The fact that you’re considering joining one is a sign that change is needed

Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images

If you’re reading this, the door is already open. Maybe you’ve been at a big tech company a few years and it’s not as exciting as it used to be. Maybe a founder reached out to you about an open role and you can’t get the idea out of your head.

Either way, you’re considering joining a startup. You know that a young company would offer you new opportunities that you can’t get at your current job. You’re inspired by people like Eric and Rita:

“I left Uber to join Vareto, a seed-stage startup. It was a difficult decision because…

Photo by Sage Friedman

Note: This was originally published as a LinkedIn note.

As an angel, I frequently help other founders with fundraising. One of the most common rejection reasons they hear is, “It’s too early.”

This is so vague. It’s also baffling when it comes from investors that have recently invested in pre-revenue and even pre-product companies. What could be earlier than that?

Here’s the thing. “Too early” is often just the short version of, “I don’t have enough conviction to invest now, but I’d like to stay in touch and invest later if things take off.”

So why don’t investors just say…

Some of my teams at Facebook.

I started working at Facebook in 2012 and left in 2019. A lot happened in 7 years. The company grew from 3k to over 35K employees. I worked across a wide range of areas, including Ads, Growth, Marketplace, and Groups Monetization. I built 3 teams from scratch, had 3 kids, and moved 3 times. It was an amazing rollercoaster of a ride.

In that time, I was lucky to partner with some of the world’s smartest people on some of the most interesting and important problems. I came to work each day excited about the vast opportunity we had to…

Over the past few years, I’ve interviewed dozens of PMs for Facebook and also helped people from other functions transition into product management. By far the most misunderstood and nerve-wracking PM interview seems to be “Product Sense” (also referred to as “Product Design”, “Business Case”, or “Product Strategy”). In this note, I’ve laid out the common pain points I’ve observed and suggestions for overcoming them. I hope this helps you rock your next interview!

What is the Product Sense interview, and why do people find it uncomfortable?

To start, there’s usually a one-sentence prompt such as, “build an app…

Kat Orekhova

Co-Founder and CEO at Vareto. Former Head of Product at Ironclad and ex-Facebook. Angel investor. I love people, mountains, and food.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store