Solving the challenges unique to #BUIDL'ing products on blockchains / Helping project and product managers find crypto jobs

Blockchain PM Jobs for Jan 11

And crypto needs the focus PM's provide

Hi,

Shapeshift’s the latest crypto project to go through a round of layoffs. This Tweet from Eric Vorhees caught my attention this week -

Erik Voorhees@ErikVoorheesWith a heavy heart, today we laid off 37 people. We've published a blog on this, also discussing some of our missteps and lessons as a company. "Overcoming ShapeShift’s Crypto Winter and the Path Ahead" by @ShapeShift_io https://t.co/1eNT54eyPp #bitcoin

I scanned the post. Eric cites lack of focus as one of Shapeshift’s fundamental missteps.

As a company, we’ve made a thousand mistakes.

The most thematic has been a lack of focus.

I’ve spoken to at least one other well-known crypto project founder about this too. They cited the same cause, when discussing their project's layoffs.

It’s easy to become distracted when working in crypto. Shiny object syndrome is tough to resist in a space where exciting new ideas emerge daily.

I wrote about this back in September, in the context of motivating #BUIDL’er teams.

The new exciting thing is also the most dangerous motivation type. Jumping to the next new exciting usually means jumping out of the difficult finish, before it's finished. Doing this and not returning to the previous difficult finish initiates idea purgatory.

It feels refreshing to see teams realizing this. It’s unfortunate they had to feel some pain and let people go before doing so.

PM’s Add Focus

Effective project and product managers add focus to teams. Adding focus is fundamental to what we do. We help teams -

  • Understand what they should be working on and when

  • Stay focused until the work is completed and milestone achieved

  • Understand what to do next and how the work fits into a larger context

I feel hopeful that as more teams recognize the importance of focus, they’ll also recognize the value adding a PM to the team brings. Ultimately, this will lead to more projects shipping, validating the value we contribute.

This can create a virtuous cycle can for projects, their communities and PM’s alike.

And now, on to this week’s jobs…

Product Manager - Growth at 0x

Product Manager at Coda

Technical Program Director at Tezos Commons Foundation

Product Manager at Request Network Foundation

Senior Product Manager at Origin Protocol

Program Manager at Protocol Labs

Senior Product Manager at OmiseGo in Bangkok

Coinbase Pro Product Manager at Coinbase in San Francisco

Product Manager at Gnosis

Project Manager at Aragon DAC

Product Manager at Bloxroute Labs

Product Manager at Tendermint

Product Manager at Oasis Labs

Catch you next week,

Chris

Blockchain PM Jobs for Jan 4

And the state of blockchain PM as 2019 begins.

Hi

This is the second in the “state of” series. It started last year with this post.

It feels like appreciation for project and product managers at crypto projects increased over the past year. We’re still a not at general acceptance level though.

As teams start focusing on shipping the need for PM’s becomes clearer. As they struggle with shipping the need becomes more urgent. Most projects seem to be somewhere between those two places.

VC-funded projects hire PM’s. They’re also the projects that often have a Silicon Valley pedigree to some extent. I’ve spoken to a couple well respected VC’s in the space about this.

Both recognize PM’s as a critical differentiator between projects that ship and those that don’t. They see PM’s as critical roles in the teams they fund and support.

Self-funded projects (I’m hesitating to use the ICO term here…) seem to be catching-on too. Many still resist any type of structure whatsoever. They see any centralized coordination as unnecessary at best. They believe swarms and self-organization are enough to achieve their goals.

Others are starting to hire PM’s. These projects are typically the more mature ones, from the perspective of lifespan or leadership team maturity.

Projects that haven’t shipped in 9+ months, for example, want and need the help PM’s provide. Projects that have leadership teams with a win under their belt in previous lives recognize the need too.

(Tip: Take a look at projects that fit one or both criteria and offer to help them 😉 )

That said, PM’s at crypto projects have been laid off this year too. PM’s get grouped into the non-essential personnel category. This is a broad category, incorporating almost everyone except core developers.

So I’d say the general outlook for crypto PM’s is hopeful. We still have a lot to prove though. The good news is the opportunities for us to prove them seem to be on the rise.

How do you feel about the crypto PM outlook for 2019?

Let’s discuss in the comments here.

And now, on to this week’s jobs…

Product Manager at Coda

Technical Program Director at Tezos Commons Foundation

Product Manager at Request Network Foundation

Product Lead at dy/dx

Senior Product Manager at Origin Protocol

Program Manager at Protocol Labs

Senior Product Manager at OmiseGo in Bangkok

Coinbase Pro Product Manager at Coinbase in San Francisco

Product Manager at Gnosis

Project Manager at Aragon DAC

Product Manager at Bloxroute Labs

Product Manager at Tendermint

Product Manager at Oasis Labs

Catch you next week,

Chris

Blockchain PM Jobs for Dec 21

And what is "Shadow PM"?

Hi,

I’ve been thinking about a concept I’ve come to call Shadow PM. It’s project and/or product management in the shadows.

What do I mean by this? Why should PM work hide in the shadows?

Well, it’s not quite like that. I think of it as PM work following a project like a shadow.

