CHAPTER 32New Employee Bootcamp

SVPG partner Christian Idiodi has built a powerful reputation over the years for developing very strong product teams. In his past companies, he created his own new employee bootcamp that is an excellent example of coaching ordinary people into extraordinary teams. I asked Christian to describe his program here.

Hiring product people is hard—especially product managers, product designers, and tech leads.

The best product people in the world are working for companies that want to keep them. They're working on meaningful problems and creating innovative solutions.

In general, companies prefer to hire people who have had success at previous product companies. The thinking behind it goes something like, “Well if they've done well at that company, they'll do great here. They launched this great product at (fill in the blank with any reputable, big company), so surely they'll give us those same results.”

The problem is this: product people don't start at a new company with everything they need to succeed, no matter how successful they've been in the past.

New‐hire orientations, while they're great for helping a new employee feel welcomed and integrated into the organization, fall far short in preparing product people on some of the more important aspects of their role. Things like making hard decisions and gaining a high level of trust among peers.

For example, product managers need to be able to contribute a deep knowledge of the customer, the business, ...

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