Thinking of Sarandeep Singh

Sarandeep Singh
Sarandeep Singh

Don’t know why I dreamt of Sarandeep two night ago. That dream is still haunting me. Not because it was scary, diagnosis medicine it is mostly because I thought I had forgotten about his death. I though everyone had. I don’t even remember how long ago he died, viagra tragically, no rx accidentally falling from his friend’s balcony. He is survived by his wife and child.

I interviewed him for a program management position at Adobe. He was working at Sapient. We all liked him and hired him. He reported to me for almost two years, I don’t remember now. He was good. Balanced and practical. Unlike some other Program managers in my team, I never heard complaints about him from peers. If anything, I would say he could have been more aggressive than he was but then again, he was good. Just a solid human being.

When I heard of his death, I was in the US. I could not believe the SMS I got from Neeraj telling me that he was gone. It was a short message. Adobe did a lot to help his family out. This was great to hear. It was also heartening to hear that a lot of people from Adobe went for his funeral. It must have been hard. He was so good and his son only 11.

Life goes on and so do companies. He was replaced by someone. I don’t know who. We all went about our lives as thoughts of him gave way to routine. The dream reminded me that I don’t have closure. Maybe I need to go speak to his wife. But I have nothing to say. I just so want to see that they are ok. Just to reaffirm my faith in family and life.

I also want his death to mean something to me. To make me change my approach to life. What if I fell off a balcony tomorrow? Will my family be ok? How will they remember me? How will they adjust to the new normal? I am also surprised at this sudden surge of sadness as I sit on a plane on the way the US again.

Dreaming of Saran reminded me that I want closure when there is no real impact of him going away on me but I still want to be good. Maybe as good as him. Someday.

Storytelling – A key product management skill

I’ve written before about the importance of storytelling skills for product managers. It’s the one skill that product management teams in India have not focused on much. While we test for analytical skills at academic qualifications, we don’t test for storytelling skills in product management interviews.

As I’m building my team, I’m really looking for the following skills in candidates:

How good are they at:

  1. Storytelling – Can they pitch their idea? Can they weave a cohesive story around their idea?
  2. Writing and speaking skills in English – A great product manager, who is hard to follow when speaking or in her written words, will not be able to lead very well nor motivate
  3. a team.
  4. Love for technology – can the candidates demonstrate a love for technology and a good understanding of SDLC, etc.

Going back to storytelling… here is a good post to help you pitch your ideas. I’m also linking to a couple of sites that have pitch decks from various startups that you can review to see how entrepreneurs pitch their ideas internally or to VCs.

I love Jack Dorsey’s presentation skills. This particular presentation at Stanfords scorner website is really engaging and inspiring. This is how we should aspire to tell stories

http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2635

–Anubhav