107. André Albuquerque: Tech giants, luck surface area and becoming a PM in a month

In this episode, João was speaking to André Albuquerque, VP of Product at Kitch, founder of the One Month PM and one of the speakers of the first Product Weekend event, held in May.

André has a vast and diverse experience. He worked at Google, created a course and community to help people build better products, helped grow Uniplaces from the ground up and now he’s doing the same at Kitch.

Besides being a VP of Product he is also a professor, a startup advisor, a surfer and a father to an 8-month-old dog.

By the end of the episode, you have a lot of books, travel and podcast recommendations from him. I hope you enjoy the episode and learn as much as I did.

Time notes:

[0:15] Introduction of André

[0:55] André’s high school experience and career path

I was way more focused on the business side rather than specific architecture design styles or fields of the discipline.

[6:25] Landing a job at Google and the main learnings

Learning is all about looking back.

Google created a culture that made everyone hire the best talent possible.

[12:00] Advice for young people in order to become great managers

[15:40] Interviewing back on job interviews and digging deeper

[19:29] Balancing between a hardworking student and a lazy path

Lazy is about designing a strategy that gets you to the outcome.

[21:40] Working at Google and at the NGO and advice on the path

Increase your luck surface area. The way you optimise the probability of the area exposes you to new people and new scenarios.

[24:30] NGO experiences and the doors opened by them

A business school teaches you how to look at different pieces of a puzzle, but they don’t really teach you how to build the puzzle.

[28:30] Working in product at UniPlaces, the main challenges and becoming the Head of Growth

[33:25] Getting started in product management

I was lucky to have a canvas to build stuff and learn, and if it didn’t work out, there was a space to fail. I was very lucky to be able to learn that way.

The product is about abstracting the specific scenario and understanding variables that are impacting that specific situation.

[36:38] What are the main differences between entrepreneurship and product management from the lecturer’s point of view

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to be a product manager.

[38:46] Becoming an advisor for the first startup

All I can do is give you the input, which you can consume and take out the output for your solution and decision.

[41:50] Common sense is the key to product management and passing on the personal experience

[43:10] What is Kitch all about and how this concept was started

Without actually pivoting the product, we pivoted distribution.

[51:55] Tour of duty in Kitch

[57:00] The One Month PM idea development and implementation

If I get to bring product knowledge and process to more people, they get to solve their problems and more problems. […] You can eventually move the world to a better place.

[1:03:30] Opportunities brought by One Month PM and newsletter

[1:06:10] Prioritising the right activities, and hobbies and spending free time

Everyone has time for things they prioritise.

I am obsessed with consuming stuff that will make me a better version of myself.

[01:10:35] 3 favourite books

[01:14:50] 3 favorite podcasts

📚 Favourite books:

📕 Continuous Discovery Habit by Teressa Torres

📕 Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value by Melissa Perri

📕 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

📕 Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
by Nick Bilton

📕 Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

📕 The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

📕 Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making by Tony Fadell

🏙 Favourite cities

Lisbon 🇵🇹

New York 🇺🇸

Iceland 🇮🇸

🎙 Favourite podcasts

🎧 All-in

🎧 Pivot

🎧 Lenny’s Podcast


This podcast was hosted by João Moita from Product Weekend, with sound edited by Miguel Sousa and production help by Productized, André Marquet and Evelina Bogdiun.



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