Product Management in a Scale-Up with Isaac Tay

Product Management in a Scale-Up with Isaac Tay
Isaac Tay shares his perspectives on how to evolve product management from a startup to a scale-up.

Fresh out of the studio, Isaac Tay, VP of Product at Shopback shares his thoughts on how to be a product manager in a scale-up. Reflecting on his experiences as a co-founder in his former startup Honestbee, he offered his perspectives on the lessons he had learnt and what he could done differently. From there, he elucidates the concept of distance to understand how to align and work with teams across different cultures on building and developing products in different stages of maturity for a company. Isaac ties in his unique stint in stand-up comedy, revealing how it has influenced his professional life. Last but not least, Isaac shares what great would look like for product management in a scale-up.

"If I were to summarize it, your job as a product manager is to deliver the right product to the right users, to solve the right problems at the right time. Now, your role is very contextual because you will focus on different parts of that statement, depending on the founders, the stage of life of the company, which industry it is and everything else. There are some core functional skill sets that you can't run away from, and you must have them. But I don't think there is a cookie-cutter template on what you must do to succeed in product management." - Isaac Tay


  • Isaac Tay, VP of Product, Shopback (@isaacttsg , Linkedin)
  • How did you start your career?
  • How did you eventually end up in your current role?
  • Can you share the lessons that you have learned from your career journey with my audience?

Product Management in a Scale-Up with Isaac Tay

  • Let’s start with war stories when you were a co-founder of a start-up called Honest Bee. Can you talk about the story of the company and how it eventually collapsed from your POV?
  • If you could reverse time back to the founding of the company and redo this again, what would you have done differently?
  • Can you discuss a challenging project you've worked on and how you navigated the complexities involved?
  • How do you handle feedback and iteration when a product doesn’t initially meet market expectations?
  • How does the experience of scaling shape how you think about product management from a start-up to a scale-up?
  • What key lessons have you learned from your diverse experiences in product roles across different companies?
  • How do you approach the creation and refinement of a product strategy in a fast-paced tech environment?
  • What do you believe are the most critical skills for a product manager today, and how do you foster those skills in your team?
  • Can you describe the concept of distance between teams from different cultures? Reference: Distance Still Matters: The Hard Reality of Global Expansion in Harvard Business Review.
  • How would you align these teams who can look at the same problem from a different cultural point of view? 
  • What is your leadership style, and how has it evolved?
  • How do you build and maintain a cohesive product team, especially in times of high pressure or significant change?
  • How do you balance professional growth with personal interests?
  • You took a break after leaving Honestbee and before your current gig, can you tell the story of how you came to perform standup comedy culminating in winning the June edition of the brutal King Gong at The Comedy Store London in 2019? 
  • What have you learned from standup comedy that can be translated into your life experiences?
  • What does great product management look like from your point of view?


  • Any recommendations which have inspired you recently?
  • Isaac's recommendation: "Never Split the Difference" by Christopher Voss & Tahl Raz
  • How do my audience find you? 

Podcast Information: Bernard Leong (@bernardleongLinkedin) hosts and produces the show. Proper credits for the intro and end music: "Energetic Sports Drive" and the episode is mixed & edited in both video and audio format by G. Thomas Craig (@gthomascraigLinkedIn).