What questions should I be asking a series C startup to get an understanding if they’re worth joining as a PM? Metrics to ask?

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1 - Product Vision and a metric that measures the progress of it.
2 - Value proposition and differentiator


In addition to Director 1, you'll want to evaluate the viability and trajectory of the organization as it heads towards IPO:

(a) Do they have a roadmap to go along with their vision (this will help discern if the work they're doing is purposeful or if they're still attempting to get organized)

(b) What is the size of their teams across flagship products, complementary services, new product development (Series C is about scale and growth - if the teams are disproportionately spread across work streams that don't contribute to the core value prop. then there might be a lack of focus and layoffs will likely be in the pre-IPO future).

(c) How is the PM org designed? Do they have product teams that own a product space or do they use feature teams that own parts of a product space? Do they have platform teams? This will help you understand the breadth and scope of responsibility you might adopt.

(d) Ask about penetration rate and retention rate of the target market. And figure our whether their product wedge is niche or it's a well-defined piece of an existing market.

(e) Ask about path to profitability and how reliable their flagship products are at generating enough revenue to run the business and offset the costs of innovation bets, marketing, etc.

(e) You won't get a direct answer about CAC but you can ask about and evaluate the mechanisms they're using to drive acquisition and adoption. This will help you understand if they're actually a marketing organization attempting to build a product or a product-led organization where marketing/sales work collaboratively with product to drive adoption use and discover new markets.


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