Wolf, we are on a mission to end cyber risk. We have a focus on being the leaders in security operations, right? So what we do essentially is support businesses when it comes to the security portion. From proactive standpoint as well as from a reactive standpoint. Not all businesses can afford SOC and not all people can maintain a [00:02:00] SOC. And even if they can afford it, maintaining it takes a lot of operational discipline and the upkeep around it and, and what Artic Wolf has mastered is essentially establishing the platform, right, of ingesting trillions of lines of lo lines a day that translates into a few thousand incidents, right? So developing that platform and providing customers a reactive and proactive security. So what I'm responsible for, at Artic Wolf is primarily proactive security arm of how do you maintain a strong security posture across your attack surface?

Firstly, knowing what your attack surfaces, and then beyond that, how do you assess it and, and proactively maintain a strong security hygiene. So that you don't run into incidents and don't show up on the front pages of the newspapers.

Kayla: And so with that, right, it seems like, obviously you know what like your mission is, but like how do you decide what you're building out?

Because obviously there's like customers with different needs. What are you, like, how are you prioritizing and focusing on specific areas of the product?

Urvish: So a lot of it has to do [00:03:00] with the overall corporate objectives, right? So the first place you start is trying to understand where are we going as an organization.

Right? What direction are we going? Understanding what the objectives are, whether it's depending on the size of the organization and the maturity curve, right? Objectives could be as close as six months, could be as far as five years or 10 years out. Right? So understanding that and extrapolating and in extrapolating those allows you to kind of then decide. So, first, first and foremost is knowing your corporate objectives, right? What, what does the business care for? Where do you wanna go? Second is looking at your product line. If I'm, if I'm speaking for the product function, right? Looking at your product line and identifying that, how do you align to those corporate objectives, right?

If, if there are top line goals, for example, is there an opportunity for you to contribute to that? Or if there are bottom line goals, right? Reduce expenses, improve your profitability, et cetera, can you contribute to those, right? Identifying those and then of course looking at the competition in the market space.

Right.? That, [00:04:00] okay, what are your competitors doing? I, I usually put the competitors, and this has been my function of my experience. I look at competition, but I don't try to imitate that, right? I'd rather figure out what needs are not being met and, and go after those. Right? And if those matter to the customers, right?

And a lot of times it, it reduces a lot of trash, right? In terms of, you know, the moment you get compared to another commodity product. You're like, you know, which is cheaper. And then, you know, you get into that point, and again, it's not a bad thing, it's not a bad strategy. Coincidentally, my experiences have been that I've been in companies where the product development is fairly cutting edge.

So at that point, you don't have a direct competitor to look at a direct category to look at Gartner or Forrester and be able to say that, you know what, I claim this space and this is what I'm gonna do. And in order for me to get there, I need to build a car, my product needs to have four wheels and a steering wheel and a Bluetooth system without sounding too cliche, Tesla or whatever.

It's if you're trying to change the market, then at that point, you know, you look at competition, of course you respect the competition, but then again, you gotta chose your path which is an alignment [00:05:00] with the objectives of your organization.

Kayla: And I think with that, right, it's about thinking more about your customer than your competition, right?

Because your competition could be doing something and you could see that, and it's a nice shiny object. But if you actually aren't thinking about what's aligned with your company objectives, then it's not gonna work towards like the end goal and the growth, right?

Urvish: And you bring up a very good point because what ends up happening is that what I mentioned earlier, is looking at the need, right?

Looking at the customer need. You can focus on competition. Sure. And a lot of times you can leverage competition because you unlearn things that they have already. Right. It's kinda like a second mover advantage. But more importantly, to focus on the need of your customer, right? That at the end of the day, this is the outcome the customer's looking for.

Customer doesn't care whether you're going from point A to point B, right? The, sorry, the customer cares about going from point A to point B, and that's what we're focused on, right? And that's how we decided that, okay, customer doesn't give a crap about, customer doesn't give a crap about owning a fancy car and maintaining it and driving it and [00:06:00] taking it to the shop.

