This week on Product Love, I sat down with Amar Kendale, an incredible product leader in the health care technology field. He was the former chief product officer at Livongo and Teladoc. Like most product leaders, Amar got into the industry by asking the most common PM question: “why?” He was trained as an engineer, but his curiosity drew him to the business side of the problems. It was questions like “Why were they working on this particular problem? Why did they build it this way?” that led him to product management.

On this week’s episode, we talked about his advice for product leaders.

Advice for product leaders in healthcare

Amar shares that the health care technology industry is fairly nascent. Because of that, he recommends that CPOs in this space heavily index on doing efficient primary research with consumers early. They need to investigate user needs, and leverage primary user research when it comes to decoding health care behaviors.

It’s absolutely crucial for product leaders to be close to the customer, and essentially become the champion of customers.

This is an important lesson for healthtech product leaders because they often don’t have the correct tech stack when it comes to consumer data. Having the right tools in place to seek out data would lead to making better product decisions.

Advice for product leaders

Conversely, Amar admits that his advice for product leaders in non-health care industries is the opposite. Instead, he thinks these leaders should pursue first principles thinking.

These leaders need to go back to the basics. Oftentimes, CPOs might come into a new role and industry, and while they might have a great background in building great products, they might mimic the same exact strategy in a very different field. However, that comes with its own set of problems. When a known toolkit is deployed again, they might expect the same results, only to find that it doesn’t work out.

These product leaders have to go back to understanding the intent of consumers. What was their user journey? What were their challenges?

Amar shares a lot of gems about finding product-market fit, and the inner workings of the health care technology industry. Check it out above.