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Show Your Work

with Jason Shen of Headlight
Jan 22, 2019
Back to Podcasts
Show Your Work | 100 PM
Show Your Work | 100 PM

Jason: Hi, my name is Jason Shen. I'm the co-founder and CEO of Headlight, an on demand platform for evaluation of technical candidates. Is that too long?

Suzanne: It sounds like you've said that once or twice. I guess that's what happens when you're a co-founder and a CEO. You have to just get that pitch down. What's Headlight?

Jason: Well, we focus on helping companies scale the first round technical screen for positions like product managers, engineers, and data scientists.

Suzanne: What's the problem that you're essentially solving, and who are the customers?

Jason: There's two problems I think we're really solving. The first is around fidelity. It is this idea that you hire people because they're good at their job. Whether it's product management, being a great data scientist, or building great products with software. That doesn't mean that they're great interviewers and great evaluators of talent. That's not necessarily something they enjoy doing. That's not something they are incentivized to be good at. When you're a fast growing company, you actually are creating some interesting circumstances for yourself when you put a lot of these folks, pull them away from what they wanted to be doing and make them do this other thing that they aren't necessarily great at. Then you wonder about the quality of the outcomes from that process.

What we do is we put a consistent system in place for that first technical screen. We're not saying you're never going to meet these people and we do everything for you. We're saying the noisiest part of the process is one that's going to be more structured, more systematic, and based on data that we have from evaluating a lot of people.

That leads to the second part, which is, the problem that we're solving is time. Right? Everyone's wondering, "How can we get more out of our team? How can we build things faster?". When you have to interrupt your engineers again and again because you're focused, you're trying to get them in these tech screens, which half the time the person turns out to be not what you're looking for, that's a lot of interruptions. That's a lot of distractions. That's not helping the team perform at their best. By taking away that noisy part of the process, we are helping teams accelerate.

Suzanne: Yeah. Recruitment is an ongoing investment in time for sure. Is the company then a technology platform? Or it's a professional services layer? Or it's both of those things?

Jason: Yeah. It's definitely a bit of both, right? We have built technology that makes the take home assignment process a more pleasant experience. I wouldn't say it's necessarily enjoyable, since you do have to work hard as a candidate. No amount of product is going to change that. But we do create ways for the brand to express itself. To make candidates feel at ease, and understand what they're doing, and make that process smooth. I think that that's something that a company would otherwise have to invest in themselves.

But it's also about our network of experts who are professional software engineers or product managers in their own right. The fact that you're benefiting from their experience reviewing dozens, hundreds of these kinds of submissions, and that's something that you wouldn't necessarily have in your own company.

Suzanne: Your background is interesting. This is 100 PM. We talk to product managers. You've worked as a product manager. You were at Percolate. You were at Etsy. But you've also got all of this business stuff. It's like, you were in business. You were starting businesses. You've worked in customer acquisition. What's your identity, Jason? Do you suffer from an identity crisis?

Jason: Oh, you're going real deep here.

Suzanne: Yeah, I'm just -

Jason: I'm not ready.

Suzanne: I saw pain and I'm pushing. Well that's what product managers do. We look for pain.

Jason: Absolutely. For me to define myself is very hard, because like entrepreneurs and like product managers, we come from interdisciplinary multidisciplinary backgrounds. It's not just like, "I was an engineer and then I saw a product as being exciting. Then I moved into product". That's a relatively simple transition. I've done a little bit of a lot.

But I think what unifies a lot of it is the idea of enabling others to perform at their best. I think that to me unifies a lot of the things that I've done. Whether it's in marketing, helping the product team communicate their value as best as possible to the customer. Or whether it's speaking and writing, where I'm sharing what I'm learning to help my audience expand their abilities. Or whether, here with this business it's really I think about unlocking but also just helping surface the latent abilities of those around us, and giving them a chance to shine.

We can have great things within us. But we don't always have a great way to make that seen for others. What I hope I'm doing with Headlight is enabling people to show their potential.

Suzanne: It's interesting because we spend a lot of the time on this show exploring ways that people can kind of break into product management, or make those pivots like you describe. Going from engineering into product, or from user experience design into product. One thing that we talk about less, but I think that you can offer some great perspective on, is, "So you want to go bigger than product". Right? Product takes up all of these disciplines. There's ownership in the role. But it's very different from being a CEO and building a company.

I'd love to hear from you about, what are some of the challenges that you've encountered in growing out of a product specific role to a true owner role? That would be part one. Part two will probably be something along the lines of, how do you do it?