Some of them do, but there are a lot of people in the areas wanna get from point A to point B and I can't get a taxi,

so yeah, I would say just to your corporate objectives is what you look at. You look at how your product contributes to your corporate objectives. You look at competition, but primary is looking at customer needs, right? Because that's what's defining your product, right, of why your product exists, is because you're satisfying a certain customer need.

And then of course you have look inside the company in terms of investments, right? That how much engineering investment do you have? How much marketing investment do you have? Do you make those? What levels do you pull and push?

And everybody operates on constraints, right? So everybody has, find me a product manager that doesn't operate on constraint and I'll so, but that, that's, that's the way I would probably summarize that.

Kayla: And I think with that, right, it's about like listening to the customer, aligning that, and sometimes I'm guessing that can be challenging because sometimes those don't always align. Like when you're listening to your customers, your customers [00:07:00] sometimes want something and they're not seeing the bigger picture.

So how do you like set those expectations with customer?

Urvish: So a lot of it gets qualified by, depending on who you're talking to, right? So a lot of times you gotta focus on the persona, right? So if I'm talking to a hands on keyboard admin who's using my product, right? I have to be empathetic to his or her needs, right?

In terms of what, what do they care about? Or if I'm talking to CISO, for example, I gotta be empathetic to their needs. Okay? What does it, what is the outcome that they're going after, right? If they care about that, hey, I don't wanna show up on the front page of Wall Street Journal tomorrow, given all the ransomware campaigns that are going on.

What do I do over, which then the conversation's all about, okay, you don't care about the how. You care about the what, right? What needs to be done in order to get that done. But the guy who's doing cares about the how. Right? If I, I can go and tell CISO that, Hey, you can do these seven steps, right, and it done.

But if those seven steps translate into 5,000 steps for the admin, that's not being empathetic enough, right? So there's that balancing act between who you talk to in terms of identifying [00:08:00] what needs to be done.

Kayla: And I think with that it's, you mentioned that empathy, right under and understanding your different audiences because you do serve like a vast range of audiences and being able to balance and speak to those, right, like that CISO, you have to speak differently than to that like individual contributor.

So it's interesting having, cuz a lot of people, they'll have like one main market, right? But you are, it seems like with your product, you're having to balance these different personas and what they need and what they want.

Urvish: So, I'll give you a funny example. At Arctic , right, we are pretty, we're pretty industry agnostic for what we did at Arctic right?

The security products. You have distributed web application firewalls across the globe, or you have content delivery network that we stream content over. And it's fairly business agnostic, right? You talk to the CISO at IR retailer, right, retailer or you talk to CISO at financial services or even within financial services, whether it's, you know, insurance or retail banking, the conversations are very different.

It's the same product I'm selling, right? It's the same product that I'm talking to them about, but, [00:09:00] so at one of my financial services customers, I was having this conversation with them regarding procuring their bot management solutions, right? Everybody knows that there are bots on the internet, they go from black to white and gray in between, depending on what the nature of that bot is.

And Arctic was good at detecting these bots and treating them appropriately, right? Now, the first reaction is that, hey, customers are extremely sensitive to false positives or false negatives, right? False negatives rather, right? That you don't want malicious transaction to go through. And I was talking to this one financial services customer and I said, Hey, you want to tune it such a way that you know you don't, we were tuning it really hard to the point where there were no false any threats, but they were high false positives, right?

And the customer was extremely sensitive to false positives because they were like: I cannot block a million dollar transaction. I'm an asset management company. And if in your, if I block a 3 million transaction, that's revenue lost in my business, I'd rather let a negative, I'd rather let an attack go through, right?

