There Is More Good Than Bad in the Startup World: Prashant Mahajan, Zeda.io by@zedaio

There Is More Good Than Bad in the Startup World: Prashant Mahajan, Zeda.io

image
Zeda.io HackerNoon profile picture

Zeda.io

Zeda.io helps product teams to define, manage, and collaborate better on their products at one place.

#HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.

I am Prashant, a product manager by heart, and I have been doing it for the last 7 years. I feel lucky to have started my career as a PM, while most people I know have transitioned to product management from engineering, business, or other fields.

As a PM, I have worked in countries worldwide, including India, Indonesia, USA, and have been a product consultant for a Japanese company. During my journey, I got the chance to build products and product teams from scratch. Not only that, but I was also able to help companies I worked for in acquiring more than 200 million users and over 100 million dollars in revenue through my products. Some of the products that I've worked on, like the Paytm QR code and Tokopedia, were covered as case studies at Harvard and Google.

Frankly, I feel quite satisfied with my product journey, but I couldn't help but notice the gaps and inefficiencies in product management, such as lack of visibility on the product, data fragmentation, and the operation-heavy nature of the job.

So, I started Zeda.io to solve these challenges for product managers across the world.

What's your company called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?

Our company is called Zeda.io. It is a SaaS platform to make product management simpler and smarter. Product managers often spend most of their time in meetings, replying to email/slack, or managing documents, and still, no one has a complete picture of the products they're building. Zeda.io is the only platform a product manager would need to build with everyone by keeping stakeholders aligned, involving customers, and giving a complete picture of the product without fragmenting it.

By bringing everything together with everything in one place, PMs can now focus more on strategic work and spend less time on operational work. Also, this allows us to build machine learning models that can help optimize the product and give contextual suggestions on your product management.

#What is the origin story?

After working as a product manager for different companies around the world, I realized that the way products are built inefficiently. To build the products of tomorrow, we need a better solution that's designed with product managers at heart.

I brainstormed my idea for Zeda.io with PMs working in startups to big companies, associate product managers to top product leaders worldwide. No one was happy with the way product management was being done, be it in India, Japan, the USA, or Europe. We thought, why not improve it using community and machine learning.

Over the last 25 years, people have moved from physical documents to Microsoft docs to Google docs and now Notion. But then again, these are all 2-dimensional documents that are tough to maintain, and no one gets the big picture by reading them. Not to mention, it's an outdated way of managing products.

It's so bad that most product managers are doing project management in the name of product management. The tools which are available in the industry cater only to the project management side of things, but project management is only a small subset of product management. And this is not the right approach to building products.

With Zeda.io, we are completely focused on product management. We want to centralize product data and help people ship better products faster by bringing centralizing the product in one place, making this one place integrated with the entire company stack, and building machine learning models on top of it.

#What do you love about your team?

It's tough to find people who will join your company for the vision and not just because they need a job. And I feel lucky to have a team that's in it for the vision. People who understand the problem, believe in it, and want to build an awesome product for people who build products. The best part is that we are all helping each other to achieve this vision.

#If you weren’t working at your company, what would you be doing?

If I wasn't building a company, I am sure I would still be a product manager, building products. So probably eating Sushi in a Japanese cafΓ© because I had an offer from a Japanese company which I was almost going to accept. But happy with the way things have panned out.

#At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

I believe the value defines success for us we are creating for our end-users. How easily they're able to get on board and their overall satisfaction with the product. So, net promoter score and customer satisfaction score are top of our success metrics list. Along with these, employee engagement and our growth are also critical. If we are hitting these metrics, that means we're succeeding.

#What’s most exciting about your company traction to date?

In just 8 months, we have been able to grow from a team of just 2 to 20. Moreover, with that, we've also been able to get 5000 people on the waitlist and a readership of 3500 for our weekly newsletter. I think these are incredible numbers considering all of this growth was organic, and not a single penny was spent in paid marketing.

#What technologies are you currently most excited about, and most worried about? And why?

The technologies that I'm most excited about are blockchain and machine learning at the moment. Blockchain is here to decentralize the internet and empower creators. Machine learning will help us improve processes so that humanity can focus on the bigger problems instead of spending time on operational and redundant tasks.

And the technology that I'm worried about is probably the use of AI and robots for warfare. While these are good technologies, they have the potential for misuse if fallen into the wrong hands. Another such tech is Deepfake.

#What drew you to get published on HackerNoon? What do you like most about our platform?

I've been reading HackerNoon for over 7 years now. I love the quality of people here and that I get to read the latest news in technology from thought leaders and people who are on a similar journey as I am. We decided to get published on HackerNoon to open up possibilities for us to understand our customers better with more feedback and expand our user base.

#What advice would you give to the 21-year-old version of yourself?

Buy Bitcoin and hold. I did buy Bitcoin but sold it before it went to the moon. But that aside, I would tell my younger self to start financial management and investment early on. I only started proper financial management last year, and I feel I should have started earlier.

#What is something surprising you've learned this year that your contemporaries would benefit from knowing?

One thing which I realized is that most people are scared to start a startup. They feel that it's a scary and bad world out there. But during my short journey, I realized that there is more good than bad in this world, and people will actually go out of their way to help you out. I would say to anyone in a similar journey as me to take the leap of faith and seek help as you progress.

Tags