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Product managers are people (nerds) too

dscout's Jonathan Fairman on the 100PM podcast

Words by Cam Balzer, Visuals by Delaney Gibbons

Suzanne Abate is a product management nerd AND people nerd. She teaches product management at General Assembly, runs her own product development shop and, in her spare time, curates a fantastic resource site at But her people nerd side really comes into play on her 100PM podcast. For anyone working on a product team, her weekly interviews with product managers about their backgrounds and aspirations, struggles and victories are always enlightening.

After focusing on LA-based product managers in her first season, Suzanne is branching into Chicago for Season 2. She recently visited dscout and sat down with our own product management + people nerd, Jonathan Fairman. Jonathan has worked as a designer, researcher and product manager, and dscout is the second company where he’s led product management for a research platform.

“I’m a people nerd. And, you know, at dscout that’s sort of something we’ve really embraced, this idea of being a people nerd. Because, if you’re not curious about people, you’re not gonna create a good product or good service for them.

“I've got a real affable mom. She just seemed to know everybody. She was a teacher in my hometown. And so, there was a lot of just ... in every moment, out and about, as a kid, you were talking to people, or you were listening to a conversation.

“And, you know, a good product should speak to people. It should inspire people. It should evoke emotion. And, without really understanding a person’s relationship to that experience, you’re not going to be able to get there, I think, through the design work alone.”

Check out Jonathan’s whole conversation with Suzanne about how dscout approaches researching researchers and empathizing with empathy builders. And support Suzanne by subscribing to 100PM wherever you get your podcasts (iTunesStitcher).

As dscout's head of marketing, Cam is in charge of making sure the world knows about dscout. The former Threadless CMO also has a penchant for cool t-shirts.

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