Hello there! 👋 My name is Chris Redrich. I am a product management leader with fifteen years of experience building SaaS and marketplace products. I have led teams of 3 all the way to teams of 120 to build world-class web and mobile products. From the B2B collaboration space to talent marketplaces, to motorsports. Always refining my product leadership skills by pursuing similar roles in all-new market segments.
But now it’s time for all that to stop.
After fifteen years managing the product vision for others, I’m ready to do that for myself. Turning my career upside down and taking everything I have learned to build my own products and company.
Last month I told my boss that I was ready to leave my full-time job and pursue what I knew was next in my career – becoming an entrepreneur.
Leaving full-time employment
This is the path I have always known I would pursue, but I kept telling myself I wasn’t ready. Always finding some skill I thought I needed or a sense of security which I was too afraid to let go of.
After nearly four years with my team and leading through an acquisition, I knew my entrepreneurial spirit was no longer being fulfilled.
I had zero plan going into the Friday afternoon one-on-one meeting with my boss. In many other situations, this might have been the start of the two-week notice clock. I expected to deliver bad news but instead, we spent an hour excitedly talking about this opportunity. The level of graciousness and genuine excitement from my boss was unlike anything I had experienced. That conversation reaffirmed that I’m on the right path.
So what’s next? 🤷♂️
That’s still to be determined. For most of my life, I have pursued certainty. Always thinking 10 steps ahead to mitigate and name the risks ahead. It’s a skill that I believe makes me an effective product manager. But this time, I’m trying my best to see this for the journey instead of pre-defining the destination.
Let’s not be reckless, though. My family needs to eat and I’d rather not use up my family’s savings to pursue this path. So most immediately I will be freelancing as a SaaS and marketplace product manager. I plan to spend about half my time freelancing.
Exploring the intersections
The other half of my time will be spent exploring, ideating, writing, and connecting. I’m calling this “exploring the intersections” because I will be exploring the intersections of what I know, what I enjoy, and what value I can share with others.
I believe the sweet spot for driving motivation, perseverance, and passion is to find the things that only I can bring into the world.
For the next little while, I will be exploring these intersections.
For the better part of the last year, I have been almost entirely heads-down focused on some key objectives in my prior role. I’ve neglected stretching myself and branching into new skills.
I’m setting aside time in my schedule each week to spend time to practice, grow, and learn.
That starts here. I love to write. Writing helps me process and make sense of my ideas and thoughts. So I’m going to use this public medium to process what I’m learning while also sharing what I know.
Some product areas I am exploring
In each post, I will be sharing some topics and market areas I am evaluating. Both to help me process these ideas and in part with hopes that if you read this and these problems or ideas resonate with you, you’ll reach out.
- Product management staffing. I’m noticing this high volume of people who want to become product managers coupled with a high volume of product management jobs available. How might I leverage my experience in product management to help solve this?
- Taming the feedback firehose. One of the most challenging parts of being a solo Product Manager on a growth stage product is that the volume of feedback can be overwhelming. Recency bias runs strong when there are 20+ pieces of feedback coming your way every single day from email, Slack, support tickets, etc. How might I lower that burden for product managers and make sense of the insights and data that come from this feedback?
This blog is my journal where I share the things I know, the things I’m learning, and where I’m just winging it to learn. Please subscribe to follow along.