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“Sometimes it’s just best to let the product and the customer be together. Don’t get in the way and don’t misinterpret the signal. Let the customer tell you exactly how it is they want this experience to lay itself out, and then let that further dictate how you should shape the product vision and the vision for the company. You’re really putting all that control in the hands of the customer.” – Mahesh M. Thakur

There are certain strategies that large company executives, startup founders and CEOs can adopt to accelerate the growth of their revenue and businesses, and this is a subject that we haven’t focused on yet on this podcast. Today’s Finding Brave guest is an expert on Product-led Growth (PLG) strategies, and in this episode he shares why leaders need to build and demonstrate the mindset that makes PLG part of the everyday culture at their companies. 

Mahesh M. Thakur is an award-Winning B2B SaaS Chief of Product (CPO), Certified Board Director from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a former CEO with experience delivering $600M in revenue by building high-performing organizations that drive product-led growth. He has a strong track record of delivering new products in fast-paced environments including Amazon, Microsoft, Intuit, and GoDaddy. A data-driven operator who drives commercialization, user acquisition, usage, retention, and scale, Mahesh is an experienced former engineer with strong business acumen, and deep skill with driving high-stakes initiatives collaboratively.

After interviewing Mahesh for this episode, I believe there is no better time to listen to our customers in a new way that will serve them first, while help us become more curious, demonstrating customer “obsession,” and applying technology in a meaningful way. 

Highlights from this Episode:

  • What Product-led Growth is in simple terms [4:45]
  • The role that the “know, like, and trust” factor plays in business, and how to use it as a coach [8:24]
  • Some of the most common fears that startup founders have when implementing this approach [10:34]
  • How changes in consumer behavior are impacting companies today [13:36]
  • The biggest failures that Mahesh has seen in people who are pursuing product-led growth for their companies [15:37]
  • A few ways companies can boost the ability of their employees to be more innovative [20:34]
  • Mahesh’s thoughts on “failure” in Product-led Growth companies [24:39]
  • An example of a startup he’s working with that is solving a problem for knowledge seekers [27:33]

For More Information:

Resources Mentioned:

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If you enjoy the book, we’d so appreciate your giving the book a positive rating and review on Amazon! And check out Kathy’s digital companion course The Most Powerful You, to help you close the 7 most damaging power gaps in the most effective way possible. 

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Other resources mentioned:

Mahesh’s Blog & LinkedIn Newsletter

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“[The] product-led growth approach is an all new way to look at your customers and their problems, and to figure out how to actually add value before you get a penny out of them through a sale.” [5:10] 

“That’s the world we live in, where you don’t just need sales to close the deals. You have an organization that understands a customer’s problems, builds a product, lets the customer try it, and then once the value is added, magic happens from there and businesses start to flourish and grow.” [6:51] 

“The good news is that start-ups and startup founders can become smart, and not through mistakes alone, can learn from the mistakes of other [companies].” [16:50] 

“Innovation starts at every part [of the organization], from top to bottom. Innovation is not the responsibility of R&D labs, or a bunch of researchers wearing white coats Monday to Friday.” [20:37] 

“As leaders, we have to really set the tone and the culture so that the emphasis is on learning.” [26:26]

“As a startup, you want to make sure you address one or two segments at a time and do a really good job with that vertical. Go super-deep, and pick up the next vertical and then go super-deep [with that one].” [32:10]


Watch video versions of my interviews on Finding Brave! 

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Is your organization committed to supporting the growth and success of women and other underrepresented groups in your workforce? If so, do they offer opportunities for powerful hands-on career growth and leadership training that addresses in a new way the real-world challenges that these groups face in the workplace and in their careers that are often different from what men typically face?

I’m so thrilled that recently, an international division of the United Nations recently sponsored memberships to The Most Powerful You course for a number of their staff members and what a powerfully supportive move that is, to bring real-world effective career and leadership training to professionals in their work cultures, to help them thrive and succeed and the highest level possible in their work and projects.

Coaching so many professionals and leaders as I do each year, I see that leadership and career growth training programs today are so often NOT effective because they simply don’t go deep enough to address what really holds us back from thriving, believing in ourselves, recognizing our talents and abilities, communicating effectively, asking for what we need, saying “STOP!” to mistreatment, building a great support community, and making the true impact we long to.

I’d like to make this request of you today: 

Please take a look at what I’m teaching in The Most Powerful You course, which is the digital companion course to my book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss, now being translated into Chinese, Arabic and Polish, and designated a top leadership book by the Leader to Leader journal and among the TOP 5 books for productivity, innovation, confidence-building, addressing stress and burnout, helping new grads make a “dent in the Universe” and more by The Next Big Idea Club

If you feel that this content — about 7 most damaging power gaps that prevent 98% of women and 90% of men from reaching their highest potential and most thrilling and rewarding goals and how to close those gaps for good — would be helpful for you personally and for the people at your organization, I hope you’ll ask your leaders, supervisors, HR leaders, DEI managers and Learning & Development staff and ERGs to sponsor memberships of this course for you and other staff, so you can all thrive at the highest level in your roles and organizations.

And as always, please feel free to register for the course directly

Thank you so much for taking a stand for your best and happiest life, and here’s to becoming The Most Powerful You! 



Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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