Hi, nice to meet you!
My name is Tolga. I have more than 10 years of experience as a product manager with a passion for creating innovative and meaningful products, with great outcomes. Throughout my entire career, I worked for technology companies where I have accumulated an extensive skillset. My professional expertise aligns perfectly with the end-to-end product management process.
I strongly believe in the power of having new experiences, failures, and iterations to reach real success in every aspect of life.
So, if you are ready to start a journey, I'm more than happy to support other product managers, and engineers looking to make the transition, in any way I can.
Some quick tips about me
📌 I am/was leading & structuring global product teams (distributed & co-located)
📌 I’m really passionate about UX and Usability Research.
📌 I’m a keen follower of Data Products, Machine Learning, and AI.
Please do not hesitate to say a hi to me
My Mentoring Topics
- Product Management
- Agile Product Development
- Product Discovery
- Data Product Management
- Data Analytics
- User Experience Design (UX)
- User Research
- Breaking Into Product Management
- Career Advice
- Interview Preparation
- Work in a multicultural environment
Strong Product People - A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers
Key Insights The role of product people: The book emphasizes that product people, especially Product Managers (PMs), are pivotal in the success of any product-centric organization. Developing product people: It provides comprehensive guidance on how organizations can create and foster a culture that helps product people to grow and thrive. Product discovery and delivery: The book delves into the importance of product discovery and delivery, highlighting their significance in the product development life cycle. Stakeholder management: The author stresses the role of PMs in stakeholder management, explaining how they can create value by aligning stakeholders towards a common goal. Feedback and development: The book suggests practical ways for PMs to solicit and leverage feedback for their development and for the improvement of their products. Product strategy: The book provides insights into how PMs can effectively develop and implement product strategies, drawing on real-world examples. Product leadership: It also explores the distinct yet interconnected role of product leaders, who should be able to guide PMs while creating a conducive environment for them to thrive. Product management skills: It outlines essential skills for PMs, such as communication, decision-making, strategic thinking, and influencing, among others. Career development: The author offers advice on how PMs can manage their career development, suggesting ways to navigate through the challenges and opportunities in their career path. Product management tools and techniques: The book presents a variety of tools and techniques that PMs can use to boost their efficiency and effectiveness. Product management in different contexts: It discusses how product management can be adapted to different contexts, including start-ups, scale-ups, and large organizations. Deep Dive into the Content Petra Wille's "Strong Product People: A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers" is a comprehensive guide that primarily targets product managers and product leaders. It aims to provide insights, techniques, and strategies to help them excel in their roles. Wille begins by emphasizing the importance of product people, especially product managers. She provides a succinct yet comprehensive definition of the role and responsibilities of product managers, highlighting their critical function in driving product success in any organization. The book then discusses how to develop product people. Wille suggests that organizations should foster a culture that permits the growth and development of product people. She argues that organizations should provide support, mentorship, and continuous learning opportunities to help product people thrive. Next, the book delves into the importance of product discovery and delivery. Wille provides an in-depth explanation of these two crucial aspects of the product development cycle. She presents practical examples and strategies to help product managers effectively manage both processes. The book also highlights the role of product managers in stakeholder management, which is often overlooked. Wille explains how product managers can add value by aligning various stakeholders, including customers, business leaders, and developers, towards a common goal. Furthermore, the book explores how product managers can use feedback for their development. Wille suggests that product managers should actively seek feedback from different stakeholders and leverage it to improve themselves and their products. Wille also provides insights into product strategy development and implementation. She uses real-world examples to illustrate how product managers can develop and execute effective product strategies. In addition, the book outlines the essential skills for product managers. These include communication, decision-making, strategic thinking, and influencing, among others. Wille provides practical advice on how product managers can cultivate these skills. Moreover, the book offers guidance on career development for product managers. It provides advice on how product managers can navigate through the challenges and opportunities in their career path, suggesting strategies for career advancement and personal growth. The book also presents a variety of product management tools and techniques. These tools and techniques, according to Wille, can help product managers improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Lastly, the book discusses how product management can be adapted to different contexts, such as start-ups, scale-ups, and large organizations. Wille explains that while the core principles of product management remain the same, the approach can and should be tailored to the context. In conclusion, "Strong Product People: A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers" is a comprehensive guide that provides practical insights, strategies, and techniques to help product managers excel in their roles. It is a must-read for anyone involved in product management, regardless of their experience level.View
EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products
