18 October 2020

26. Innovation for Product Leaders with Nagini Indugula

Nagini Indugula is a product leader with a lifelong passion for bringing user value to the forefront of strategy and decision making. She has vast experience in digital marketplaces, consumer, and enterprise saas products at startup to mid-sized companies. Most recently, as the VP/Head of Product, she oversaw the Product, Platform, and Design team at NCSA Sports. Before NCSA Sports, she was a Product Director at CareerBuilder and launched several new products – Semantic Search, Talent Network, and Work@ (patent pending). She also serves as a product advisor to several startup companies. She graduated from Kellogg School of Management with an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. She also holds a Master's in Computer Science from K-State.

[00:01 – 09:51] Opening Segment

  • I talked briefly about valuable information that you can take advantage of in this episode
  • I introduce and welcome guest Nagini Indugula
  • Nagini talks about CareerBuilder
  • Nagini walks through a product idea that she & Natalie worked on together 
    • Was first released as a Facebook utility app
    • Things they would've done differently
  • Continue to test and iterate. Don’t assume the solution you have makes sense.
  • Prototype options versus choosing a one-way solution  
  • Before you go deep in one direction, build low fidelity prototypes and discuss with users along the way


[09:52 – 21:03] Innovation for Product Leaders

  • We talk about Nagini's article, Why Test and A Framework for Testing Methods
  • Why do we perform tests?
    • It's a foundational necessity for innovation
    • Increase your confidence level and reduce your risk
    • We have to let data and user learnings trump opinions
  • How to pitch your ideas to your team leader or boss:
    • How you articulate and tell a story makes a difference when pitching an idea
    • Ask yourself these questions:
      • Is this an opportunity?
      • Is this a problem worthy of solving?
      • Is there business viability?
      • How will the company monetize it?
      • Timing – is this the right time for the idea and the company?
    • Have situational awareness

[21:04 – 23:59] Closing Segment

  • Nagini's final thoughts for the listeners:
    • Innovation is not a single overnight event. To successfully innovate, companies really need to make experimentation and testing an integral part of their everyday life.
    • Take time to be curious and ask questions.
  • Connect with Nagini online. See the links below.


Tweetable Quotes:

"It's critical not just to test the opportunity or the problem space, 'is this a problem worth solving?' But as you get into solutioning and as you're prototyping, you need to continue to test. You need to continue to iterate." – Nagini Indugula

"Just because there was a market trend, that trend might not even be the right trend for you to jump on for your space. So, you really need to be thinking about all of these things." – Nagini Indugula

"I think we still need to go back and think through the process and really go back to different solutions." – Nagini Indugula

"Testing is so crucial. People think about innovation as this one giant event or this one overnight thing that happens, and it's not. I mean experimentation and testing is just so crucial, and it's a foundational necessity for innovation." – Nagini Indugula

 You can follow Nagini on LinkedIn and Medium.

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