And rather have the capacity to absorb that attack and deal with it after than blocking a 3 million dollar transaction. And, and that [00:10:00] blew my mind. I was like, whoa. I always thought, you gonna stop bad traffic and here you are telling me that it's okay, as long as I don't block a legitimate transaction. So again, so depending on the segment, and one of the ways I figured out, or at least, it kind of came naturally right or naturally kind of spelled out was, you know, you look at it from an industry standpoint because everybody in the same industry typically speak the same language.

And typically will have the same tech stack. They will have the same, similar tech stack, similar value chain, similar workflows. So, so there is a very cohesive language that you can develop front, top financial retail banking, for example. There's a very cohesive language that I know their problems, I know what they're working with.

Or if I'm talking to a media company, right, they will have them. So if you look at, one way is to look by verticals. One makes to look horizontally by the tier that you're talking at, right? That if I'm talking to a web admin or if I'm talking to a security analyst, or if I'm talking to CISO, or if I'm talking to a director, midlevel manager whose [00:11:00] responsibilities are such.

And if you zero in on that, then you can empathize on, okay, what do they care about? And in the context of the product that you are responsible to develop, how do you impact that work? And, and that becomes a top track and that, again, are very similar, right? So you can either go top down or you can horizontally across industries. Either works.

Kayla: And I think with that, right? Right. It's like, listen, again, listening to the customer, right? Because you wouldn't have figured out what they wanted had you not gone out and talked to them. And I think that's like a skill set that we talk about. And this is kind of getting into like culture and mindset around hiring and growing teams.

But if you don't, like I, when I talk to a lot of product leaders, one of the main things that they talk about a skill set, right? And listening to your customers and being able to go out and, rather than sitting in a room and hoping that you know what your customers want, like if you didn't go out and talk to that customer, you would've never understood what they wanted.

And maybe that changed the trajectory of what you built, right? Or how you built it.

Urvish: One of [00:12:00] my mentors, my previous company, actually handed me a book and I, and I give, I make this a Christmas gift for my team every year. Which are not the same book though, but that one. The Principles of Leadership by Abraham Lincoln.

Right, and, and one of the chapters he talks about in a war, you cannot run the troops by sitting at the back. You have to be in the front lines. You have to understand, you have to be in the field to know what's going on. So any, and, and I've observed this straight in, a lot of successful product dealers, right, that they, however, even if they're operating at a 50,000 foot view, right, strategically trying to make decisions, they still have a strong pulse on what a 2000 foot view looks like, right?

They have a strong understanding of their customer. They have a strong understanding of the problems that the customers have. So if you don't get in the field, if you don't talk to customers, if you don't listen to the problems, you will not understand what you're building and why you're building. So I think you hit on a very important point that you and I spoke about this earlier, right?

That the, the way to look at individual is, you know, there are three attributes, right? When I'm hiring for my team, the [00:13:00] three attributes that I look for. One is the drive, right? The, the inherent drive that is this person driven, motivated? And typically, cause, again, keep in mind that I've been building teams that were in hyper growth stage companies, right?

So I, I need that, and that's my number one. That's the fuel that fuels the, the, the team, right? That, okay, is this person driven and whatnot. Second aspect is the IQ, right? The category that I define it as, just the IQ, like how smart the person is, how much do they understand about their subject, how well do they understand their subject?

And the third most important, especially in product management, I believe is EQ, right, which is essentially understanding the question behind the question, right? Do you, do you question why? Like, you know, why is this being done? Like, you know, a lot of times when I was hiring sales engineers, I used to do this fun exercise with them.

