June has always been a special month for Product School. This time of year represents the anniversary of when my brother and I were sitting at a cramped desk in a less-than-ideal part of San Francisco back in 2014. At this shabby work station, we were taking the first steps towards creating a revolutionary idea: bringing specialized courses to train the next generation of Product Managers.
Sitting here now five years later, it is safe to say that we have outgrown our small sliver of SF. With over 20 campuses worldwide, plus thousands of new students registering each year, we are now a global family of product leaders.
However, we could not achieve any of this success alone!
With the guidance of our elite product instructors, the support of incredible students, and the rigorous effort of our team, we have been able to continuously hit new milestones.
In light of this half-decade of hard work and growth, I took the time to highlight some of our biggest moments. Each year held tons of notable occasions, but certain accomplishments stand out above the rest.
Year 1 – The Beginning
The exhausting days and long nights are finally paying off. Product School has become official, and students are beginning to register for our classes.
It is hard to illustrate just how big of a moment this was for us. Our first classes were just a handful of students, and I was playing the role as our first instructor. While this may seem like a small step, it was actually monumental occasion for us considering that we initially only had the funding to rent a desk that could fit just 3 people.
These first months were a learning experience for everyone involved. We spent much of our time figuring out what students wanted, needed, and didn’t need. Yet, bit by bit, we were gaining insights on what was necessary to improve upon our vision.
After the first few trial runs of classes, the realization was kicking in that Product School was making quick progress. We were registering more students by the day, and word was spreading that what we were providing was key in becoming a Product expert.
Year 2 – New Campuses
Because of the exciting burst of success, we took the opportunity to launch Product School in new markets. Starting with our initial campus in Silicon Valley, we focused our efforts on developing two new locations: San Francisco and New York.
This was a HUGE moment for us.
We now had our moment to say that Product School was not just a seedling idea, but an institution that was serving the epicenters of tech and business.
With each new location, we were continuing our upward trend of attracting new intelligent students who were looking to improve their career in Product Management. Additionally, these new campuses were evidence that word was spreading, and that our classes were serving a very important need in a variety of locations.
Year 3 – New Courses
Now that it was clear that our Product Management courses were a hit, we decided it was time to offer something more. To round out our curriculum, we began adding additional training to help students become even more proficient in Product Management.
After deliberating on what would provide the most value, we came up with two new subjects: Coding for Managers, and Data Analytics for Managers.
The addition of these courses was a key moment for us and our student body. Being able to add more to our students’ technical arsenal was not only helping them get their foot in the door to better jobs, but also helping them create more impactful work once they were in a company.
Year 4 – Hitting The Web
It was no mystery to us that people are busy and their schedules are full with daily tasks. We knew this, and we were looking for a way to bring Product School courses to those who couldn’t make it to our physical campuses.
The answer was staring us in the face: offer our curriculum online!
From that point onwards, we were providing Product Management, data, and coding classes to a much larger audience. Far from just offering our training to people in a select few locations, we began serving the world.
Of course this was a great breakthrough for us, but more importantly, this was transforming the lives of future PMs who otherwise were unable to access certifications in order to improve their careers.
Year 5 – We’ve Gone Global
And here we are! 5 years later, with teams spanning from San Francisco, to Mexico, all the way to Madrid. There is no debate when it comes to describing Product School as an international business (and family).
With 6 courses offered online and in-person, over 100 events that are held on nearly every continent, and the largest Product Conference in the world, we have come a long way since working at a small desk in a cramped apartment.
I can’t mention enough how appreciative I am for the amount of tremendous support we’ve had along the way. From the elite professors that continue to help students get closer to their goals to the effort that each of my colleagues put forward each day, the success Product School has is a collective effort.
And last but certainly not least, it must be said that without each and every student, none of this journey would have been possible. We thank all of you who have put your trust in us to fulfill your Product dreams. We look forward to continuing to grow with you guys for many years to come.