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100 Product Managers Interview with Mark Bertrand from Sprout Social

Oct 10, 2017

Episode 41: “You Don't Know What You Don't Know” with Mark Bertrand, Sprout Social

By: Suzanne Abate @suzanneabate

Mark Bertrand took a hard left on his path to getting a finance degree.

"I wanted to build things," he says, before telling me the story about his first product venture - an aggregator site for helping contractors get plans printed. He invested a small sum of money to hire an initial developer, and then when the funds ran out, took over the maintainance and taught himself to code in .NET.

Mark is the first to admit that he didn't know anything about the technical stuff back then. But his story shines a light on his enterprising side, a quality that serves him well today as Senior Product Manager of Growth at Sprout Social.

Much of Bertrand's journey, from his early contributions to Chicago's tech startup scene to the reconditioning of Sprout's mobile app through scaling Growth from a team of one, has been about learning on the job.

Mark sat down with 100 PM to share advice on organizing your first dev team (mostly as a survival tactic for fostering better team relations), creating value for customers in the first 30 days, and why PMs need to know their shortcomings.

The interesting thing about being a product manager in general is that you don't manage anybody. - Mark Bertrand

Also in this episode:

  • Scaling a team from zero
  • What PMs should know (or not) about Sales & Marketing
  • How to be entrepreneurial in a large organization

Tune in below.


Sprout Social - Social Media Management Software

Sprout Social is built on the idea that the world is better when businesses and customers communicate freely. They help streamline and enhance those conversations—with customers, prospects and enthusiasts. The platform is packed with handy features but stays out of the way to let brands easily engage with people and build lasting relationships.

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.