I would be like, Hey, what phone do you use? And they'd be like hey, I use an iPhone. I said, I use an Android. You let's role play five minutes. Convince me to switch to an iPhone. And eight out of 10 candidates would go straight up into "Apple's, the most innovative company in the world." This is what they do. This is why this is the biggest market share that they have.[00:14:00]

I'm like, okay, I'm listening to them. This is great. That was their approach. And then there were these two guys who would say, what do you love about Android? Tell me a little bit more about Android. And he spent all those 10 minutes, he spent seven minutes listening to me about what do I care about from the Android. And in the last three minutes, he needed just three minutes to sell me the features that I iPhone did better that I cared about as a customer, right? That's all they needed. They did not have to tell me why is it an innovative company or what the latest and greatest feature of iPhone is .What I care about, and, and those are the skills like, you know, from an EQ standpoint, the listening skills is what I, what I value the most, and that's been pretty valuable in terms of, you know, when you're thinking about hiring individuals and when you're interacting with your customers, it's, it's an important skill.

Kayla: And so with that, right, the EQ and the IQ, what is like the relationship you see? Do you see people with a lower, like IQ, higher EQ, higher EQ, lower IQ? And how do you help support those people who need to be strengthened in those areas?

Urvish: And that is a baseline for all, right? So when we, when we [00:15:00] integrated, there's a baseline that, tribe has to be. And, and it was a very subjective scale. Can I kinda develop this on my team? And my leader started using these, its very subjective scale, like on a scale of 1 to 10, that this guys an eight. You gotta be at least a seven or eight to even be considered. Once you know the, and we can get into how we evaluate that. But apart from that, the IQ EQ does a baseline.

I've hired folks with like, you know, let's say we ran them on nine out of 10 on IQ, but five out of 10 on EQ, for example. There's this one guy that comes to. And we knew that while we were interviewing him, that there we, I needed that skillset set on my team. I needed that IQ on my team, right? So when we're the team, again, sum of parts are greater than the whole. Something that I strongly believe in, for lack of a better word. I strongly believe in it, right?

That as far as teams go, and I needed that skill, I needed that IQ on my team. But I knew that for the role that I'm bringing him in as an engagement manager, his EQ was relatively low. Right? He was very direct in terms of, you [00:16:00] know, you had to, a lot of the burden was on the other person to specifically ask him the question for the answer that he is looking for.

This guy wouldn't be able to uncover opinion. So we did a fun exercise with him as we were, as we, we decided to hire him. We decided that okay, in his onboarding, he's gonna need some EQ development. Right? And, and the fun exercise we did was, you know, every time we would do these role play whiteboards in terms of, you know, onboarding him and getting him familiar with the technologies and a pitch and what not, he would struggle with, like, you know, the questions that come out in the room, right where they're trying to ask.

And a lot of times when you're in a customer facing role, you have to understand the why behind the why behind the why. Where's this guy coming from? Or why? What is it actually trying to solve? He's asking for this feature, but he doesn't really need that feature. He needs a problem solved and you need to focus on that.

And this, this guy was struggling to do that. So the fun exercise we did with him was we told him that you need to go and learn. Like even he was getting stuck in this technology thing that we we're talking about. It's like, okay, let's just change the subject on you. You're gonna go next week, you're gonna come and do [00:17:00] a whiteboard on how to make a perfect Beef Wellington.

Right, you are at a restaurant. You've gotta come talk to your customer, understand their needs of Beef Wellington, and even you go, come back and present us the recipe of Beef Wellington. He went, studied everything, he did that. When we moved away from technology, like now, he had nowhere to hide because he was good at technology. So any question he asked, he go for the strengths of technology and he would answer that.

The answer wasn't wrong, but it wasn't good enough is what I was trying to get at. So now when we change the subject, when we started talking about Beef Wellington. It, it dawned on him what he was missing because he was so used to going to his strengths. Right? And, oh yeah, I never thought about that. Then we started interacting.

I said, take the pressure off your mind. Let it be a conversation. You, if you, if you were at a restaurant, and if you're talking to a customer and a customer wants a Beef Wellington a second way, how would you engage that? First, you need to know how Beef Wellington is made. Great. Now you know the technical knowledge. Now you need to know how, what the customer's expectations are, right?

