About Gopal Shenoy


Who am I?gopal shenoy

A software product management leader with more than 13 years of software product management experience. I have led direct report and cross-functional teams that defined and launched highly successful SaaS-based and enterprise software products that generated annual revenues ranging from $10M – $300M and with a customer base of thousands to hundreds of thousands of users.

I am a “mass market” software product manager – I love building products for consumers and small businesses that are simple to use, yet very powerful. I believe in “Less is more”. I don’t enjoy building super complex, highly flexible, do everything under the sun, implementation heavy, training heavy so called “enterprise” products. I do not believe any product needs to be complex. Businesses don’t use products, humans do. And humans inherently don’t like to use complex things. Plain and simple.

How do I help companies succeed?

I help software companies build products that solve “real” customer needs using insights generated via a “customer centric” product management process. I have personally conducted more than 300 on-site customer visits in 10 countries –  where I spent time doing a deep dive into the user’s life observing them using my product or competitive products, listening to them and then creating products to solve their problems.

My key strengths

  1. Listening to customers and discovering their unmet needs which if solved will end up in products that customers would happily buy.
  2. Communicating the discovered customer insights to internal stakeholders via business cases to justify new product development investments.
  3. Leading cross functional or direct report teams in successfully delivering products that solve these needs.
  4. Communicating the benefits of the products back to the market using user terminology as opposed to marketing jargon (that “scalable, fault tolerant, flexible, highly configurable, robust three tier architecture using web services” – you know what I mean).

My current employer

Care.com based in Waltham, MA. I am Director of Product, International at Care.com. (DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed here are purely my personal opinions. I own this blog and the content published here is not read or approved in advance by Care.com and does not reflect the views and opinions of Care.com).

My past employers

Prior to Care.com, I worked in product management roles at Gazelle, OnForce, Salary.com and RSA Security. I also spend 11 years in various roles of increasing responsibility at SolidWorks Corporation the leading manufacturer of 3D mechanical CAD software used by over a million users worldwide.

Three of my favorite products

1) iPad – there is no other product in my perspective that represents product simplicity and elegance.

2) iPhone

3) SolidWorks – OK, I had a big role to play in defining this product having worked on it for 11 years. But cannot think of another product that helps save and improve lives more than this one – has been used to design everything from medical stents to automatic defribillators to  premie baby incubators.

What else do I do?

While not having fun building products, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two daughters. I am a big fan of New England Patriots (fall/winter would be horrible without football) and also Boston Red Sox (Yes, I do hate the Yankees!).

How can you contact me?

gopal {dot] shenoy {at) gmail (dot} com

twitter.com/gopalshenoy

linkedin.com/in/gopalshenoy

Facebook.com/gopalshenoy

36 Responses to About Gopal Shenoy

  1. Great to meet you, Gopal! I love your key strengths; they are very close to mine as well. :-) Keep up the focus on the customer!

  2. Shaji S says:

    Shenoy..you are such wonderful person with great knowledge and talent. Keep going..even sky is not a limit for you.. I got an oppertunity to talk to you during one of the solidworks world conferences.

  3. hi Shenoy,
    I chanced across your blog and feel great after reading “about me” section.The reason being our somewhat similar profiles.I am also in a Products Unit of a company specializing in MCAD,PLM and services as a QA Engineer.My aim is to graduate into a Prod Manager.Your blogs are apt and insightful for guys like me.
    Once again thanks.
    —Sri

  4. Russel says:

    Hi Gopal
    Nice to know about you. I have been through your blogs on product management and were indeed very useful. Keep writing; its interesting to know from you.
    Cheers

    RRL.

  5. Apurva says:

    Hello –

    I have been following your blog for some time and have found it very informative will plenty of great advice. I work on the front lines dealing with clients and now am moving towards becoming a product manager. I was wondering if you can tell me the best way to mock of software specs. Currently we use Visio, however I wanted to see if there is a better, faster, and simpler way. As a startup, luckily we have the flexibility to use any application that gets the job done.

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards,

    Apurva

  6. gopalshenoy says:

    @Apurva – Happy to note that you have found the blog helpful. I use Photoshop Elements to create mockups. You can also try using Paint Shop Pro. I was lucky that I had the benefit of someone who knew how to use these tools give me a quick crash course on how to get started. Once I crossed the hurdle, I was able to get most of my dirty mockups done to evaluate product concepts. But if you need something really good, I would strongly encourage having a UI interaction designer in your team.

