104: Product Weekend: Building confidence, shifting from project to product-led and doing product for good w/ Clara Rivero Machado

In this episode, João was speaking to Clara Rivero Machado, the Head of Product at Via Verde and one of the speakers of the first Product Weekend event, held in May. There she talked about the importance of customer-centricity, the importance of having a design perspective as a Product Manager and how she helped turn a project-based company to a product-led organization.

Clara is not only a great product leader but also a mother, a runner and a fun and fascinating human being. This was a long and intense conversation, where we talked about her career, the challenges faced as a PM and Head of Product, specific strategies she applies to her life and her work, and also about innovation.

Time notes:

[0:10] Introduction of the guest.

[1:03] Early career until the first experience as a PM.

[4:40] The first big challenge of becoming a manager.

[7:00] How did Clara become a leader and earned trust.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to manage people. I like people. I was excited to think that they can grow with me, that I can grow.

[8:50] Future career goals.

What I really like is that the people that use my product feel happy. Feel easiness in their day-to-day life.

Where I want to be at some point is to be part of a solution that actually answers any of the vast needs of underdeveloped countries. I want to make a difference somehow in creating evenness in our world.

[10:30] The role of confidence in Clara’s life and strategies to build confidence and manage anxiety

I meditate. I learned how to meditate. It really makes difference.

[14:00] The morning routine.

[16:04] Setting personal goals and applying product management to life

I need to stop. I need to understand what are my goals, and where do I want to be.

If you don’t stop to do your own roadmap — what’s the meaning of it all?

[18:00] Retreats with friends and their benefits.

That’s the moment where I stop and think about all these verticals in my life, put clear objectives and put the post-its on the wall to see them every day.

[19:00] The many different hats of a PM.

[21:15] What is Via Verde

[24:10] Joining Via Verde.

[26:14] The switch from a project-based company to a product-based organization.

I spent the first three months listening to people — how is everything working now.

Do what you think is my job so I can do what I think is my boss’s job.

[31:54] How much user research is “enough”.

One of the main challenges is to take some time and go and do user research.

[34:10] The achievement as a product manager Clara is the proudest of.

[35:30] Dealing with a tight release deadline.

[36:15] Performing user research in record time.

[39:19] “PM is the CEO of the product” is a big myth.

As product managers, we have to know that we will wear many different hats.

[41:22] Having a mentor and being a mentor.

[42:20] Clara’s superpowers — Curiosity, the power of “why” and ownership.

[45:18] Advice for the younger self and the changes after becoming a mother.

[47:27] Inspiring leaders.

I know him since always. He was the person who gave me confidence and made me feel special.

[50:37] Innovation and the future of the world.

[53:57] Recommendations.

📚 3 favourite books:

📕Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

📕Haruki Murakami books

📕The machine of making Spaniards by Valter Hugo Mãe

🏙 3 favourite cities

🇨🇳 Hong Kong

🇦🇷 Buenos Aires

🇮🇹 Milan

🎙 3 favourite podcasts

⚡️Design better by InVisionApp

🧘🏼‍️ Good inside by Dr Becky Kennedy

🧠 Make Space for Growth by Sara Vicente Baretto

PRODUCTION

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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