Ilya Trepachko about the “Product Manager” course from ProductStar

Ilya Trepachko worked as a business analyst and during his work was constantly faced with the responsibilities of a product manager. In order to learn how to properly manage a product and understand whether this niche is suitable for him, he decided to take the “Product Manager” course.

– With what background did you come to the course “How to be a product”? What was your job at the start?

– I worked as a business analyst in a product company at Awario… The main marketing girl and I performed the tasks of the product owner and were also the product. We made the product itself from scratch.

The active growth point was AppSumo, but I got quite a twofold experience on it. On the one hand, we have increased the number of users and made money. But on the other hand, these users then expected free features from us, posted correspondence with our support, where we promised them a lot of goodies. They scared us that they would blow us to smithereens on the Internet if we didn’t keep our promises. So the audience was not the most friendly there. If you promise something, immediately think ahead of such situations.

Over the past year, we managed to bring the product to payback, and I left the company in March 2020.

– What were your expectations from the course?

– First of all, I wanted to systematize knowledge. To understand how much my experience resonates with product management, and whether I want to go further in this direction. And, of course, learn new approaches to product management, and, in particular, how to generate features.

– What product did you work on as your graduation project? Was this helpful to you?

– To be honest, I worked on two products. Initially, it was my pet-project – a mobile application for learning English, but in the second half of the course I focused on Awario, because went interesting topics specifically for him, for example, entering various local markets. And then we only had localization in English.

The work on the thesis project and homework in general, in my opinion, were useful to try many points in practice.

– What was especially useful for you during the course?

– Hierarchy of metrics. Then I did about 100 metrics on Awario – very exciting. I chose a group of metrics for improvement and distributed them over a quarter, but I can say that it is not yet clear whether metrics are suitable for generating large features (killer features). By the way, on a new product in a new company, I also started with metrics. here they were almost completely absent.

I also liked the topics about feature prioritization, AB testing, different markets, restarting, and indeed a lot of all sorts of goodies. Plus, the opportunity to listen to the experience of other products is expensive. And also, by the way, I really liked the lesson about working with a designer. I confess, I often sinned before by drawing layouts in Figma… But in the new company I don’t do this at all – I completely trust the designer.

– Tell us, who do you work now?

– In April I got a job as a product in Evolution Gaming… It is a grocery company that makes an online casino platform. This is probably the coolest live casino online company in the world. They have a lot of studios with tables, dealers, video streams from all this. This is really impressive. There are many products and products here. I am working with a Lobby product. This is a platform where the user selects games (it’s like Netflix in video streaming).

– What difficulties and interesting nuances did you encounter during interviews?

– I did a test and passed two interviews in English to get into Evolution Gaming… By the way, some aspects of the course helped me for the test (topic about AB tests) and even at the interview itself (topic about metrics and Awario). The biggest difficulties during the interview were probably related to the language. before that, I didn’t really need spoken English in my work: I was an analyst in a Belarusian food company.

– What advice can you give to novice products and current course students?

– I advise you to devote time to all the topics on the course and do all your homework. it is essentially the same as creating a product while studying. And if you’re not interested / lazy, then it’s weird to want to be a product. In general, do not be afraid of anything and go forward to the intended goal, and remember that the product is the last one on the product!

Do you want to become a product manager like Ilya?

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