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How To Succeed In Product Management | Jeffrey Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem

90: Blockchain Product Management

Wed Jun 21 2023
blockchainproduct managementWeb3technologycommunity


The episode covers various aspects of blockchain product management, including the importance of understanding blockchain technology, the unique challenges and opportunities in the Web3 world, use cases and applications of blockchain, networking and getting involved in the blockchain community, the future of blockchain and Web3 technology, and the role of product management in the blockchain space.


Blockchain provides immutable record keeping and data portability

Blockchain technology ensures that records cannot be changed and allows data to be easily transferred between platforms.

Web3 product management requires technical understanding and user empathy

Product managers in the Web3 space need to have a deep understanding of algorithms, cryptography, and user needs.

Data ownership and community-first mindset are key in Web3

Web3 emphasizes data ownership and community collaboration, which are important considerations for product managers.

Blockchain has diverse applications in supply chain, healthcare, voting, and more

Blockchain technology can be used in various industries, including supply chain management, healthcare data storage, secure voting systems, and smart contracts.

Networking and involvement in the blockchain community are crucial for success

Building connections and actively participating in the blockchain community can provide valuable insights and opportunities.

Web3 technology offers promising opportunities for innovation

Despite regulatory challenges, Web3 technology continues to evolve and presents exciting possibilities for innovation.

Product managers in the blockchain space focus on managing expectations

Rather than owning the product, product managers in the blockchain space prioritize managing expectations and fostering community collaboration.


  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Blockchain Product Management
  3. Product Management in the Web3 World
  4. Use Cases and Applications of Blockchain
  5. Networking and Getting Involved in the Blockchain Community
  6. The Future of Blockchain and Web3 Technology
  7. Product Management in the Blockchain Space


00:00 - 07:02

  • Product managers give 100% of themselves to their customers, but who's there for the PM?
  • The Product Management Center at the University of Washington is a global hub for knowledge, community, and impact.
  • The podcast is about blockchain product management.
  • The guests are Shilin and Chitna, who have experience in blockchain product management.
  • They will discuss what blockchain is, why it's important to learn about blockchain product management, and the metrics of success in managing blockchain products.
  • Shilin is currently the gross lead at Protocol Labs and previously worked at Microsoft as a gross PM.
  • Chitna has transitioned from being an engineer to a high-level TPM and now works on enterprise partnership products at NIA protocol.
  • Cara Fictorn is also present as the associate director of the Product Management Center.
  • Audience members can get involved by asking questions in the chat or coming live on microphone.
  • One important aspect of web3 world that differs from web2 is ownership and protocols. The guests will discuss how these concepts affect product managers working with nascent protocols in the blockchain world.

Understanding Blockchain Product Management

06:46 - 14:19

  • Blockchain provides immutable record keeping that cannot be changed by companies or individuals.
  • Data on the blockchain can be taken along with you, allowing for portability.
  • There are two types of blockchain product managers: those building the protocol and those utilizing blockchain to build other experiences.
  • Protocol PMs need technical understanding of blockchain technology to build a solid foundation for applications.
  • Product PMs in the blockchain industry focus on developing products that serve specific clients' needs using different infrastructure.
  • The Web3 space in blockchain is similar to AWS, with different layers such as protocol, platform, tooling, and DApps.
  • Blockchain is like a decentralized cloud or operating system.
  • PMs in Web3 need to understand algorithm and cryptography workings and have user empathy.
  • Community-first mindset and open-source thinking are unique aspects of Web3 product management.
  • PMs in Web3 must be versatile, creative problem solvers who prioritize network effects.

Product Management in the Web3 World

13:50 - 21:15

  • Product management in Viptree is more art than science, requiring creativity and a focus on community and network effect.
  • Startups in general require versatility, flexibility, and the ability to scale.
  • Product managers need to be comfortable with ambiguity and act as advocates for their products.
  • Being scrappy and finding communities to talk to is important for achieving product-market fit.
  • In the fast-changing world of web3, plans and strategies can change quickly, requiring adaptability.
  • Web1 was read-only, web2 was read-write, and web3 is read-write-own where users can take their data with them when switching platforms.
  • Web3 combined with AI has the potential for creating innovative solutions like decentralized rendering processes and decentralized AI models.
  • DeFi platforms enable instant access to different digital currencies without waiting for traditional banking hours.
  • Data ownership is becoming a trend in web3, allowing users to have control over their own data.
  • The blockchain framework includes layers such as hardware, data, network, consensus, and application layers.

Use Cases and Applications of Blockchain

20:59 - 28:18

  • Blockchain layer interprets high-level instructions and forms consensus for creating the next block
  • DApps are smart contracts run on the blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance are promising use cases of blockchain technology
  • Supply chain management can benefit from blockchain by creating immutable metadata
  • Blockchain can securely store healthcare data and enable easy sharing across institutions
  • Blockchain can be used for secure voting systems during elections
  • Smart contracts on the blockchain can replace traditional paper-based agreements like escrow contracts
  • Blockchain technology can be used to verify carbon offset programs for sustainability purposes

Networking and Getting Involved in the Blockchain Community

27:51 - 34:41

  • Networking is important to understand who is doing what in the field of blockchain
  • Exploring the technology side and drawing parallels to your existing background can be helpful
  • Being part of forums, social communities, or special guest speaker events can provide valuable insights
  • Leveraging networks like A16Z can connect you with Web3 companies looking for people with Web2 backgrounds
  • Getting involved in hackathons, grants, and public forums can help you gain hands-on experience
  • The startup environment in the blockchain industry is highly volatile but offers opportunities for growth and learning

The Future of Blockchain and Web3 Technology

34:20 - 41:33

  • Digital collectibles, specifically NFTs, are becoming more utility-based
  • Web3 technology is still evolving and offers opportunities for innovation
  • The future of blockchain and crypto is promising despite regulatory challenges
  • Open source projects prioritize community success over profitability
  • Decentralization extends to both technology and contribution in open source ecosystems

Product Management in the Blockchain Space

41:14 - 47:46

  • Blockchain provides platforms and tools for individuals and startups to build on.
  • Contributors to the protocol are part of a community, not owners.
  • The mindset shift for product managers is managing expectations rather than owning the product.
  • Blockchain technology can increase transparency in the HR space, particularly in hiring processes.
  • The blockchain community is open and helpful, encouraging others to get involved.