On Product Strategy, Consumer Science, and Culture


Gibson Biddle headshot
Gibson Biddle

Former VP Product/CPO at Netflix/Chegg

Episode notes

In this episode, Jenny Herald is joined by Gibson Biddle, former VP of Product at Netflix and CPO at Chegg. He’s now a speaker, teacher, and workshop host. They discuss many of his tools, models, and frameworks — like GLEE (Get big, Lead, Expand, Expand further) and SMT (Strategy, Metrics, and Tactics), how culture is not a touchy-feely soft thing but rather describes the skills and behaviors expected of everyone in an organization. Gib puts Jenny in the hot seat a few times as they examine some Netflix case studies together.

“At that time, I never would have said that or thought that, but in hindsight, being in a band is like being in startups.” — Gib [00:02:04]

Show notes

  • [01:51] Gib’s three careers.
  • [05:26] Why it’s important to have a product vision.
  • [10:47] On why people cancel their Netflix subscription.
  • [13:15] Consumer science and applying the SMT model to develop product hypotheses.
  • [16:07] What is culture?
  • [18:20] The CEO embodies culture by providing role-modelship.
  • [22:37] A case study on handling culture issues.
  • [35:44] What a product leader should consider in their first three months.
  • [40:01] Where to focus your time when you’ve got multiple teams running in parallel.
  • [41:49] Defining a core proxy metric that defines if you’re a good or bad job.
  • [48:18] Stating OKRs at launch may not be very useful.
  • [52:24] OKRs can be a helpful tool but may introduce false precision. 
  • [59:27] Gib answers quick-fire questions.

Relevant links

About our guest:

Gibson Biddle headshot
Gibson Biddle

Former VP Product/CPO

Gib is the former VP of Product at Netflix and was the CPO of Chegg, a textbook rental and homework help company. Today, he teaches both inside and outside the classroom. His primarily focus is on product strategy, but he also talks about consumer science and company culture.

Additional resources