  7. Clate Mask says:

    Hi Gopal,

    I just want to thank you for your “criticism” a few weeks ago about our opt-in and follow-up marketing practices. Your post resulted in a meeting between me and our marketing director. We have already changed a couple of things in order to be more transparent to folks who opt in to my eBook and various white papers. And we are revising some other things we are doing–toning down the frequency of communications, etc. As our company has grown, I think we have gone a little overboard with the amount and frequency of email communications we send.

    Again, thanks for the nudge in a better direction.

    Clate

  8. Mayukh says:

    Hey Gopal,
    Wonderful blog, keep up the good work ! As an aspiring product manager, I have found your insights really helpful. Maybe I can buy you a coffee (or a beer) the next time I visit Boston.
    Do you have a public email address? Would like to conduct an informational interview with you, if you have the time.

    Thanks
    – Mayukh
    CT

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  12. uthamkumar says:

    Hi Gopal,

    Excellent blog !
    Nice ideas. Lucid style of writing .
    Your suggestions for good presentations are very useful .
    Keep writing .

    Regards,

    utham

  13. MShenoy says:

    Hi Gopal,

    Thanks for creating this website. I found this one only today and already liked some of the tips.

    I am a business analyst now in product management team and my boss identified me as a candidate for Product management. I am excited about the opportunity, but don’t want to accept something just t0 fail. Can you please answer the below for me?

    1. Challenges in PM
    2. What interests you in PM?
    3. What are the risks in this profession?
    4. Do you think Business analysis has more opportunities than PM? (I live near LA if that counts).

    Thank you for your time,
    Mshenoy

  14. gopalshenoy says:

    @MShenoy – Great questions – was a good fodder for my latest blog post – http://productmanagementtips.com/2009/02/04/product-manager-qualifications/

  15. John Minett says:

    Very interesting stuff. Love the “claiming victory” insight

  16. Hi Gopal,

    I have been reading your blog with great interest. I run a product management centric blog in India (url above). I was looking for a way to connect with you for having you to write a post for the blog. If you drop me a mail at subrata.majumdar@gmail.com I can elaborate and possible carry on from there.

    Sincerely
    Subrata

  17. Ganeshkumar says:

    Hey Mr.Shenoy! am reckon you or your roots from be somewhere in Karnataka in India! :)

    Just wanted to drop a HI and say THANKS for all the ideas that you’ve shared and things you have said! lets me know that apart from being a good Product Manager, you are a NICE HUMAN :) People working under you must be REALLY LUCKY I must say!

    Well. am a Senior Product Analyst in a company called CALIBRAINZ in Bangalore – India…who dreams of becoming a Good Product Manager..just like you are!

    I do not know if you’d have time to reply back to me, but would surely want to talk to you sometime!

    Nice to know you!
    Cheers, Smiles
    Ganeshkumar :) :) :)

  18. mark says:

    Hi,Thanks for this blog.I like it very much.Keep up googd work.
    wish u all the best

  19. Schalk says:

    Who owns the copyright to the elephants-and-blind-men graphic?

    Where can I get a high-resolution copy and permission for re-use?

    • gopalshenoy says:

      Schalk – Sorry, I saw your comment only today (wondering why I was not notified). I don’t know who owns the copyrights. I have indicated where I got the image via Google search.

  20. Ramya Chivukula says:

    The reason i’m writing to you is the e-mail address , it sounded like the J(dot)asthana from Munnabhai MBBS.

    I do have aspirations to become a product manager, Research,Strategy and Post – Implementation are my key interests, a developed interest because of my strong analysis and communication skills , but yet to develop career path :). That is how I ended up on your site.

    Hope we cross our paths someday :)

    Best,
    Ramya.

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  22. Ram says:

    Gopal:

    Was happy to waste my time reading some useful info managing a product. Very informative blog/ website indeed. I am a wireless engineer with 3 years of experience and i had this idea of going to B school to get some experience and move the red lines into greens (after reading your product management career tips.).
    In that rat race i stumbled across something much more useful i redirect my energies to.
    I had two questions?
    Is MBA very useful / required for Product Manager?
    career options in product management in a non-profit-sector ?