Like, do they want, do they want this? Do they want, do they want it to [00:18:00] be done this way, that way? You need to understand that. And when the customer makes unreasonable demands, you know how the Beef Wellington is done, and you have to in a gracious way and coach them to the point that it, it won't taste the way you're expecting it to by doing A, B, and C.

So there is that EQ element of it. And, trust me, he ended up in two years, he ended up bringing the most impact. No, the best engagement and manager of the year for, for 2017. So that was the fun experiment that we did in terms of developing EQ.

Kayla: So I think that goes to the piece of like growing teams. And I know you grew your team at Akamai and you said you were at like 500 to 8.5K people, so obviously your teams grew.

And so I think you just talked about one piece of like kind of coaching and allowing people to learn through their own experience, but supporting them and giving them a framework. So like what other things do you do to support your teams as you're growing and as you've scaled?

Urvish: As I said earlier, the sum of parts is greater than the whole. And I [00:19:00] kind of bumped into that because, at one point I was hiring pretty much identical people, right? Identical skill sets. Identical. And, and I was just adding those just to realize, and, and they were, and that was just fine. That strategy worked fine for that team because there was a lot of volume of work that where you needed that identical skillset, right? But as you grow the teams, you start realizing that you, you can do much more with it if you had complimenting skills, right? And under the pre types.

Collaborative culture, right? That if you have a team where everybody feels safe, where everybody feels part of a mission that is greater than themselves, right? The moment the team feels that, the moment the team sees that is when they step in and, and, and when you drive that cohesive culture within the team, what a team can accomplish is far more exponential than hiring the same kind of people at the same time.

So that was the lesson that I learned at one point. The other piece was now as the leader on the team, There were three things that I always like. You know, I, one is the engagement element, right, that I always [00:20:00] do. For example, I'll do one on ones with my team on a recurring basis. Depending on the level, depending on the play, it would be either weekly or biweekly or once a month or whatever, depending on the level and whatnot.

But people always have the ability to reach out to me, have the ability to reach out, open door policy, you know, set up one on ones and whatnot. There are three things that attract each and every individual, right? As a leader, I can contribute only in one of these three ways, and you decide how you want it, right? One, if I, if you don't know something that I can teach you, I will teach you.

Right? So that's number one. Number two, I will. My job is to remove. If you don't need me to teach you anything, great. You know what you need to do. That's fantastic. Now, next thing I can contribute is remove roadblocks from your way of what you're trying to do, right? So whether it is, you know, somebody on my team trying to get access to something that is not figuring that out, or whether somebody on my team is trying to drive an initiative that it is, it needs alignment, like with corporate objectives, then getting that buy in etc. That we believe [00:21:00] adds value.

So one is, as I said, I'll teach you. If I don't, then I remove roaddblocks, and third, the most important ones, if you have those first two sorted, I'll stay out your way. I always hire people that are smarter than me because I know. The fact that I know what my strengths are and I know what my weaknesses are, and, and I know the culture that I establish on my team and, and I hire diverse set, set of folks, not only in terms of gender, race, et cetera, but even in terms of skills, right?

Even in terms of mental maps, even in terms of where they are in their personal lives, right? Because again, a 20 year old has a very different requirements than a 40 year old or a 50 year old, or 60 year old. Again, I'm talking about age, but stage of life is what I'm trying to get at. So those are pieces that come together really well.

And then if you, that was one aspect of how we build a team. And the second is culture. On the culture aspect. Lot of folks when they were in the hyper growth stage, right? And early in their career, four, five years in career experience, etc are looking for that growth, right? They're looking for [00:22:00] the next level, or they're looking for, they're going for a direction to accomplish and in order to do so.