Key Insights from "EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products" by Marty Cagan Transformation from ordinary to extraordinary: The book emphasizes that ordinary people can produce extraordinary products when empowered with the right tools, knowledge, and environment. Product teams: Cagan emphasizes the importance of autonomous, cross-functional product teams for creating innovative products. Leadership role: The book highlights the role of leadership in empowering teams and fostering a conducive environment for innovation. Product vision: Cagan underscores the significance of a clear, compelling product vision as a guiding light for product teams. User-centric approach: The book promotes a deep understanding of users, their needs, and their problems as key to creating valuable products. Risks and failures: Cagan discusses the importance of embracing risks and learning from failures in the product development process. Continuous learning: The book advocates for continuous learning and improvement both at the individual and team level. Role of technology: Cagan emphasizes the crucial role of leveraging technology to create innovative solutions. Product discovery: The book details the process of product discovery as a means to validate ideas before development. Product delivery: Cagan outlines the importance of efficient product delivery mechanisms for successful product development. Detailed Analysis and Summary "EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products" by Marty Cagan is a compelling read that delves into the nuances of creating extraordinary products. The book's central theme is the idea that ordinary people can produce extraordinary products when provided with the right tools, knowledge, and environment. This concept resonates with my years of research and teaching in product development, where I've witnessed the transformative effect of empowerment on individuals and teams. One of the key concepts that Cagan discusses is the importance of autonomous, cross-functional product teams in the innovation process. In my experience, this approach fosters collaboration, allows for diverse perspectives, and accelerates the product development cycle. Cagan goes a step further to discuss the role of leadership in empowering these teams. The book argues that leaders should not merely manage but inspire, mentor, and create an environment conducive to innovation. This aligns with the transformational leadership theory, a concept I frequently reference in my lectures. Another critical insight from the book is the import of a clear, compelling product vision. According to Cagan, this vision serves as a guiding light for product teams, providing direction and fostering alignment. This concept is deeply rooted in goal-setting theory, which emphasizes the significance of clear, challenging goals in driving performance. At the heart of Cagan's approach to product development is a user-centric approach. The book promotes a deep understanding of users, their needs, and their problems as the key to creating valuable products. This aligns with the principles of user-centered design and human-computer interaction, topics I frequently delve into during my lectures. Cagan also discusses the importance of embracing risks and learning from failures in the product development process. This aspect resonates with the concept of a learning organization, where failure is seen not as a setback but as an opportunity for learning and improvement. On the topic of learning, the book advocates for continuous learning and improvement both at the individual and team level. This idea echoes the principles of continuous improvement and lifelong learning, which are foundational to personal and professional growth. Cagan also emphasizes the crucial role of leveraging technology to create innovative solutions. The book points out that technology isn't just a tool but a source of product innovation when used creatively and strategically. Lastly, the book details the processes of product discovery and product delivery. Product discovery involves validating ideas before development, while product delivery focuses on bringing these validated ideas to life. These concepts align with the lean startup methodology and agile development practices, which advocate for iterative development and continuous feedback. In conclusion, "EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products" by Marty Cagan offers invaluable insights into the process of product development. It presents a compelling case for empowering individuals and teams, fostering a user-centric approach, embracing risks and failures, and leveraging technology for innovation. In doing so, it provides a comprehensive guide for anyone involved in product development, from beginners to seasoned professionals.View
The Culture Map - Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business
Key Facts and Insights from "The Culture Map - Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business" Understanding cultural differences is crucial for successful business communication and negotiation in the global marketplace. The book presents eight dimensions to map and understand cultural differences: Communication, Evaluating, Persuading, Leading, Deciding, Trusting, Disagreeing, and Scheduling. Each culture falls on a scale within these eight dimensions, which helps in comparing and contrasting different cultures. Communication styles vary greatly between cultures, and misunderstandings can easily occur if these differences are not recognized. Concepts of leadership and decision-making differ greatly among cultures, which can impact how businesses operate and negotiate internationally. The concepts of trust and disagreement also vary significantly across cultures. Understanding these differences can help build stronger, more effective international business relationships. The book includes real-world examples and case studies to illustrate the concepts discussed, making it a practical guide for business professionals. Erin Meyer's Culture Map provides a framework for understanding and navigating cultural differences in a global business context. Cultural intelligence is a vital skill for any business professional operating in a multicultural environment. The book emphasizes the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and open-mindedness in