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100 Product Managers Interview with Liam Oliver from Total Loyalty Solutions

Aug 8, 2016

Episode 2: “There's Always Going to be Someone Smarter” with Liam Oliver, Total Loyalty Solutions

By: Suzanne Abate @suzanneabate

Liam Oliver might be the only product manager who moonlights as a professional hockey referee.

He’s certainly the first person I’ve heard use refereeing as analogy for validated learning:

“The ref that you start as on day one of the league is not going to be the ref you are on day 10,” says Oliver. “You’re going to constantly have to refine yourself and pivot to become a good official. It’s that humbling experience that you get from making mistakes that eventually makes you a better official to a point where you can be invisible.”

In product, invisibility tends to mean things are working. All your tinkering in the background has paid off in the form of seamless experience and consistent value for the end user.

But how do you take your product from experiment to invisibility?

How do you know what to focus on when?

We sat down with Liam inside his favorite new hideout — the beautiful public library in Manhattan Beach to answer these questions and more.

Some of the highlights from our discussion include:

  • Taking the intrapreneurial path to product management success
  • Why product managers are always surrounded by smarter people and why that’s ok
  • How to practically move your product through different phases of growth, and
  • What it means to get comfortable with ambiguity

You know, a big thing about being a product manager is being able to represent everyone that isn’t in the room. — Liam Oliver

This episode has got great advice for anybody debating whether to take the path of specialist or generalist and some wise words for how to get started as product manager when you have no experience.

You can learn more about Liam Oliver and Total Loyalty Solutions here —


Total Loyalty Solutions - Mobilizing your Business

Over 1,000 businesses nationwide connect with their customers through a TLS custom mobile app. Powerful, targeted email marketing; customer rewards; online ordering and more for increasing engagement and accelerating your business growth.

100 Product Managers began with a mission to interview one hundred active product managers in Los Angeles - from startups to enterprise. We didn't realize we were also pioneering the web's first consolidated and comprehensive resource for product management topics.