Validating Solutions At Scale featuring Felix Watson Jr. - Product Manager @ Microsoft

03.15.2021 - By Lessons In Product Management

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On today's episode, I got to chat with Felix Watson Jr., Product Manager at Microsoft. With Microsoft's products being used by so many companies, I was curious to hear how Felix approached validating solutions at Scale, and he was kind enough to join the pod to discuss. And as an added bonus, Felix shared some killer advice for engineers looking to transition into Product as well as how Product Managers can work more effectively with their engineering counterparts.
Here's what we discussed:

Felix started his career in computer engineering
5 years into his engineering career, Felix discovered Product Management
The use case that sparked Felix's fire for Product and his desire to transition
The path Felix took to make that leap from Engineer to Product
Felix's first role as a PM for Microsoft with the Dynamics 365 product
Now Felix works on the Azure team, supporting the support engineers with internal and customer-facing tools
Felix's advice for transitioning into Product and how you don't necessarily need side projects to prove your abilities
The ultimate example of leading by influence
How important it is for engineers to understand the customer and the use cases (the "why") behind what you're working on
The best insights come from qualitative research, which doesn't scale, but you can use quant data to validate the scale of the qual insight
How Felix systematically leverages customers to ensure they're solving the right problem in the right way
Why Felix didn't focus on industry-specific solutions rather on a horizontal solution to meet the scale and variety of customers Microsoft serves
The risks of trying to validate solutions at scale
What Felix would have done differently in validating qual insights with quant data
How important it is to define success metrics upfront to know whether your effort was a success or failure


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