understanding and respecting cultural differences. "The Culture Map" is not only about understanding others but also about understanding oneself’s cultural biases and preferences. Detailed Summary and Analysis "Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business" by Erin Meyer is a comprehensive guide for anyone navigating the complex world of international business communication. The book presents a novel approach to understanding cultural differences, introducing an eight-dimension model that provides a structured way to compare and contrast different cultures. The dimensions – Communicating, Evaluating, Persuading, Leading, Deciding, Trusting, Disagreeing, and Scheduling – act as a map to navigate cultural complexities. In the dimension of Communication, Meyer explains that cultures can be categorized as low-context (where good communication is precise, simple, and clear) or high-context (where good communication is sophisticated, nuanced, and layered). This distinction is particularly crucial as misunderstandings can easily occur if individuals from different cultures do not recognize these differences. Moving on to Evaluating, the book discusses how different cultures give feedback. Some cultures are more direct, others are indirect. Misunderstandings can arise if feedback is interpreted through one's cultural lens without considering these differences. The dimensions of Leading and Deciding are intertwined, as they both deal with hierarchies and decision-making processes. In some cultures, leadership is equated with hierarchical status, while in others, it is more linked to expertise and competence. Similarly, decision-making can either be top-down or consensus-driven, depending on the culture. Trusting and Disagreeing are two more dimensions that vary significantly across cultures. In some cultures, trust is built through business relationships, while in others, it is established through personal relationships. The way cultures handle disagreement can also be very different, with some favoring a confrontational approach and others preferring to avoid open conflict. The final dimension, Scheduling, deals with how different cultures perceive time and deadlines. Some cultures view time as linear and rigid, while others see it as flexible and fluid. The book carefully balances theory with real-world examples and case studies, making it an insightful and practical guide for business professionals. The author emphasizes the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and open-mindedness in understanding and respecting cultural differences. The book encourages readers not only to understand and appreciate others' cultural biases and preferences, but also to recognize and understand their own. In conclusion, "The Culture Map" provides valuable insights and tools to navigate the cultural complexities that characterize today's global business environment. It emphasizes the importance of cultural intelligence as a vital skill for any business professional operating in a multicultural environment. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to communicate, negotiate, and do business effectively in the international arena.View
Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments - A Practical Guide to A/B Testing
Ron Kohavi, Diane Tang, Ya Xu
Key Insights From the Book: Importance of Controlled Experiments: The book highlights the essential role of controlled experiments in the world of online businesses to test and optimize the user experience. Principles of A/B Testing: The authors provide a detailed overview of the principles and methodologies of A/B testing, a popular technique used in online controlled experiments. Statistical Significance: The book underscores the importance of statistical significance in interpreting the results of controlled experiments. Common Mistakes: The authors talk about common mistakes that businesses make in conducting and interpreting online controlled experiments and how to avoid them. Business Decisions: The book demonstrates how data from controlled experiments can be used to inform and drive business decisions. Practical Case Studies: Real-world case studies are presented to illustrate the concepts and methodologies discussed in the book. Advanced Topics: The book delves into more advanced topics, such as multivariate testing and multi-armed bandit algorithms. Organizational Culture: The authors emphasize the importance of fostering an organizational culture that values data-driven decision making. Ethical Considerations: The book also discusses ethical considerations in conducting online controlled experiments. Future of A/B Testing: The authors speculate on the future of A/B testing and controlled experiments in the digital age. In-Depth Summary and Analysis: "Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments - A Practical Guide to A/B Testing" is a comprehensive guide for anyone seeking to understand and apply the principles of A/B testing and controlled experiments in an online business setting. Importance of Controlled Experiments: The book begins by establishing the importance of controlled experiments. The authors, Ron Kohavi, Diane Tang, and Ya Xu, argue that the digital age, with its vast amounts of data and advanced analytics capabilities, provides unprecedented opportunities for businesses to test, measure, and optimize the user experience. This approach, they argue, results in more informed decision-making and improved business outcomes. Principles of A/B Testing: The book then delves into the principles of A/B testing, a popular technique used in online controlled experiments. A/B testing, the authors explain, involves comparing two versions of a webpage or other online element to see which performs better. A/B testing, they argue, allows businesses to make incremental improvements to their online platforms, driving increased user engagement and business growth. Statistical Significance: The authors underscore the importance of statistical significance in interpreting the results of controlled experiments. They explain that a result is statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance. They emphasize that understanding statistical significance is crucial in avoiding false positives and ensuring the validity of experiment results. Common Mistakes: The authors also discuss common mistakes that businesses make in conducting and interpreting online