Black box of PM Podcast: Season 01, Episode 01
tap tap tap… is this thing on?
It’s been three years since I’ve last written, and I’m happy to share that I’m going to be — slowly at first — writing and creating again. For my first “post”, I have a little surprise — I’ll be trying something new: a podcast with Craig Miller, the former CPO of Shopify.
A special thank you to Craig, who not only was an amazing guest, but hilariously helped me with post-processing for the video (for fun, he says…). Craig’s personal touch on the episode makes this extra special for me and hopefully you.
Enjoy, and please share to your networks if you find the content interesting!
In our first episode ever, I speak with Craig Miller, the former CPO & CMO of Shopify and a company legend. He joined the company when it was worth less than $100M and 70 employees, and by the time he left it had grown to over $130 BILLION and 10k employees. He was the company’s first marketer, and then built up the growth team as it’s CMO. Mid-tenure, Craig took over the product team which he grew from 5 to 250.
The winding conversation covers Craig’s early career in engineering and marketing, mental models for leadership and product, and tons of stories from his 9+ years at Shopify, from the earliest days to the present.
0:00 — Intro
1:06 — What’s the vague experience listed on your LinkedIn called, “Owner”?
3:52 — What happened after “Owner”, aka Kijiji
6:52 — How Craig came to run Marketing at Kijiji despite being an electrical engineer
8:54 — The start of the Shopify story
11:49 — The PS that changed Craig’s Life (https://medium.com/inside-shopify/the…)
14:33 — Craig’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal for Shopify
16:00 — Canadian tech imposter syndrome
18:44 — “If you have ambition, you’re an entrepreneur”
25:35 — Why Craig hired me, and his thoughts on interviewing/hiring
30:13 — Being a product exec role at a hyper-growth company
34:32 — Leading through others
45:52 — Projects or features that launched at Shopify that are great examples of PM thinking at the company
53:38 — The importance of the details
1:02:10 — Scaling the product management team from 5 to 250
1:08:30 — What Craig is most proud of during his time at Shopify
1:10:00 — What Craig is doing now
1:15:00 — Final question — what’s the single most important mental model or principle you have for life, work or both?