This week on Product Love, I sat down with Carlos González de Villaumbrosia, founder and CEO of Product School. Product School is the first tech business school offering product management certificates and corporate training.

In this week’s episode, we talk about what inspired Carlos to start Product School. What exactly made him realize that product management was going to be a rising function, and how did he see Product School fitting that need?

We discussed what makes Product School different from graduate MBA programs, and how certification can help shape the career of a product manager. Lastly, we chatted about the ways Carlos treats Product School as his own product, and how he keeps iterating and shipping on it, like any other product manager.

If you’ve been wanting to get a certification (which is a good idea, as research shows that PMs with advanced training go further in their product career) or just learn how Product School operates, take a listen above.

Notable moments

0:25 – Carlos provides his background.

1:45 – Carlos talks about how he started Product School as a bootstrapped company.

2:50 – What makes Product School different from on-the-job training or graduate programs? It’s laser-focused on product management.

3:45 – Carlos talks about recruiting product leaders and students to join Product School.

4:50 – He discusses how successful product leaders give back to the community.

6:50 – What does the average Product School student look like? Typically, they have 3-5 years of professional experience.

7:38 – What are the top skills that product people need to break into product management? Carlos dives into the very first: a technical background. This doesn’t mean they need to be great at coding. However, they do need to be able to understand engineering jargon, as well as the tech stack.

8:31 – The second skill is communication. Product managers are in the position to empower their teams and evangelize their product. Communication skills are crucial to doing that.

9:15 – The last is domain expertise. How do you plan to show your value?

11:05 – We talk a bit about having technical skills in order to be a product manager. While it’s not necessary, it doesn’t hurt.

11:40 – Carlos shares his advice for current product managers and how they can advance in their careers.

13:13 – Is it easy for PMs to find mentors?

14:31 – Carlos talks about how many people he mentors now, and how much time he spends to giving back to the product community.

14:52 – What trends does Carlos see happening in product management?

15:45 – Carlos talks about how appreciation for product has grown so much, and that there are so many roles that come from that: design, operations, management, and strategy.

16:46 – What are some key tech trends for product managers?

18:43 – What’s the best “product squad” makeup? What’s the ratio of engineers, product managers, and designers?

20:43 – Carlos discusses success metrics.

21:43 – How much has Product School changed since 2014? Carlos shares that the curriculum and the quality of leaders have improved.

26:50 – Can Product School be aimed towards product leaders? Carlos believes that it could be equivalent to an executive MBA.

28:40 – Carlos talks about treating Product School as a product.

30:10 – How does one recruit instructors for Product School? What are the qualifications?

31:50 – What’s your favorite product?

32: 24 – Three words to describe yourself.

About the Author

Eric Boduch is the Chief Evangelist for Pendo. Previously, he served as the CEO of Brainstorm SMS Technologies LLC (dba SMaSh, Inc.) and was the co-founder and CEO of several other companies. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science from The School of Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is a graduate of its Executive Management Program.