controlled experiments. These include failure to randomize, failure to account for bias, and misinterpretation of results. They offer practical advice on how to avoid these pitfalls. Business Decisions: The book demonstrates how data from controlled experiments can be used to inform and drive business decisions. The authors argue that this data-driven approach leads to better decision-making and improved business outcomes. Practical Case Studies: The authors support their arguments with real-world case studies. These case studies illustrate how the principles and methodologies discussed in the book have been applied in practice, and the positive impact they have had on business performance. Advanced Topics: The book also delves into more advanced topics, such as multivariate testing and multi-armed bandit algorithms. These topics, the authors argue, offer more sophisticated tools for optimizing online experiences. Organizational Culture: The authors emphasize the importance of fostering an organizational culture that values data-driven decision making. They argue that this cultural shift is necessary for businesses to fully realize the benefits of controlled experiments and A/B testing. Ethical Considerations: The book also discusses ethical considerations in conducting online controlled experiments. The authors stress the need for transparency and respect for user privacy. Future of A/B Testing: The authors speculate on the future of A/B testing and controlled experiments in the digital age. They suggest that these methodologies will continue to evolve and become even more integral to online business success. In conclusion, "Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments - A Practical Guide to A/B Testing" provides a comprehensive and practical guide to conducting and interpreting online controlled experiments. The authors’ expertise and insights make this a must-read for anyone seeking to understand and apply the principles of A/B testing and controlled experiments in an online business setting.View
A Project Guide to UX Design - For user experience designers in the field or in the making
Russ Unger, Carolyn Chandler
Key Facts and Insights from "A Project Guide to UX Design" Importance of Understanding the User: The book emphasizes the significance of understanding the needs, behaviors, and motivations of the end-user. This is essential in designing a product that delivers a positive user experience. Role of Research: The book highlights that user experience (UX) design is not just about creativity but also about research. Rigorous user research is a key aspect of UX design. UX Design Principles: The book introduces the core principles of UX design, including usability, accessibility, and aesthetics, and explains how to apply them in different contexts. Collaboration and Communication: The book emphasizes the role of collaboration and effective communication within a design team, and with stakeholders and clients. UX Design Process: The book provides a detailed overview of the UX design process, from ideation and concept development to prototyping, testing, and final implementation. Prototyping and Testing: The book lays out the importance of building prototypes and conducting usability testing to validate design concepts and improve the user experience. UX Documentation: The book discusses the different types of UX documentation, their importance, and how to produce them effectively. Role of UX Designer: The book outlines the roles and responsibilities of a UX designer, providing valuable insights for those considering a career in the field. Importance of Iterative Design: The authors stress the significance of iterative design in UX, which involves multiple cycles of design, testing, and feedback. Impact of Technology on UX Design: The book explores the effect of emerging technologies, like AI and VR, on UX design. Business and Strategy: The book also delves into the business aspect of UX design, discussing how to align UX strategy with business objectives. An In-depth Analysis of the Book's Contents "A Project Guide to UX Design" is an essential resource for anyone interested in UX design, whether they are beginners in the field or seasoned professionals looking to refine their skills. The authors, Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler, draw on their vast experience in the industry to provide a comprehensive guide to UX design. At the heart of UX design, as the book emphasizes, is a thorough understanding of the user. This is not achieved by guesswork but through rigorous research. The authors detail different research methodologies, including interviews, surveys, and observation, and explain how to analyze and apply the collected data to inform the design process. The book introduces and explains the core principles of UX design. These principles are usability, accessibility, and aesthetics, and they provide a framework for creating user-centric designs. Importantly, the authors highlight that these principles are not static but need to be adapted depending on the context and the specific needs of the user. Collaboration and effective communication are other crucial aspects of UX design that the book emphasizes. The authors provide valuable advice on how to communicate design ideas and decisions to different stakeholders, including team members, clients, and users. They also stress the importance of feedback in the design process and provide guidelines on how to give and receive constructive criticism. The UX design process, as outlined in the book, involves several stages, from initial ideation and concept development to prototyping, testing, and final implementation. The authors provide a step-by-step guide to each stage, offering practical tips and advice based on their experiences. Prototyping and usability testing are given significant attention in the book. These are critical steps in the design process that help validate design concepts and identify areas for improvement. The authors explain different prototyping techniques and provide a comprehensive guide to conducting effective usability tests. One of the unique aspects of the book is its discussion on UX documentation. The authors explain the different types of UX documentation, such as wireframes, user flows, and personas, and provide practical guidelines on how to produce them effectively. This is a valuable resource for both new