Jason: Sure. I think that my background has helped me understand the responsibility of being a leader and an owner from early on. My first job out of school was actually running the business side of my college newspaper. Which, while it sounds maybe small potatoes, was a situation where it's a seven figure revenue business where you're reporting to a board of directors. You have monthly meetings. I had to report on the financials of the business. It was during the great recession, so the numbers are looking terrible, and I had to stand up to the board and report on that and talk about what we were doing to address that. I think that was a really important experience to have, and it helped me think like an owner.

I've also done a lot of side projects. I think that side projects are a secret weapon for an ambitious person who wants to get into product, or who wants to become an entrepreneur. Because a side project is a chance to have complete ownership. You decide what your product's going to be called. You decide how you're going to reach out to people. You decide how you want to support them and serve them. Who you'll take money from. Who you'll reject. How you deal with complaints. How you scale and grow. Those are decisions that no one can give you the right answer to. No one's going to save you if you screw up.

Even in the product manager role where we actually do have a lot on the line and product managers are accountable for the performance of the product often, you're still protected. Once you become the CEO of a company or other kinds of ownership roles, the buck stops there. There's no excuse. There's no protection. You face the brunt of your decisions. To do that in a way that's a little bit more safe, whether it's starting a blog or a podcast, or starting a meetup group, or starting some kind of workshop or training program, those are ways for you to go beyond just a functional area and take control and responsibility for the whole lifecycle of a business.

Suzanne: Did you go out and raise money for Headlight? Or did you -

Jason: Yeah, so this ... I think there's a lot of value in bootstrapping. The first couple months of the business we were just living off of our savings. Etsy was not in a great stock position when I left the business. It's since roared back, and good for them. I'm happy for those who are still there. But I didn't see the upside for that. At some point I had to raise money for the business.

The first time we raised money for Ridejoy, my previous company, we went through the Y Combinator program. The way I describe it is, it was like we were surfing and we just caught this great wave. The wave's just taking you, and you don't know what you're doing, but you're on the board. Then at some point the wave kind of pushes out, and now you're just standing in still water, and you just crash.

This time around I feel like we're in a two person kayak. We've since hired people, but me and my co-founder. We know how to row and we know where we're going, roughly. It's tiring, but we can do it. Certainly it makes sense to add additional financial resources and mentorship to support you. Yeah, we raised a little bit of money. Not as much as we raised with Ridejoy. But I expect we'll raise again as we demonstrate more proof points and achieve more milestones.

Suzanne: What are the major milestones for the business right now? If six months were to elapse and some significant things happened that were joyous, what would those be?

Jason: Today we work with a little under a dozen companies that are, we're their technical screening partner. These are series B, series C companies that are growing quickly. Maybe going through these spurts where they need to hire 10, 15 people at a time. Then maybe they cool off for a bit and then come back. Our business is a bit bumpy or spiky. You know, there'll be times where we've got work and there's times that we're not. I think we're starting to talk to some bigger companies. Some companies that, they're just always hiring because they're just so big. There's turnover. There's things that need to happen.

For us, if we could land a couple of those bigger players. Continue to grow our sort of medium sized businesses that, over time it smooths out because you've got enough customers and that becomes a pretty smooth thing. But if we can prove that a large organization needs and wants what we have, I think that would be a really powerful proof point for us.

Suzanne: Is there a value proposition to the candidates that separates what you're doing at Headlight from all the infinite variations of recruitment opportunities from just straight up software, to traditional kind of headhunters?

Jason: Sure. You know, one company that we look at is called Vettery. They have built a name, especially in the New York area, but also into other tech markets as a source of candidates. But all they really do is, and there's a number of companies that are doing this now, is email you and say, "Do you want opportunities? Do you want to be considered for things? We'll put your name and your resume on this list. Then maybe we'll email companies, or companies will log in and look at your stuff. Then maybe they'll request an introduction". It's low friction to join, but also low barrier to entry. What is the candidate really getting out of this?

For us, we up front are asking candidates for more since we're saying, "You have to do this work. We're giving you this challenge. You're going to have to put together a presentation. You're going to have to write some software". But what we do offer is a more holistic evaluation. You know that the company is invested to have this reviewed by a professional. You're actually going to see that evaluation, and you're going to be able to look. Whether or not you move forward with the company, you're going to be able to say, "Okay. This is where I did well. This is where I could improve".

