It’s Been a Minute!

When I meet someone new, now and then they’ve Googled me and say something like “I read your blog and I kind of liked it!”. This flatters me, impresses me with the preparation level, and makes me feel guilty that I haven’t updated this blog in nearly FOUR YEARS.

Why has it been so long? The past few years have been a period of rapid growth for both Peloton the company and Betina the person. A few highlights:

People

I hired my first PM in 2018. I’ve cobbled together my own management style by observing my managers past and present, reading books like Radical Candor and The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou and receiving constructive feedback about my many mistakes.

In the fall of 2019, I was promoted to VP of Product Management, responsible for the Product Management team across Peloton’s Bike, Tread, new products, and Digital Apps. I also oversee our Product Analytics and Product Documentation teams, bringing the total team size to nearly 50 folks.

I’ve had my hands full trying to provide coaching & career visibility, roadmap and strategic guidance, and an earned reputation for the Product Management Team at Peloton.

Product

I spent a couple of years shepherding the Peloton Tread+ from concept to in-market product as the software Product Owner. This was a crash course in building software for new hardware devices and how New Product Development looks across hardware, software, and content. I spoke at TrueU about this and there’s even a video!

I’ve also had the joy of working with the team as they tackled a variety of product challenges with passion and grace. The list of in-market products and features we’ve worked on includes Bike+, Tread, Peloton Strength and Yoga, Sessions, Target Metrics, and many more. We’ve also expanded internationally and to multiple Digital Platforms.

Process

Our products have become more complex, our ambitions bigger, and our team larger. To support this growth, I’ve collaborated with my partners in Product Management, Software Engineering, Design, Hardware, and more to improve the processes that help our team do great work. A few of these include:

  • Planning: Creating a planning process on a quarterly cadence where leadership can share goals and priorities, the teams own prioritization and planning and elevate risks early on, and the larger organization gets visibility into what’s coming down the pipe.
  • Software Organization: We have regularly evolved our organization as the team grew, from a more functional model to a more goals-oriented model. Our work is not done but we aspire to give teams on the ground lots of autonomy to find and build solutions while having enough visibility to drive cross-product consistency.
  • Hardware Product Lifecycle Management: To match our growing hardware team as they continue to hone the product development process, we have built lightweight but thoughtful processes to kick off a new program, to write and review a PRD, to build buyin across the organization, and more.

I enjoy leading process improvements by bringing product management skills to the table. These include understanding the problem from the stakeholder perspective, developing a solution with widespread buy-in, piloting the solution to learn early, and then iterating on the process with its goals in mind.

Personal

Last but not least, I had a baby during a global pandemic! His name is Adam Zimmermann May and he was born on July 29, 2020. He’s a healthy, smiley, curious baby and I love him ridiculously.

But somehow there is now never time to do anything? I appreciate the parents out there who manage to have “side hustles” — cooing at my baby, taking way too many pictures, and keeping him clean and fed is my primary side hustle.

ImPending

Despite the challenges of the last year, I am starting to get my head above water and find some occasional free time. In fact, I’ve even started kicking around a few topics I’d like to write about, even if it’s just a few bullet points. So I’m going to try to resume writing on a monthly basis and sharing top-of-mind product-related musings. I look forward to some good discussions!

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