Foster the Product: Choosing what not to build

When managing products, saying “no” is an important—but sometimes difficult—skill. Without it, time and resources can be sunk into products that will fail due to misalignment with customer needs or business priorities.

This topic was at the center of the January edition of the UW Foster School’s monthly “Foster the Product” series. Nirankush Panchbhai, VP of product management at Salesforce, spoke on “Choosing what not to build: when and how to say no or stop.”

Nirankush Panchbhai

Panchbhai earned a MS in computer engineering at the University of Maryland and an executive MBA at Stanford University. He began his career at Microsoft, where he spent over a decade making the web platform more secure, reliable and interoperable.

At Salesforce, Panchbhai runs product development for developer- and designer-facing UI development stack. These products are the platform for building Lightning Experiences (the Salesforce mobile app), Lightning Communities and more. Additionally, the products are used by customers and partners to customize these experiences.

Foster the Product, presented by the new Product Management Center at the UW Foster School of Business, is an opportunity to connect with people and ideas that can advance a product career. Sessions take place the first Thursday of every month.

The next Foster the Product session takes place February 4 at 4:30 p.m. PST. Chris Petersen, former head coach of the UW Husky football team, will speak on “Leading teams and aligning stakeholders toward a common vision.” After the talk and Q&A, attendees will have an opportunity for networking and guided discussion. Registration for the Chris Petersen event is open to the public.

There also will be a bonus Foster the Product event February 18 at 4:30 p.m. PST. Jackie Bavaro, co-author of Cracking the PM Interview and former head of product management at Asana will speak on “Cracking the PM career.” Registration for the Jackie Bavaro event is open to the public.