    With the latter in mind i had penned down a small idea called The Anton Ego Project!!!

    Would love to have some tips from you regarding helping.

  23. Raj says:

    Hello Gopal,
    We just created and launched our software ” Antida”. We are small company for 2 people. This is a cross platform data sync tool.I was wondering if you could give us some advice on how I can get more people to try and use this product. The product is free for general public.
    Thanks
    Rajeev

    • Raj says:

      Adding our Website:
      http://www.dimatas.com

      Thanks
      Raj

  24. Roland says:

    The Bose is your ideal for simplicity? Well of course it’s simple: it barely does anything! Since when has anyone had to deal with graphic equalizers to play back music? Does the Bose magically adjust all the frequencies of the music to compensate for the resonance of the room it’s in? I didn’t think so. You obviously don’t even know what an equalizer does and you can’t tell how bad your system sounds. And it never occurred to you that other consumers might have a better understanding of music and therefore might have different needs than you. You’re a product manager but you don’t even understand your favorite product and you’re contributing to the dumbing down of the world. Unbelievable.

    • gopalshenoy says:

      Roland – first of all thanks for leaving your comments. I appreciate it because I always love to hear from the readers of my blog. Yes, I am enjoying every bit of my work helping products become simpler. Listening to music is what the “mainstream consumers” including me want to do. And these mainstream consumers are not music connoisseur either. Given this, Bose works very well for me and I am sure for a lot of people because their Sales have done very well and Bose brand name is as popular as ever. This is also the reason why I love products such as iPods and iPhones. It leaves me time to do stuff where I need to know all the details.

    • tradernith says:

      @roland: Wow, that sounds a li’l harsh.
      The author is just saying that a good product should be simple to use and yet be of high quality.
      He likes the sound-dock because it’s simple to use, nothing wrong with that.
      Maybe you should request the author to dumb down the article so you can understand it better? :)

  25. Sagar Mody says:

    I stumbled upon your blog and I’m glad that I spent some time reading your wonderful, knowledge driven posts. I am a hardcore products guy and current leading the engineering of mobile IM product called mundu. I want to evolve myself into a Professional Product Manager and your blog just apt and insightful for me and many more like me. Do keep writing such wonderful posts…

  26. Gopinath says:

    Hi Gopal,
    I have recently been promoted to the product manager role and I find your articles really practical, simple and hence helpful. Looking forward to learning more from you and your articles.

    Regards,
    Gopinath

  27. Amit says:

    Hi Gopal,

    This is an awesome blog, which gives an insight on practical aspect of Product Management. Thank You for this.

    Me, being in to QA from past 6 years have got an inside view on Customer, and can pretty well understand your thoughts about having “Customer” first.

    Is there anyway you can guide us as to how someone being in QA can move to Product Management, if they feel they are cut out for the same? Any help is highly appreciated.

  28. Dave says:

    I’m a big fan of your blog Gopal.

    Do you have a project management tool–something to keep track of todo lists in a prioritized order–that you recommend? I’ve tried Basecamp, OneNote, Evernote, Things (on the Mac), and about a dozen others. Haven’t found anything that I’ve loved.

    Thanks!

  29. Sita says:

    Hi Gopal,

    I came across your blog recently, all the articles are Excellent. As a new Product Manager I find your blogs very informative. From when I started this position I’ve been looking at good ways to improve how I write Documents. Can you please suggest some good resources which you had come across which can help me learn the right ways of writing specs and design documents.

    Thank you

    Sita

  30. Hari says:

    Hi Gopal,

    I stumbled upon your website as I was researching “what makes a good Product manager”. Great website I should say!

    A little about myself, I work as a lead engineer/product manager for a company that makes vehicular traffic optimization products. I have a very strong technical background.

    My question to you is, how important is an MBA in order to be a good PM of a software/hardware product.

    Thanks,
    Hari

  31. Chetan Indap says:

    Your articles are giving us some directions on how to move from B2B to B2C models. Many Thanks Gopal.

  32. Nithin Babu says:

    Hello Sir,

    Nice blog indeed, i am an aspiring product manager with an MBA(IIMB) and 9+ years of networking domain experience. I would love to connect with you on linkedin, my profile is http://in.linkedin.com/in/nithinbabu

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