Why Product Management is Highly Relatable to Culture Management | 055 Christopher O’Donnell

Today’s guest is Christopher O’Donnell, SVP of Hubspot Product and songwriter/guitarist for the band The Providers. He shares with us today his role as a product manager and how he relates it to culture management, both in his music and tech career.

Leading and Supporting Teams

Why Product Management is Highly Relatable to Culture Management | 055 Christopher O’Donnell

Christopher is a technologist, musician and public speaker who has built dozens of web and mobile products. Today, Christopher serves as Senior Vice President of Hubspot Product, which he led from startup ($50M in revenue) to successful publicly-traded company ($600M in revenue). 


Moreover, Christopher has become a staple in the product management community and was recently named one of the Best Product Leaders of 2019 (via Comparably). As an experienced leader, he is passionate about leading and supporting teams to build anything, from developing tech products to creating rock & roll records. 

Software and Music Production

Outside of his day job, Christopher spends his time as a songwriter and guitarist for his band The Providers. He actually majored in Electronic Music in College and has been enjoying collaborating with producers and his bandmates. He excitedly shares the similarities of creating music and creating software.

“It’s just amazing how many of the dynamics that we’re after are similar to making software. Our people have roles, who’s in charge of which piece of the puzzle. Building trust and having relationships, celebrating these little wins, getting excited about a project together.” – Christopher O’Donnell

Moreover, Christopher stressed the importance of creating a psychological safety environment that encourages different ideas, both in his workplace and in his music collaborations. 

“To try to make something really amazing and really great, you have to have the security, culturally, to push each other. Find a way to say things like: ‘how about we try this other way?’ or ‘we’re not happy, it’s not good enough or ‘we need to go back and re-do this from the ground up.’ I see those both in the studio and also everyday here at work.” – Christopher O’Donnell

Shepherding People 

Christopher considers himself as someone who alleviates his team’s anxiety. He admits he is in continuous search on how he can effectively spend his time to address issues if his team. 

He further encourages leaders to introspect on how effectively they can manage their time to spend it with people. This holds true not only with teams directly reporting to him but those who are on other departments as well. 

“I am the Product Manager, which is like the record producer of software. These are the people who are not necessarily gonna play the instrument, not writing the code, but they are the ones in-change of shepherding the creation of a shared vision.” – Christopher O’Donnell

Download and listen to Why Product Management is Highly Relatable to Culture Management to learn more. Remember to let Christopher know you heard about him on Culture Eats Strategy with Jaime Jay!

Connect through the links below:

Linkedin – in/markitecht


Twitter – @theprovidersusa

Facebook – /theprovidersband

Instagram – @theprovidersband

Website – The Providers 

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Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.

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