What’s it like to be a product manager at Zuora?

August 1, 2019

by Durga Pandey, Director Product Management, Zuora

It’s been rightly said that PMs are CEOs of their product. As a product manager, you are responsible for the product’s success without any of the cross functional stakeholders reporting to you. That makes the PM’s job theoretically one of the toughest – how do you make your product succeed just with data, tact, influence and a deep understanding of your customers?

Prior to Zuora, I was Product Manager at Google; leading Autofill and payments on Chrome. I also co-led the Duplex On the Web project. After working at Google, I wanted to go to a mid-sized company that had achieved product-market fit, was growing fast and had the potential to grow into the next SAP or Salesforce. Zuora felt like it had that potential. I also really enjoyed my interviews, which were intense but intellectually stimulating and thoughtful. So I liked the market, the company and the people. That’s a rare combination, so the decision to join was a no-brainer for me. It’s been a great experience since joining the team and I’m thrilled for the future of Zuora.

So, what’s it like to be a PM at Zuora? I’m glad you asked! Here’s the inside scoop:

Huge Impact

If I had to summarize my Zuora experience in one sentence, it’d be “the ability to have very high impact and contribute to the success of a fast growing company in the company of very smart, thoughtful and interesting teammates.”

Seeing the impact of my team’s work is really inspiring for me. When you fix an issue or ship something new and it delights customers (or reduces their frustrations), it’s deeply satisfying.

Eigentumsrecht

At Zuora, Product Managers own substantial portions of the product. With only 15 product managers in a company of over 1,300, Zuora places major trust in their PMs to carry the product forward. We are the company that kickstarted the Subscription Economy® , and in a sense, our CEO Tien Tzuo has acted as a product manager taking the industry forward. That’s the spirit we bring to our jobs everyday.

I’m responsible for the Orders and Subscriptions products, which sit at the core of Zuora and enable our customers to create and manage both simple and highly sophisticated subscriptions. So in some sense, it’s a gateway to Zuora and we take our responsibility very seriously. It’s also a really fun team to work with – we’re based in Beijing and San Mateo – and we like to work hard and play hard!

Uncharted Challenges 

Zuora is a faaaaast growing company! Prepare to master the complexities of enabling a diverse set of customers to succeed with their subscription businesses, all the while being design oriented, data driven with  the ability to work effectively with geographically spread teams. 

Boundless Collaboration 

This point requires emphasis. Zuora is a global company with offices in San Mateo, Atlanta, Beijing, Boston, Chennai, Denver, San Francisco, Tokyo, London, and more…you get the idea! Before venturing to Zuora, I was part of Google Chrome, what I thought to be the most distributed team ever.  Zuora is even more! In addition to being extremely effective across time zones and locations, being successful requires you to make good decisions and meet milestones while collaborating remotely. Also, get that passport renewed and be prepared to book that occasional flight to Beijing or Atlanta. 

Seriously Fun I’ve been with Zuora for 4 months now, and in that time have attended an outing with the Beijing team in Osaka, a day trip with the analytics team in Napa, and various other great team events in San Francisco and Beijing. We take our fun seriously!