When we were building these teams out, we quickly realized that we're hitting this career ladder issue, right? That, okay, how, how, how do we source more talent in order to feed? So we kinda came up with a system of system. From this role you can move into this role. Which is a career progression. And business is growing at the same time. There was need for that, but in order to the, what it translated to, as far as the culture goes, was typically once you take the role on, it typically takes you about six to eight months to fully understand the role, right to actually absorb, get your arms around the road. You have a copilot in your team that will support you as a mentor, will support you through the first three, three or four months. After that, you fly solo, you make mistakes. And then after that, about eight, nine months is when you truly start to fly solo.

You're confident about your role. You know what you're doing, you have a strong handle on how you're executing. Your role is all [00:23:00] about contribution, right? So you, you're doing your role well, great. Your role is all about how you contributing back to the community, right? So how are you either pick an area that you wanna go specialize in and come back to the entire team and, you know elevate the teams level in that.

Or if there is an initiative that you wanna run that benefits the team, that become part of our culture fabric. Right? That, how are you contributing back to the team. And the third year is typically where like you, you've taken on additional responsibilities and you've automatically changed your role, right?

So if you were an engagement manager, you automatically became a senior engagement manager. Without anybody even saying that. How come you're not a senior already? Right? Because you actively and mindfully work towards acquiring the skills, right? To move to that ladder. Or if you wanna like, you know, whatever direction you wanted to go.

And I keep telling my team that you wanna be part of the team? Great. If you wanna be part of another team, I'll support you to go into that. Like, you know, whatever your career aspirations are. My goal is to be the shepherd and kinda guide and open up, as I said earlier, moves right? Can I figure out an initiative where this guy wants to do a little bit of marketing and wants to lean into marketing from services, wants to [00:24:00] go to marketing?

Can I find initiative where there's an overlap? Where set network in there, right? As a leader, my job is to make sure that I take care of their careers and that's the reason why people want to follow you, right? Because they know that A, you have their back, B, you have that interest at mind, irrespective of, you know, your own self-interest of you know, how your team's gonna operate.

So once you build that system, I think it becomes very easy to get more juice out of people willingly like that. They want do it, not that you're forcing them to do it, but that they want to contribute to that mission. And, and there's a little bit of element of inspiration there. They gotta look up to something that they, they feel that they're connected to a purpose.

Sorry I went on too long for, in all directions, but I forgot the original question.

Kayla: No, I think that was great. I think like about leading teams and supporting people, and I think at the end of the day also it comes down to trust, right? Trusting that you have as a leader have their best interest in mind and that you're also hiring for like their skill set, right? Of what they can bring to the team. And so I think that piece that you keep [00:25:00] bringing up, like the sum of the parts, right? And because you bring in all these different people that have strengths, you are really allowing people to also learn from others. Because someone may have a weakness in one area and it allows 'em to see someone who's smarter than them.

Or maybe you're, I'm sure you're learning from your team all day because you're hiring people who are smarter than you.

Urvish: So one of my, one of my product owners that I hire, he. Our school. Three poor internships. Extremely smart, right? First job at, at an article. Extremely smart. A little brash, right? In terms of challenging stuff and what, and he's like, I know it all and what not. And I actually admire that dude because I'm not like that.

And I'm like – where did this guy get the balls to like really challenge stuff. Like I wish, I wish I had that, you know, I had that funny, so sometimes he inspired me, but I'm like this, there's nothing wrong with challenging. Like, like, okay, he doesn't know and he's so confident in himself that he's like, yeah, ok, I dunno. And I learned no problem, right?

But just the sheer, like [00:26:00] I don't come outta the gates, like that and I'm like, dude where did you get the balls for that, a freaking talent. And this is, and it's a gracious, you know, once he gets, gets a ok, understood, you go back to the drawing board and do what needs to be done. But within the context of what he knows extremely high on confidence and I, and I admire that. So, yeah, absolutely. You're always learning from your teams.

No doubt about it.

Kayla: So with that, I know confidence is some something that a leader needs. What is like one piece of advice that you would give to an aspiring product leader?

