CouponDunia was my 1st job in product management. I maintained a shamelist doc there. I am sharing the notes from that doc with minor edits.

  • Forgot to renew the SMS pack which we used to send OTP to users. Got bombarded with user complaints on PlayStore one night about them not being able to sign up. As a PM I was the owner of the product. Even though technically it was not my job to renew the pack, I should have still tracked SMS consumption and set a reminder email to top up. I became a big believer in extreme ownership post that experience.
  • As someone who was a 6 pointer in college, but got a PM job 1 year into this career path through sheer hustle, I became way too proud of myself. I should have kept my heads down and figured out how to take CouponDunia to the next level. I was the PM for CashBoss: a separate BU, CouponDunia Desktop App, and also the Growth team incharge of growing all CouponDunia products. One year into the job I got bored and started looking out for other opportunities where I could experience exponential growth instead of growing at CouponDunia. Who knows, maybe we could have become the Honey of India.
  • I was running a profitable BU at CouponDunia called CashBoss. I got too smug at having grown it to 25% of total CouponDunia revenue within a year of launch and with a team of less than <10 people. I should have pushed our team even more instead of getting complacent. We had a CAC of 9 INR for Facebook installs. Industry-standard was somewhere between 50-100 INR. I was happy at achieving that. 3 years later a friend told me he was acquiring users for 2 INR at his startup. I learned much later that there is no limit to where you can reach if you push yourself.
  • I should have been far more data-driven. I only looked at high-level metrics and never acted like a scientist trying to unearth core insights that could take us to the next level. I can make excuses about being new to PM’ing but I should have done so much more based on the responsibilities I had. I was just executing random growth hacks without any big picture in mind.
  • As the person leading Growth I should have pushed our SEO manager to experiment more. Pushed him outside his comfort zone. CouponDunia has one of the best SEO strategies out of all Couponing sites and we used to rank 1st or 2nd consistently for important keywords. But I did not do enough to take us to the next level.
  • I did not take MoMs. I did not do regular stand ups. I was execution heavy and light on strategy.
  • Cashboss could have been super lucrative at scale. Times Internet Limited, our parent company, later acquired a competitor and I learned the numbers they were doing. I was more focused on profitability, slow growth than thinking about what could have been possible. We grew to a million installs inside a year. But the competitor did 3-5X of that. I was not ambitious enough.
  • All my design decisions were instinctive and not backed by any UX principles. I did not do UTs. I did not run any research projects.
  • I did not have a long-term roadmap. I did not have a vision document. I did not have a 20000 feet view.
  • I did not even write detailed product specs. I was just making things up on the fly.

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