So often we do an interview or we do a take home and we send it to the company. Then it's just crickets. That's super frustrating for candidates and makes them stay at their firm. Because it's like, "Who has time to do all that work and then get no response?". That feedback I think is really powerful.

Suzanne: Yeah. I think you're absolutely right. I mean, if people's angry rants on LinkedIn say anything, it's that they're frustrated with the status quo of the recruitment process in general, and feedback loops. We know this from being product managers. It's such an important part of the process. Love that.

Talk to us about your talk. We're here at Leading the Product. You're a keynote. Congratulations.

Jason: Thanks.

Suzanne: What's the name of your talk?

Jason: It was called Product Madness. Five Ways To Bring Sanity Back Into the PM Hiring Process.

Suzanne: Great. Give it to us.

Jason: Yeah, give it a go.

Suzanne: Do the talk all over again. No, give us the super friendly cheat sheet version for our listeners who didn't have the good fortune to hear you, but who can obviously stand to benefit. This is such an important topic, and on everyone's mind.

Jason: The main thesis of the talk is that product is a hard role to hire for. Whether you're on the hiring manager side and trying to make that decision of who's the right person, and on the side of someone who's trying to enter this field. If it gives you any solace to know that the person on the other side is stressing out about making this work too, that's definitely there.

Then what I point out is that we often have overblown expectations for what a product manager needs to be able to do, or experience that they need to have. I call this hunting unicorns, and I say we need to stop doing that. Because no one's going to have it all. If they do have it all, they're going to cost way more than you can afford. Rather than try to get it all, you want to make trade offs, pick the traits that really matter, consider the candidates that are inside your own company.

My story is that I wanted to be a product manager. I felt that I had what it took. I even interviewed for some PM roles, and ultimately took a marketing role. But because for some reason my, even though I was doing a great job in the role that I was in and the company had these product openings that were just sitting for months, they didn't want to move me through. They lost an employee that by all accounts they felt they were happy with, and was doing a great job, because they didn't give that person a chance to show themselves.

The final point is, if you are going to consider internal candidates, one way to do that that's more fair and unbiased is to use take homes. It doesn't have to be through Headlight. You can use any kind of take home process. But one where you can evaluate internal and external candidates in an unbiased way because you don't know who's who. You just have somebody else, you number them one, two there. You have somebody in your company who doesn't know who these are look at them. That's going to give you a way better sense of who's going to do well in the role than the sort of comforting stories they could tell.

Suzanne: Why are you so passionate about hiring? You're out on the road. You're giving this talk. You've built a business that's entirely in service of helping people find good jobs and helping organizations find right talent. Is it a passion place? Or you were just like, "Oh, I saw an opportunity and I thought about how to build something"?

Jason: Totally mercenary play. The money's here.

Suzanne: It was just the -

Jason: If the money was in trash I'd be in trash. No, just kidding. Absolutely, when I started my last company we were doing long distance ride sharing. We kind of liked the idea of the collaborative economy and sharing economy and all that. When that business didn't work the way we thought it would, there was opportunities to pivot into other areas. Maybe we do carpooling. Maybe we do on demand valet parking, or some other thing. We couldn't get excited about those businesses and we realized that this was sort of a fragile idea. In the sense that we liked one version of it, but the other versions we were like, "Yeah, whatever".

When I decided to start my next business or when I was thinking about starting my next business, I really wanted to pick an area that I could feel excited about and passionate about for years. Because that's how long it takes to even start getting some traction for ideas. I mean you look at the story of Airbnb or Etsy. They want to make it seem like an overnight success. But you know, Joe Gebbia says it's 10 years to an overnight success.

Hiring to me is all about identifying potential. Creating opportunities for people. When you get the right people in an organization, that organization's effectiveness can be transformed. When someone gets a chance to do something that they're good at or could be really good at, it changes their life. It feels like a win win to me, and a place where I want to be.

Suzanne: It's a perfect setup for a segment that we do on this show, which is called Get the Job, Learn the Job, Love the Job. Thinking about offering some unique framing here, given your expertise. One thing that you probably know better than most people is what works in hiring and what doesn't. I know that a lot of our listeners are people who are new to product management or aspiring to get into product management, and struggle with getting hired. What advice can you offer to people about what they're doing wrong, or what they maybe need to think about doing differently, to start to become more attractive to employers to break through some of the noise and competition of other candidates?

