The Product Manager 'On that Job' with Vindhya C


Let’s be honest. The title is every bit deceiving. Yet, there’s truth in it.

It is true because this conversation with Vindhya captures so much of what building a product for India and being a Product Manager is about. It is deceptive because hidden within it are so many elements that are relevant even if you’re not a product manager.

For example, the transcript below is from a part of the episode that touched upon user privacy. It’s got 1) an interesting book recommendation, 2) some masala as to what could have been a mega scandal between Uber and Apple, and 3) a prefix to a more detailed guide on building great onboarding experiences for customers.

JPK: I’m reading a book called Future Crimes by Marc Goodman, who has worked with the FBI and the Interpol and he talks about how crimes will look like in the future. I'm fairly aware of privacy, but you know, this just scares you a lot. You know, interestingly, I think a lot of things that Product Managers like yourself complain about are getting permissions and things like that. I think Apple does it in the interest of the consumer. I don't have to worry about malware and, you know, some random dude going and launching some crazy app on the Appstore.

Ravish: Yeah Vindhya, how do we better integrate privacy in products?

Vindhya: A lot of people, like JPK said, on Android do not care about privacy and you know, they're (PMs?) always trying to find a way through it. Especially if you are a B2C app - you will take any data that comes your way. Apple does not let you do that.

In fact, I remember that whole Uber story, where they were trying to do a lot of things. (Context: This NYT piece showing how Uber was fingerprinting iPhones secretly, a violation of Apple’s privacy policy.) Apple's really good with the team that they have in place, to go through your code and understand what kind of permissions you're asking.

But I think fundamentally also we need to think about how we're sending notifications and when & where you’re sending them. Unfortunately, I don't think a lot of apps have it in their ethos to be honest. So let's start from there- really being honest.

Companies that are starting up, they’ll be like let’s just get all the contacts and all the information- “We have 50 million contacts” - I’m like what are you even going to do with that?" Consciously asking yourself (why you need this data) is very very important.

I can’t think of a better way to start a Monday, and Season 2 of the podcast, than with Vindhya on the show. Hope you enjoy this one. Cheers!

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