People often ask me why I don’t post the recordings of the private sessions I do around product management or career.* 

My honest answer is that anything worth teaching, beyond general platitudes, comes from earned experiences. And most of these can’t be shared with the general public for obvious reasons. You don’t want to break NDAs. You don’t want to piss off old or current colleagues. 

If I share all the tricks publicly that I use to ship massive projects inside Gojek, that requires coordination amongst dozens of teams, then obviously a few people will feel gamed. And the next time I am having a conversation with them they will be thinking if I am using one of these tricks. I have only shared the ones I feel comfortable sharing publicly.

I remember posting a silly joke about using the prayer emoji on Slack whenever I need something to be done. Within an hour someone posted that tweet in one of our internal slack channels. It was a joke. We all had a good laugh. So I did not care.

But imagine I tell you a story about how I once influenced an important stakeholder to drop a stupid project that made no sense. Say it is part of a recording somewhere. Lets’ say someone posts that on Slack and tags the person. My career in my company would be over. I am obviously not dumb enough to share confidential info. But we share these anecdotes all the time in private settings. Will I allow myself to be recorded while saying them? Fuck No.

If I am talking about my career, I can share details about offers I have got in the past, salary benchmarks, and what I really think about FANG or X startup. Can’t do if I know someone will tag those startups on Twitter. Ask anyone who has attended one of my sessions and they will tell you the stories.

If you are a middle manager running a product management course, do you honestly think you ever share something that is politically incorrect? Will you use real examples? Actual learnings that might help people. No, you will just talk about RICE and other prioritisation methods that no one actually uses in their product career but talk about in their interviews.

I am not saying that all these PM courses are useless. If you are a beginner, and unsure how to prepare for a product role, definitely do them. Product Folks ran a free entry level PM course recently, and it helped a lot of people get into product management.

Now if you talk about sessions for people already working in the industry, I would say most of these are useless. Attend a few and you will know. I have a similar opinion about webinars.

I would say it is better to find a few good mentors who can guide you in your journey.

This post is not a bait for you. Don’t send me requests for mentorship. I will probably not reply to your DM.

Funny thing: I just realised that my most honest private session has not happened yet. It will be conducted when I am out of this game. But even then it won’t be close to the discussions I have with my closest friends, and the brutal honesty with which I can share gyaan with them.

* I do these when I am bored. Or when I need to find some meaning in life beyond my hedonistic existence by giving back to the community. When I want to do one of these sessions, I post about them on Twitter, and the seats fill out within 10 mins of me posting. There is no group for promoting these sessions. So please don’t DM me asking you to add to one.

Edit: Removed a screenshot as it is very apparent that it is from an ex Gojek colleague.