Urvish: That's a great question. When I think of leadership and product management, one thing that I keep running into all the time, and I've learned this over the years,

is to our lives evolve around frameworks, right? Our lives revolve around how we classify. Because you're so central in the organization, you have to have a system in place where you can organize yourself, right? And what I've come to realize is the way I look at life and even my professional life for that matter, in three buckets, right?

[00:27:00] So the first bucket is the bucket of things that I know, right? I know these things. I know this very well. Either through experience or I've learned the skill, or I've learned or I've read about it or whatever. There are things that I know. I'm very mindful of things that I know. Then there's a second bucket, which is things I know that I don't know. Right?

So this is a bucket where, hey, if tomorrow you come and ask me there, what is the 8, 8 4 3 form for your tax purposes? And I'm like, I know that is a four, but I don't know what it is about. I gotta go figure it out right? So there is this second category of things that I know that I don't know. And the third category that's dawned on me like over the last five, six years is the things that you don't know that you don't know.

Right? A lot of times that's where you realize that, oh, this could have been possible this way too. I didn't even know that this actually matters. Right? From there, the moment you have that realization from that bucket is where it goes automatically to number two, which is okay. Now I know that you know the board of directors actually [00:28:00] care about the corporate social responsibility, which I had no, I thought about was that they care about is financials and like is a company on track and what are we gonna tell Wall Street etc. So now you know about certain elements and you realize, ok, so what is it that they really care about when it comes to corporate social responsibility ? Let me go find out, now it's in my second bucket and the day I find out, it automatically goes in that first bucket. Now I know that, I know that this is what it is. So life is all about going from bucket number three to bucket number two, to bucket number two, to bucket number one, right? As you explore whether it's in your professional life, in your personal life, you're learning about yourself.

For product managers, it's extremely important to understand your markets, right? There are things that you don't know that you don't know, right? And that's where like analysts come into play. That's where mentors come into play. That's where people with experience come into play, right? Who actually guide you and say that, okay, you know what, in this space, thinking about this, but you don't even know that there are underlying forces around these that you haven't even thought about that you're gonna run into, right?

And the moment you had that realization. Now in the second, so first part, the third bucket. Get a good mentor. Get a good mentor, get a good [00:29:00] network, get a good board of directors for yourself or for your company for that matter, right? That those are your guys. Those mentors are gonna tell you things that you don't know that you don't know.

In the second bucket, get good resources, right? Be part of think tanks, be part of know-how resources like, you know whether it's books, whatever your learning style is, right? Go take classes, go learn about a subject, go read things up. However you absorb information, focus on that. Bucket number one is things like –  actually contribute back, contribute back to the community.

There are people, for the first bucket. Your, the stuff that you know in the first bucket is actually stuff for somebody in their third bucket. You can be a mentor. You can be a mentor to somebody and actually contribute back to the community and tell them that, okay, you know what? I know how to do customer segmentation really well.

There is some product managers struggling doing that create, you know, you don't even know that there's a concept of a customer segmentation. Let me go give back to them. So that's the way I look at the three buckets of my professional and personal life. That's the way I kinda operate with that. I, I hope that kinda comes through.

Kayla: And with that right, it's [00:30:00] using bucket one and that by setting that up and being a mentor and helping other people, that sets you up for leadership because you're stepping up to the plate without someone asking you to.

Urvish: Exactly.

Kayla: So last question. Where can people find you?

Urvish: They can find me on LinkedIn. It's linkedin.com. I mean, just look, my, my name's fairly unique, I'm probably the only Urvish Khandwalla that exists, so you can find me up on LinkedIn for sure. And other than that, I'm also on Instagram and Twitter with @teleurvish as my handle.

Kayla: Perfect. Cool. Thank you for coming on today.

Urvish: Awesome, Kayla, this was a lot of fun. Thank you so much for having me.

Kayla: Thanks again to Urvish for joining us on today's episode of Product Chats. If you want more product management resources, head to canny.io/blog and we will see you next week.