People of Product

George Brooks and Daniel Linhart

Digital products power our lives, but they wouldn’t exist without the expertise and passion of real people. George Brooks and Dan Linhart co-host People of Product, an innovation podcast that brings together industry experts to share insights around product &

teams. Using stories and learnings from their time running a digital product agency, they explore how tech continues to transform the world around us.

All Episodes

Making commitments to your team is no small thing. You’re making a promise in the present to hold to a specific, desired end. In this episode, Dan & George talk about the importance of agreement and accountability in work-related commitments. 

Nov 29

28 min 22 sec

There are several different kinds of resources companies have to work with: capital, human, material goods, and time. In this episode, Dan & George discuss the logistics of each and how to be good stewards of all the resources available to you.

Nov 15

50 min 25 sec

Organizations are both constrained and enabled by the people within them. Each person brings a defined set of skills, capabilities, and habits that leaders have the opportunity to build upon. In this episode, Dan & George discuss how to thoughtfully support individuals and their structures in a way that doesn’t diminish growth. 

Nov 1

45 min 20 sec

We can tell you what collaboration is not.  It is NOT simply calling a meeting or “brainstorm” session with a group of people. It’s a wildly complex relationship between a team of diverse practitioners co-laboring on a creative endeavor together. In this episode, Dan & George analyze the intricacies of great collaboration and the T-shaped awareness required of every collaborator on a thriving team.

Oct 18

41 min 32 sec

Founders tend to over-index on confidence. What if all leaders & entrepreneurs had the humility to seek guidance in their journey?  Matt Thieleman, CEO of Pilea, is on a mission to connect every founder with a coach so they can effectively seek the good for themselves, others, and ultimately the globe. In this episode, Matt & George talk about the mindsets & behaviors of truly great leaders and what it takes to be coachable.

Oct 4

43 min 23 sec

Our culture loves the hustle. While periods of intense contribution can be good, there are risks in grinding too hard for too long. In this episode, George & Dan discuss the discipline of rest, striking a healthy work-rest balance, and how to plan for fruitful breaks. Spoiler: Working harder doesn’t always give different or better results. Intervals of rest can too!

Sep 20

51 min 31 sec

What does the success of marketing, sales, product teams, and company culture all hinge on? Asking good questions! It sounds simple, but asking the right questions the right way is an art. Marcus Sheridan - international keynote speaker & author of “They Ask, You Answer” - shares the power behind making others feel understood and valued by communicating more effectively.

Sep 7

48 min 19 sec

Whether you realize it or not, your team has put semi-permanent “structures” into place that concretely shape the way your team gets work done. They don’t change often, but they provide necessary form around the work that’s being done. Company purpose is a crucial structure that helps define everything your company does. In this episode, George & Dan discuss purpose as a structure and how it should influence your company as it grows. 

Aug 23

47 min 15 sec

In this episode, George Brooks is joined by Teresa Torres - speaker, coach, and author of Continuous Discovery Habits. This conversation is a full analysis of ideation. Knowing that your work on digital products is never really done, learn how to effectively collaborate in a way that continually brings fantastic new options to the table.

Aug 9

58 min 32 sec

Contribution for everyone on a product team looks different. It’s ultimately about bringing your full self & unique skillset to the table to bring about specific results. In this episode, George & Dan discuss the structure as well as the true value of contribution. Understanding what your individual contribution means to the success of the greater team will help your team better thrive.

Jul 26

38 min 52 sec

Many of the world’s most impactful advancements were made possible with technology. Even so, we tend to focus on the negative effects of tech. In this episode, Dan Linhart is joined by Carey Jenkins, CEO of Substantial, to discuss the importance of digital optimism. The pair chat about how an optimistic outlook is necessary in order to positively influence culture, ethics, and the changing nature of the landscape in a post-pandemic work environment. 

Jul 12

47 min 42 sec

The future of marketing is agile. This past year, the number of firms that went agile surpassed the 50% mark. In this episode, George Brooks is joined by Andrea D. Fryrear, co-founder of AgileSherpas, to discuss how agile has found its place in the marketing world, and how organizations can prepare for the shift. 