and experienced UX designers. The book does not only focus on the technical aspects of UX design but also delves into the business side of things. The authors discuss how to align UX strategy with business objectives, providing insights on how to demonstrate the value of UX design to stakeholders and how to manage UX projects effectively. Finally, the book also explores the impact of technology on UX design. With the rise of AI, VR, and other emerging technologies, the field of UX design is constantly evolving. The authors discuss these changes and provide insights on how to adapt to them. In conclusion, "A Project Guide to UX Design" is a comprehensive and practical guide to UX design. It provides a wealth of knowledge and insights that will be valuable to anyone in the field, from beginners to seasoned professionals. The book emphasizes the importance of understanding the user, conducting rigorous research, and applying UX design principles in different contexts. It also highlights the importance of collaboration, communication, and iterative design in the UX design process. By reading this book, one can gain a deep understanding of UX design and be better equipped to create designs that deliver a positive user experience.View
Validating Product Ideas - Through Lean User Research
Key Insights from "Validating Product Ideas - Through Lean User Research" Importance of User Research: User research should be the backbone of any product development process. It helps in understanding what the users want and how they behave, and to validate the product ideas. Lean User Research: This approach focuses on quick, iterative learning loops to validate ideas and designs. Validating Ideas: Not every idea is worth pursuing. It is important to validate the ideas before investing time and resources into product development. Building Empathy with Users: One of the keys to successful product development is understanding and empathizing with the users. This understanding leads to better products and services. Integration of Lean User Research in Design Process: Lean user research should be incorporated into the design process from the very beginning. It helps in making informed decisions and avoiding costly mistakes down the road. Conducting User Interviews: User interviews are an important tool for gathering qualitative data. They should be conducted in a way that encourages users to share their honest opinions and experiences. Interpreting User Data: It's not just about collecting user data, but also about interpreting it correctly. This would help in identifying patterns and making sense of the data. Creating User Personas: User personas help in understanding the needs, wants, and behaviors of different user groups. They should be based on actual user data and not on assumptions. Testing Prototypes: Testing prototypes with users helps in identifying problems and improving the design before the final product is built. Iterative Design: The process of design should be iterative. This means continually testing and refining the product based on user feedback. Decision Making Based on Data: Decisions related to product development should be based on user data and not on personal opinions or assumptions. In-depth Analysis of "Validating Product Ideas - Through Lean User Research" The book "Validating Product Ideas - Through Lean User Research" by Tomer Sharon is a comprehensive guide that bridges the gap between theory and practice in product development. It emphasizes on the importance of user research in validating product ideas and incorporating user insights into the design and development process. The author emphasizes on the importance of user research right from the beginning. He argues that it is not sufficient to rely on assumptions or personal opinions while developing a product. Instead, understanding the users, their needs, behaviors, and pain points should be the foundation of any product development process. This user-centric approach leads to products that are more likely to succeed in the market because they address real user needs and problems. The book introduces the concept of Lean User Research, a method that focuses on quick, iterative learning loops to validate ideas and designs. This approach aligns with the Lean Startup methodology, which advocates for rapid prototyping and validation. Lean User Research enables teams to make informed decisions early in the product development process, thereby saving time and resources. One of the core parts of Lean User Research is conducting user interviews. The author provides detailed guidance on how to conduct effective user interviews, including how to ask the right questions, how to listen effectively, and how to interpret the data collected. He emphasizes on the importance of conducting these interviews in a way that encourages users to share their honest opinions and experiences. The book also discusses the importance of interpreting user data correctly. It cautions against confirmation bias, where one only sees data that supports their existing beliefs and ignores data that contradicts them. The author stresses on the need to objectively analyze the data, looking for patterns and trends that can inform the product development process. Another important aspect of the book is the creation of user personas. These personas, which are based on actual user data, help in understanding the needs, wants, and behaviors of different user groups. They are instrumental in guiding the design process and ensuring that the product meets the needs of its target users. The book advocates for the testing of prototypes with users. This helps in identifying problems and improving the design before the final product is built. It also underscores the need for an iterative design process, where the product is continually tested and refined based on user feedback. In conclusion, "Validating Product Ideas - Through Lean User Research" provides a practical and user-centric approach to product development. It offers valuable insights and techniques that can be applied by anyone involved in the creation of products, from designers and developers to product managers and entrepreneurs. The book strongly advocates for decisions based on user data, not personal opinions or assumptions, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to create products that genuinely meet user needs and create value in the market.View