Jason: Three things I'd recommend. The first is to gather intel. It's to not just look at the job opening, but to try to read their blog. Try to meet with people who either work at that company or who have worked at that company. Get insight into what that company seems to value for the people that they hire. Did they just get a new VP who really loves data driven blah blah blah, and so that's what they're going to need to see? There's so much more behind that one page on the website that says what the official requirements are, and you have to go find that. Just think of it as like customer discovery, right? You're discovering the real needs of your customer.

The second thing is that you have to show a lot of enthusiasm for the role. That's not just in the, "I love this company and I want to work here". But you know, aligning their story with your story. Showing that you've taken actual steps to learn about the business and try the product, and do certain things. At Etsy I built this whole website from scratch when I was interviewing there to show them I had read their S1 filings and I had all these product ideas. I remember I was going into a final round with another company, and I'll leave that company nameless. It was a good company. But I was just, I wanted that Etsy role so bad. I didn't take my own advice, and I kind of just didn't really do as much prep for that second company. I remember at one point they asked me, "Okay. If you're a product manager here, what are three things that you want to change about our product?", and my face just collapsed because I was like, "I can't think of anything".

Suzanne: Like, "What's your product, anyway?".

Jason: "How does it work again? I saw it. It kind of ...". You know, it was like dated UI. But I didn't have any insight. I didn't do my homework, and I clearly wasn't that enthusiastic for the company. The other person could tell, clearly. It wasn't like I wasn't capable of doing a great job there. But I hadn't done the necessary requisite requirements in order to be successful there. Showing your enthusiasm both in your demeanor, and also in actions that you can take.

Then finally the third point related to showing your enthusiasm is to find ways to make your skills visible. This is something that is really hard for product managers to do. When you're in design you've got a portfolio. When you're in engineering you've got GitHub and you've got side projects, and coding challenges are much more prevalent. With product, what is a product manager's portfolio? Is it an export of my calendar, all my meetings? Is it emails that I've sent?

Suzanne: I hope not.

Jason: Yeah. I hope not. Is it my Jira backlog and the requirements that were ... You know. It's very hard to make that tangible and make that visible. But that is, the role of product is if you want to be successful, you're going to have to in a succinct and probably visual way describe the value of the product. Of the work that you've done. Of the work that your team's done. To the degree that you can demonstrate the skills, whether it's data proficiency or marketing ability or what have you, and package that. That's going to go a long way in putting people at ease that you're the right person for the role.

Suzanne: In the context of Learn the Job, a lot of the time I describe this as places where product managers fall down or typically make mistakes. But I think it would be interesting to hear from you on, when it's not a good fit. When someone hires or is hiring now to replace a product manager that didn't work out. What are some of the reasons that you've seen show up for why product manager A wasn't a good fit for company B?

Jason: I think you have to look at a person's, not just what they say, but where their life has taken them, and see if ... You want people where this role is going to be an exciting professional growth opportunity. Because changing jobs is a lot of effort. If this doesn't feel like an important and good sort of trajectory, building on the trajectory that they're on or want to be on, then if they're not going to stay.

This isn't a product manager position. This is an engineer though that was hired on to a team that I was on. I looked at their background, and they had worked at the MIT Media Lab and they had designed labs. It was a very creative person. At the time our team was really kind of in the skunk works of managing internal platforms and tools, and building stuff that was important for the business. But you needed someone who appreciated that and who cared about that, and who wanted to do that.

I remember when this person was hired. I went to the engineering manager and I said, "Are you sure you want to hire this person? Do you think they'll stay?". The person, they thought they would stay. This person did a good job, did a fine job, but eventually left on their own. To me that felt like it could have been seen in advance. You could have recognized that unless you're putting this person on something really more cutting edge, that they weren't going to be happy. Maybe we ... I don't know what they were told. I don't know what the original plan was. But what ended up happening was, they were on this team doing this kind of work, and they ultimately left.

That's one, I don't know if that's what you're looking for? But that's one.

Suzanne: Yeah, no. I mean, absolutely. Did you ever make any big mistakes working as a product manager?

Jason: I mean, there's always mistakes, right?

Suzanne: Any that you look back and you're just like, "Ugh. Well, I've learned"?

Jason: Yeah. This is one where I don't even know what the right answer is. I just know that what I did probably wasn't the right answer. But we, Etsy went through this period where they were going to launch this big buyer facing, well yeah. We launched it. It's all public. We launched this craft marketplace called Studio, and it was trying to break out the fact that we had handmade goods and vintage goods, and that was very different from craft supplies. One of them is full on finished things. The other is raw materials to make something else.

