Why I Left My Product Jobs

Hello! If you're reading this, you're likely considering me for a position at your company. I recognize that I've had multiple short stays in my product career and this can be seen as a red flag. In the next few minutes I will explain the context behind why I left each of my product jobs and why I'm not a flight risk at your organization.

Product job #1: Fueled

Duration: 1 year, 8 months

Fueled is an agency in NYC that makes mobile apps and websites for both high-profile companies and solo entrepreneurs.

Why I worked here

Breaking into product is hard! This was a great opportunity to learn the ropes of product management and get exposure to many different types of technologies (web, iOS, etc.) and industries.

Why I left

Being a PM at an agency is very different from an in-house position. After almost two years and 10+ projects, I had learned the fundamentals of building an MVP and wanted to gain new experience as part of an in-house team working on products at scale where I could learn about experimentation and making data-informed decisions.

Product job #2: AMC Networks

Duration: 1 year, 2 months

In 2015, AMC Networks incubated two niche subscription video on demand services, Shudder (for horror fans) and Sundance Now (for independent film + documentary fans). I joined their product team in 2018 as they started expanding to more platforms and experimenting in earnest.

Why I worked here

This was a great opportunity to transition to my first in-house product role at what functioned as a startup funded by our parent organization. I worked on a subscription business that had hundreds of thousands of users and learned how to use best-in-class product analytics/experimentation tools like Amplitude and Optimizely. My product peers were very talented and I reported to the head of product who had previously led teams at Amazon.

Why I left

AMC Networks had a significant restructuring about 6 months after I started. For reasons I won't get into here, they started prioritizing short-term profitability above all else. This resulted in the vast majority of the in-house engineering team getting laid off, and a transition to overseas contractors. Over the course of a few months, the head of product and all of my product peers left, leaving me as the lone PM to support our iOS, Android, Web, Roku, FireTV, and Apple TV apps.

Product job #3: NBC News Digital

Duration: 1 year

The NBC News Digital group manages TODAY.com MSNBC.com, and NBCNews.com. Their properties collectively serve hundreds of millions of people.

Why I worked here

My boss at AMC Networks left to lead the product team at NBC News Digital. He knew the situation I was in at AMC, and was hiring product managers. After researching NBC’s previous accomplishments and weighing the opportunity to learn about an important industry at a company with massive resources and scale, I decided to join their team.

Why I left

Before I get into the details, I want to be clear that this is not intended to be a takedown of NBC. I left the team on a positive note (even with my old boss) and openly acknowledge there were many good aspects about working there. That being said, there were two main factors that caused me to leave:

  1. It quickly became apparent to me that NBC News is not what many would consider to be 'product-centric'. The group was born from the broadcast television era, and the way they make decisions, set strategy, and measure success still reflects this. I acknowledge their management methods have been working for them for a long time, however, this experience helped me understand that I’ll be much happier at a more nimble, product-led organization.
  2. Lack of feedback and guidance from within the product team. In order to grow and develop in my product career, I need to be in an environment where feedback and coaching is available.

Product job #4: Policygenius

Policygenius is a leading insurance marketplace.

Why I worked here

After working in product at legacy media companies, I wanted to join a more modern org that had a proven track record of success. In this role role, I would be responsible for building a new product from 0-1.

Why I left

Unfortunately, Policygenius laid off ~25% of their workforce.

Why you should consider me

My underlying motivation has always been to find an organization where I could work with and learn from the best minds to ship work that matters. I take my career development seriously and I hope it shows. My past product jobs have helped me understand what I'm looking for in my next product role and I'm determined for it to be at a company I can grow with for the long term.

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