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Two things that make any PMM indispensable in defining product strategy

Membership content | Product-Led

This article originates from a presentation at the Product Marketing Summit in San Francisco, 2022. Catch up on this presentation, and others, using our OnDemand service. For more exclusive content, visit your membership dashboard.

I’m Daniel Waas, the VP of Product Marketing for AppFolio, a property management company. I’m here to share how you can make yourself indispensable at the product strategy table. That's a high bar, so let me tell you why I’m totally competent and qualified to talk about this (honestly!).

A slide that says "Why I'm like really honestly totally competent to talk about this" with a list of Daniel's credentials. First is a logo of WEB.DE that says "managed go-to-market of an awful product that failed quickly. Left.", then a debitel logo "led development of an eCommerce storefront. got bought." then netviewer "managed product-led growth of freemium SaaS product. got bought." then GoToWebinar "got an actual PMM Director job. Co-led product strategy. Got let go." then Daniel Waas "Started my own consulting business. Did everything. Quit" and finally AppFolio "VP of PMM. Focus on insight, strategy, and positioning. Alive and kicking."

I've worked in companies of all sorts and sizes. In 2003, I started out in a company called WEB.DE – the German equivalent of Yahoo. It was an awful product, and the customers hated it. We had 230 users and 215 of those users were people within the company that were mandated to use it.

I didn't know this was product marketing back then, but I was brought in to manage the product and I ended up doing a lot of go-to-market stuff and messaging, which was kind of fun. Nonetheless, I left pretty quickly.

Then I went to debitel, which is sort of like Sprint in the US. I was on the product side of things, leading the development of their eCommerce storefront. After that, I went to Netviewer, which was an early freemium SaaS product, and I did product-led growth. Both Netviewer and debitel got bought.

My next role was at GoToWebinar, and this was my first actual PMM job, so I was really excited. That's why I moved to the US eight years ago. I co-led the product strategy, and it was super fun. Then I got let go.

After that, I started my own consulting business. I landed one giant client, and then I signed on with AppFolio – I had to do these two jobs, so I quit the consultancy. Now I'm the VP of Product Marketing for AppFolio, and everything's going great!

Written by:

Daniel Waas

Daniel Waas

Daniel is the VP of Product Marketing at AppFolio.

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Two things that make any PMM indispensable in defining product strategy