Missed last week’s ProductTank event, ‘Accelerate your Product Career’?
Well, in case you couldn’t get tickets we asked the event’s speaker, Atlassian Principal Product Manager Dominic Williamson a few short questions, so you can get some tips, insights, and advice that might help with advancing your product career.
1. Can you walk us through your journey into product management and how you reached your current role?
“My first product was an app I made while studying software engineering at university. It was 2012 and early on in the smartphone wars.” The product he made was a fitness app for Windows, and within a year, it racked up 1.5 million downloads, with his success even being featured on the likes of BBC.
“It was also a great lesson in learning to have a monetisation strategy because I released it totally free, so no fancy car from working on this product.”
After graduating, Dominic Williamson started a graduate job at Microsoft in sales before moving to the United States and landing a role as a Growth Product Manager for Microsoft Teams in Seattle.
“Microsoft Teams was a career-defining experience as I was part of the early team joining in 2018. At that time, Teams was less than 2 million monthly active users (MAU), and in a few short years, I was part of the hypergrowth journey to 250 million MAU. After three years in Seattle, I relocated back to Brisbane to take on a lead role for Microsoft Teams Ecosystem.”
Dominic Williamson says, “after seven years with Microsoft, I left to build up a product & engineering team. The combination of skills from working in big tech during hypergrowth and in a start-up has laid the foundation for the skills I use today as a Principal Product Manager with Atlassian.”
2. What has been your biggest challenge?
“My biggest challenge was getting into Product Management. It took me years of intentional career planning to make the transition.”
Dominic Williamson mentions that having a specific career plan is important to excel in the product industry. “Have a timeline of your goals and be genuinely excited about the goal you set for yourself—you’ll need it to sustain the hard times and the no’s along the way. Focus on impact. Ask yourself how you could best use the day ahead to progress your own and your team’s goals,” he says.
3. What’s the most common mistake that new product managers often make?
How can they avoid this?
“Getting caught up looking at the tree in the forest. When meeting a customer, overly focusing on what your feature or product can do and missing the outcome the customer is trying to achieve.
…Listen to the customer to understand their business and needs.”
4. What’s your most favourite product you’ve delivered in your career?
“Working as a Growth Product Manager for Microsoft Teams as it grew from 2 million to 250 million monthly active users.”
“I needed to think at a global scale. Being in the growth team meant your goal was to make your role redundant every 12-16 months. By this, I mean as the product grew, the approach to growth tactics needed to scale with it. You couldn’t rely on what worked yesterday to hit the next MAU goal.”
5. And lastly, how do you recommend people stay up to date in the product management field?
“Stay connected with the community both in terms of local and global. A few starters:”
Community events: ProductTank
Dominic Williamson’s also happy for PMs who are doing interesting things to reach out and have a chat via www.dominic.bio!
Missed out on securing tickets to the ‘Accelerate your Product Career’ event or any others we’ve hosted or sponsored? Follow us on LinkedIn to be one of the first to find out.