Pandora: How to become a PM skilled in 'ruthless prioritization' with Ananya Sharan, Senior PM


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As a Senior Product Manager at music and podcast discovery platform Pandora, Ananya always keeps the end-user in mind as she delivers on her passion for building user-centric search experiences, driving value both for target customers and internal leadership teams.

After working as a product management intern, Ananya was sure of her career path. Now, she's helping to create successful, people-driven products at Pandora. Her latest product launch was Pandora Voice — a personalized voice assistant that allows users to simply ask for certain types of music. (Plus, she won a 2020 Webby Award for this!)

While the road to launch Pandora Voice wasn't easy, Ananya makes it look like she almost has it down to a science.

"There was a lot of momentum behind bringing [Pandora Voice] to market, but taking it from slides to an actual user-facing product was a long journey," she says on the podcast.

Ananya started by working backward: what would the press release look like for this product? If people were writing about it, how is it different from similar products? What would incentivize people to want to use this product?

From there, she set up strict go and no-go criteria for each phase of the product launch. Instead of basing everything around arbitrary go-live dates, setting up strict criteria ensures both your own team and senior leadership that you're going to be launching a quality product.

From anticipating use cases to watching real users interact with your product, Ananya has a lot of advice to give to fellow product managers.

Learn more in this episode of People Driven Products, where Ananya breaks down the essential steps to launch a product people truly love, how to become a PM skilled in "ruthless prioritization", and how to best overcome missteps.

10 episodes