69: Christopher O’Donnell: Product Innovation is a Team Sport

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What does it take to develop products that customers love? Is it creative genius, teamwork, refined processes, or all of the above?

In this episode of the Manage Your Message Podcast, host Jim Karrh welcomes one of the leaders in the product management community. Christopher O’Donnell has built dozens of web and mobile products, ranging from language learning for the US military to the most popular free CRM product in the world. Christopher is the Senior VP of Product at HubSpot—which puts him in a very visible role, and has him lecturing at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and to major corporations. Apart from the day job, Christopher is a songwriter and guitarist for the band The Providers.

Jim and Christopher discuss a number of topics related to product management and innovation, including…

  • Why storytelling, inside and outside of the company, is critical to success
  • How Christopher builds “constraints” into the creative process
  • Which personal characteristics are important for product developers
  • How to recruit creative team members
  • How HubSpot listens to customers and works with them in the product-development process
  • How Christopher uses music as a creative outlet (and its connection to software development)


Learn about HubSpot, what they do, and opportunities for you:


See Christopher’s LinkedIn profile and connect with him:


Learn the story behind Christopher’s band The Providers:


Learn more about Jim Karrh’s speaking topics and testimonials:


Check out a sample of Jim’s new book, The Science of Customer Connections: Manage Your Message to Grow Your Business:


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