This means a project and/or product manager gets the PM work done. It gets done with minimal team involvement. I see it as building the PM structure under and around a team. The team keeps doing what they’re doing. The foundation and structure takes shape in parallel.

This idea occurred to me because it’s similar to how I operate as a PM. Over time, I’ve learned teams tend to appreciate this approach. It keeps PM work out of the way.

Yet it does intersect with the team’s activity. The PM work wouldn’t be effective otherwise. The magic comes from defining those intersection points.

This creates a PM structure that’s effective and non-intrusive. It may even become well-accepted by the teams participating in the process. The latter seems to be a particular hurdle to overcome in the crypto space.

My thinking on this is evolving. Yet experience tells me this idea might have some legs. Does it?

Let’s discuss in the comments here.

And now, on to this week’s jobs…

Technical Program Director at Tezos Commons Foundation

Product Manager at Request Network Foundation

Product Lead at dy/dx

Senior Product Manager at Origin Protocol

Product Manager at Dharma Labs

Program Manager at Protocol Labs

Senior Project Manager at OmiseGo in Bangkok

Coinbase Pro Product Manager at Coinbase in San Francisco

Cryptokitties is hiring 3 Project and Product Managers (scroll to end of page)

Product Manager at Gnosis

Project Manager at Aragon DAC

Project Manager at Bloxroute Labs

Product Manager at Tendermint

Product Manager at Oasis Labs

Catch you in a couple weeks. Look for the next issue around January 3rd or 4th.

Until then, best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy holiday season 🎄 and 2019 🎉

Chris

@cjremus / chainflow.io

Blockchain PM Jobs for Dec 14

And PM's at crypto projects aren't non-essential personnel.

Hi,

I’m feeling drained at the end of the week. At the same time, it felt important to send this issue anyway.

Layoffs have made it a tough couple weeks in crypto. Many PMs seem to have been let go, sometimes labeled as non-essential personnel. I feel that’s a short-sighted characterization. It’s one I continue to advocate against.

Still, that doesn’t help PMs looking for their next job, gig or project. Hopefully this week’s list will provide some inspiration by showing that some projects do value and are hiring PMs.

Drop me a line if you’re looking. I’ll know where to send people who contact me looking to hire. I may need help with some blockchain PM consulting projects in the new year. Let me know if you’d be interested in that too.

Send me any jobs you hear of too. I’ll include them in the next issue.

In other hopeful news, I’ve recently spoken to partners at two well-respected crypto investment funds. They recognize and appreciate the value PMs bring to teams. I feel this is also a hopeful future indicator.

Keep your head up out there. 💪 I truly feel like this is the beginning, rather than end, for PMs at crypto projects.

Do you?

And now, on to this week’s jobs…

Product Manager at Dharma Labs

Program Manager at Protocol Labs

Senior Project Manager at OmiseGo in Bangkok

Coinbase Pro Product Manager at Coinbase in San Francisco

Cryptokitties is hiring 3 Project and Product Managers (scroll to end of page)

Product Manager at Gnosis

Project Manager at Aragon DAC

Project Manager at Bloxroute Labs

Product Manager at Tendermint

Product Manager at Oasis Labs

Catch you next week,

Chris

@cjremus / chainflow.io

Blockchain PM Jobs for December 4

And what pains do effective PMs ease?

Hi,

PMs know the benefits we bring to teams. Part of our work is communicating these benefits to crypto teams.

Along these lines I’ve been looking at what we as PM’s do, from the outside looking in.

  1. How do developer-heavy crypto teams view us?

  2. What does an effective PM do?

I’ve been thinking about the first question for a while now. I recently started shifting my focus to the second.

Another way to ask the second question is -

Pain and Symptoms

“What pain does an effective PM ease? What are the symptoms?”

Asking ourselves that question, from a team’s perspective, will help project and product management gain traction in the space. Gaining traction will help more teams ship products. It’s only once those product ship that they can contribute to decentralizing our world.

Here are a few initial symptoms that came to my mind -

1 - A team can’t get an idea past releasing a white paper, i.e. they don’t know how to get started or where to start.

2 - A team did start and is active, as verified by them through their Github repo activity. Yet they feel they should be further along a/k/a aren’t moving fast enough.

3 - A team is very close to releasing, yet can’t get the project across the release line.

4 - A team’s community is getting restless and antsy, starting to ask roadmap and timeline questions.

5 - A team has launched, yet very few people are using their product.

Raising Awareness

These symptoms aren’t unique to crypto. I mention them to raise awareness of the symptoms.

This awareness is important, since many #BUIDL’ers may be working on their first project. As a result, they may not recognize the symptoms as they’re experiencing them.

What other symptoms do teams that need a PM experience? Let me know by replying directly to this email.

And now, on to this week’s jobs…

Senior Project Manager at OmiseGo in Bangkok

Coinbase Pro Product Manager at Coinbase in San Francisco

Cryptokitties is hiring 3 Project and Product Managers (scroll to end of page)

Product Manager at Gnosis

Project Manager at Aragon DAC

Project Manager at Bloxroute Labs

Product Manager at Tendermint

Product Manager at Oasis Labs

Catch you soon,

Chris

@cjremus / chainflow.io

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