Back to resources

Take Calculated Risks, Not Chances

Goal Setting
Product
Motivation
Embracing Failures
New PM
Career Path
New Manager

23 December, 2021

Sumesh Narayanan
Sumesh Narayanan

Head of Product at Thoughtexchange

Sumesh Narayanan, Head of Product at Thoughtexchange, talks about his humble beginnings while sharing his journey of staying afloat during the turning point of his life.

Hard Times in Building a Strong Career

I originate from India, where I had quite humble beginnings. However, I did not back out on taking calculated risks. After a bachelor's degree in engineering, I started working and eventually moved to the United States job. However, when I felt my career was becoming stagnant, I came back to my home country. This was one of the most calculated risks in different aspects of my career.

Clawing Your Way Into Success

As I came back to my origin, I pursued an MBA from one of the top colleges, which I believed would open new doors for me.

We did have ample campus opportunities that I could have taken, but then, I joined a startup, which had less than 1M ARR during that time. However, that step proved to be beneficial for me as I could learn about the art of product management.

The question is: how did I keep myself motivated and afloat amidst such a crisis?

I evaluated some of the worst-case scenarios and assessed whether I could handle those. Something will always drive you, and the vision of being an MBA grad to do something out of the box is always wonderful. I always had the vision of what I wanted to be while dreaming about it every now and then pushed me to do better things.

The key is to make sure that the struggles that I went through did not look like struggles, rather looking at the bright side is the basis of it.

Believe in Yourself

  • Hard work and calculated risks are important. Push your boundaries and try to find out something new to get done with.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

Working Moms and Problems They Face

20 January

Yang Wang, Engineering Manager at Bond, shares how diligently she transitioned from a large company to a series of startups, all balancing between the role of being a working mom.

Goal Setting
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Career Path
Agile / Scrum
Yang Wang

Yang Wang

Engineering Manager at Bond

Coaching Women Engineers: Professionally, and for Life

20 January

Yang Wang, Engineering Manager at Bond, shares how she coached several women engineers in her team to boost confidence and help them grow in their careers.

Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Team Processes
Career Path
Yang Wang

Yang Wang

Engineering Manager at Bond

How to Build and Manage the First Product Roadmap for a Startup

19 January

Angel Jamie, Chief Product Officer at Yayzy, shares how he created the first product roadmap at a startup, and a simple process to keep it alive.

Alignment
Product
Meetings
Roadmap
Prioritization
Angel Jaime

Angel Jaime

CPO at yayzy

From Big Tech to Startup: Adding Value From Day 1

19 January

Angel Jamie, Chief Product Officer at Yayzy, recalls his transition from a well-established tech company to a sustainability startup, and the major differences he experienced.

Dev Processes
Company Culture
Impact
Team Processes
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Changing Company
Career Path
Performance
Angel Jaime

Angel Jaime

CPO at yayzy

Should You Stay Up to Date with Technical Skills As a Product Manager?

19 January

Nani Nitinavakorn, the Sr Product Owner at Revolut, describes how she keeps learning hard skills to increase motivation and respect her team.

Alignment
Innovation / Experiment
Different Skillsets
Personal Growth
Ownership
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
New PM
New Manager
Nani Nitinavakorn

Nani Nitinavakorn

Sr Product Owner at Revolut

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.