Suzanne: Right.

Jason: A sort of long time product manager that was well respected took lead of this project, and it just started growing and growing and growing. It was named one of the top priorities for the company, and so every team started to get sucked into building things for this product to support the shift that it was going to make. I asked at one point. I was like, "Why don't you just do an MVP? Why can't you do a small version of this and test it?". They made the whole case about, it needed to be from day one integrated and have huge selection, and all these things can't be possible unless you ... I was like, "Okay".

One is like, should I have pushed back harder? Should I have tried to go to other people within the company and be like, "I don't think this is the right strategy. I think we should be launching a small version of it rather than sucking up all these resources and doing this mega integrated launch as the first step"? I didn't do that. I said, "Well, you know, everyone says this is what the company should be doing". That's one.

Then two, we got pulled into doing a lot of work to support some of these things. I wonder how much ... The fast forward is that the launch was not a success. We spent a lot of money and a lot of time, and did not see the returns that we wanted. The results was that a lot of teams had very little to show for themselves. Like, "What the hell were you doing for the last year?", and it's like, "Well we were building integrations for this thing that has tanked".

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jason: I wonder what I could have done to protect our team. Was it just inevitable that my role was to try to make this thing successful? Or could ... How do I ... I don't know what the right answer is. I just know that having seen this sort of slow motion train wreck happen, it is hard to know, it's hard to believe that what I did was clearly the optimal approach.

Suzanne: What would present day Jason do? If you were back in that scenario but you, you know, all the additional wisdom and bruises that you've accumulated since then? Would you push back?

Jason: I think I would have at least put together a memo or a presentation or something, and shared it with a handful of folks that I trusted weren't going to just put me out on it or be offended by it. But I think I would, one, try to articulate what I think are weaknesses about this approach. Two, I would have tried to save some space within my own team to launch a few things and document that we had launched a few things that were more aligned to what our actual original charter of our team was. To just have that in the case of, "Okay. This really blows up, I can pull out at least a handful of things to say, 'We added value in these ways', outside of this huge gaping hole that was the big project".

Suzanne: Yeah. I mean I love that you shared this in particular. Because it's one of the number one things that I get asked in my classrooms is ... Frankly just here from PMs all the time, irrespective of what level of seniority they have. They fundamentally disagree with the strategy. Or the approach. But they either aren't doing anything about it, or they don't feel as though they can. Is there, recognizing that you're going to make the right call or you're not going to make the right call. You know, you had your own reflection looking back. Is there a way to get better at being braver in these contexts? Or should we just be like, "Not my problem. Not my company. Hope it doesn't fail"?

Jason: Yeah. It's a mix. I see, I have friends who burn out because they care so much about their company and they fight so hard for something because they think that's the right thing. That takes a big toll on them. I've seen people who were in a great position and yeah, they disagreed with the leadership and they just quit. They didn't say, "Look. I'm learning a lot, and if that person wants to, if I've argued with them and they still disagree and they want to go down this route, I can learn and get paid while they do that. That's not my, that'll still be good for me". I've seen that approach.

One thing I heard from a senior designer who was at Etsy for a long time, now at Airbnb, said was that you get one to two times a year to bang the table about what you believe. You can't do it all the time. But if you never do it you also relinquish your ability to do that. If you're always the team player, then it's no good. But it is sort of good to look for opportunities where you can set a precedent and say, "Every once in a while I am going to push back, and I'm going to push back respectfully. But I'm going to make it clear that I'm not always going to just go along with things. But I will ultimately support the decision if we don't come around on it".

Suzanne: What do you love about product businesses?

Jason: I think there is so much room for creativity in great product businesses. I think that as an industry, we're still at our infancy and there's so many ... I love, we got to hear a little bit of Gibbs' sort of play by plays. His case studies of Netflix and the choices that they had to make under different circumstances, and the outcomes.

Suzanne: My brain is still spinning from that.

Jason: Yeah. I mean, the example of Amazon potentially being sued because of the way the algorithm was set up to send DVDs to different people for popular movies, right? Those are really interesting decisions. Whether it's big things like that, or little things like, there's a website called Big Little Details or Little Design Details or something like that. It's just things like, "Oh. Chrome puts a little volume icon on the tabs that are making noise. If you hear things playing and you're like, "Where the hell is that?", you can find it and close it. Maybe that was a designer's decision. Maybe that's an engineer's decision. Maybe that was a product manager's decision. But little things like that are part of what make the products we experience so great. To have the opportunity to shape people's experiences in big ways and in little ways is one of the coolest things about being a PM.

