• Shikhin Agarwal

Hiring your First VP of Product

Updated: Dec 13, 2019


“A tech startup cofounder or the CEO is typically the first product manager in her company. That is rightly so because PM is the extension of the strategy.”

I learned a ton throughout my career in building products and enterprises. In this post, I share an approach and some insights on hiring product managers and your first VP or head of product. The approach is based on:

  • Stage and nature of the business

  • Product complexity and the ecosystem around it

  • Growth in the company

With scale, the CEO is required to focus on other corporate matters — ensuring consistent vision and culture, hiring the right talent and managing external stakeholders like investors, board members, regulators, etc. The right balance of creativity, judgment, and science in the products shipped, which the startup founder or the CEO owned all along, is required from the VP of product.

This is the time when a VP of Product is most effective.

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