Suzanne: Yeah. That's a beautiful framing. I agree wholeheartedly. There's so much creativity in the space. I think for folks that work outside of it or don't consider themselves technical, certainly they don't understand what we do. A lot of the time it doesn't necessarily look like a creative role. It's tremendously ... It's why there's all these liberal arts students that end up as product managers.

Jason: Sure.

Suzanne: Poets and english majors, product managers. Do you have any books, blogs, podcasts, resources that just have been impactful in your life in any way that you would love to share with our audience? We have a growing list at Doesn't have to be product specific.

Jason: One book that I have read recently is called Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. He's a former FBI hostage negotiator. I think that negotiation is one of the biggest responsibilities of a product manager. To advocate for your team. It's also great when you're trying to move into a new role, since your salary's so much set by that initial set of conversations. I'm always on the lookout for great books on negotiation, and that's definitely one that I like.

There's another book called Yes. 50 Scientifically Proven Ways To Persuade. Something like that. It's by Robert Cialdini. It sort of takes, you know, he's the legendary psychologist who wrote Influence. I'm sure you already have that on the list. But he kind of breaks down the concepts and then gives you tiny little micro examples of persuasion and shaping consumer behavior. Like the difference between saying, "Don't take rocks from this forest. Every year hundreds of thousands of rocks are taken, and that really hurts the ecosystem". That is social proof that tells you that lots of people do it, so if you do it you're just going to be one in 100,000 people, and clearly the forest isn't dead yet, so it's fine, right? You're reversing that, "Science is saying 99 percent of people do the right thing and don't take rocks from the forest". Now you've positioned the right thing as being in the majority.

Having those kinds of examples I think are a lot better than just reading the theory around social proof. When people see things they feel aligned to those things, you know?

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jason: I think that's a great book.

Suzanne: Well and what that brings up too is just how necessary it is to have the blend of tactical ideas alongside the strategic. Because if we're learning product management, we're trying to get better or level up in our skills, we can read all these books. We can come to conferences like this one and listen to all of these talks. But sometimes what we just really want to know is, "How exactly should I write this copy? How exactly should I set up this tagging plan?".

Jason: Yes. I was reading something recently on, someone was talking about this on Twitter. It was essentially the idea that before you can have theories and frameworks, you have to have facts. You have to have stuff to work off of to build your theory. Right? The idea of evolution is based on, "Okay. Well we observed that traits do this, and they happen in all these different circumstances with mice, with plants, with XYZ". Then you kind of, from all that information you ladder up and you're like, "Okay. I think that actually there's a mechanism by which ...", you know. But without those facts you can't get to the theory.

I feel like so much of learning about product, I'm putting that in quotes, learning about products is learning these frameworks. Without these stories and the details of how launches happen and what you do, the frameworks don't make that much sense. I do think that that is why a lot of hiring managers want experience in product managers. Because they basically say, "I want you to have seen some shit go down and to use that to inform what you do now". But you can get that from talking to other product managers. Things like this where you're hearing the real talk. Reading books where they do spill the beans, and using that to kind of, and doing side projects. Where you can make your own mistakes and be like, "Oh crap. I need to have a checklist when I launch things. Because otherwise I miss all these steps, and gee wiz, now I don't have to think ...", you can roll that into your actual work as a PM.

Getting those data points through various means is important as much as the frameworks and the two by twos and all the Venn diagrams and all that.

Suzanne: Yeah. It's jumping into it.

Jason: Yes.

Suzanne: Jason, last question for you. Is there a mantra, personal or professional, that you use to kind of guide you through the world?

Jason: Yeah. One thing that we believe a lot at our company, and it's because I believe it personally, is this idea of showing and telling. It's not just one or the other. At Headlight our shirts say, "Show your work. That's a playful thing around, in math you can't just say, "72.5. That's the answer". You know? You've got to show how you got to that. That's about the idea that, you want to see how people think. You want to judge people on how they think and how they work, and not just on results, and not just on how well they've sort of polished up their resume and can kind of sweet talk their way through situations. But you want to see how they operate in real situations. That's certainly part of how I try to operate.

Suzanne: Yeah, "Show your work". Jason Shen, thank-you so much for being a part of our show. Headlight is the company, based in New York City. If you haven't heard of it, check it out. If you're looking for work, check it out.

Jason: Yeah. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: Thank you.

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