Jun 28

41 min 33 sec

Bringing ones’ full self to the job requires purpose. The difficult but important work that companies have to be doing is getting every single individual aligned under one unified purpose. This requires leadership to diligently attend to the matters of diversity, inclusion, & equity. In this episode, Art Johnson - CEO of Infinity Systems Inc. & author of “The Art of Alignment: A Data-Driven Approach to Lead Aligned Organizations” - discusses the constructs of measurements to align teams to mission & vision with actionable questions to getting there.

Jun 14

35 min 45 sec

People are realizing that the future of work is to be a technology organization. Everywhere teams are considering whether or not they should own their software to address their specific needs. In this episode, George Brooks & Dan Linhart break down the opportunities & challenges of building custom tech and how Crema steps in to bring product ideas to life.

Jun 7

46 min 33 sec

Does your organization look the same today as it did two years ago? You’re likely stalling in “zombie mode” because you’re de-prioritizing innovation. Elvin Turner is an innovation advisor & best-selling author on a mission to elevate organizations to “unicorn status” by placing learning at the center of all. In this episode, George Brooks & Elvin cover where leaders have to start in their journey towards innovation, the mentalities that hinder growth, and how to scale the practice of learning across an organization. 

Jun 1

47 min 32 sec

It’s not a coincidence that some of the most successful leaders are funny. Balanced humor in a professional setting is how you build trust and have a significant impact. Andrew Tarvin is the Founder & CEO of Humor That Works, a well-traveled comedian, and keynote speaker. In this week’s episode, George & Andrew talk about the cross-section of humor and the workplace and tips for how to infuse comedy into your organization to work more efficiently. 

May 24

44 min 53 sec

Kai Haley is head of UX Methods and Research at Google. She leads a highly unique internal program that systematizes UX practices across many groups within the monolithic organization. In this episode, George Brooks & Kai discuss methods for creating alignment across product lines, the challenge of creating a shared language, and how to best manage alignment as a distributed team.

May 17

52 min

Knowledge is power - and to gather more knowledge you have to gain access to different conversations and experiences throughout your life and career. It’s about tuning yourself into the opportunities that present themselves or just taking advantage of the access you already have. In this week’s episode, George & Dan talk about how to empower yourself and others to collect insight and open up access to conversations within your organization.

May 10

45 min 38 sec

C. Todd Lombardo, Author, Consultant, and VP of Product & Experience at Openly, joins George for a conversation around product roadmaps, implementing change within your organization, and the dangers of building features that never get used. Hear how he got started as an author and the learnings he’s gleaned throughout the process.

May 3

42 min 25 sec

Author, Silicon Valley Product Group Partner, and former product leader at eBay Marty Cagan shares his views on empowered product teams and the leadership required to make these teams possible in our latest episode. Learn why it’s important for product teams to serve customers first, how to encourage accountability on your teams, and the main reason to partner with a digital product agency.

Apr 26

49 min 4 sec

Director of Design Pamela Porto sits down with Dan and George to share how her craft team created design principles tied to a mindset rather than a specific product, how keeping on client work in her new leadership role helps her empathize with her team, and how she plans to incorporate more user research into the design workflow going forward.

Apr 19

29 min 3 sec

Crema’s Director of Development Rob LaFeve shares the challenges and opportunities that he’s discovered in his new role, touching on the shift from tangible output to more high-level decision-making and how he acts as a ‘switchboard’ for his team.  

Apr 12

49 min 15 sec

Self-proclaimed ‘super user’ and Crema’s Director of Testing Courtney Johnston von Nieda describes a day in the life of a test engineer in our latest People of Product interview. Though finding broken things and saving the day is a fun perk of the job, there’s a much larger mission to integrate with developers, improve the business overall, expand testing knowledge across the team, and so much more. Whether you’re a test engineer yourself or a product newbie, you won’t want to miss this one. 

Apr 5

37 min 41 sec

Get a sneak-peek into the daily functions and strategies of being a product manager. In this episode, Crema’s Director of Product Management Michael Luchen shares what the role entails, how to manage priorities, the hardest part of the job, favorite tools, and more!

Mar 29

38 min 29 sec

How do you build a product community from scratch? Mike Belsito shares how he and his partner launched the Product Collective and INDUSTRY conference in 2015 as well as some tips for how they’ve pivoted to make the virtual version of their event such a success. If you enjoy helping people and continuous learning, this episode is a can’t-miss! 

Mar 22

43 min 30 sec

What’s it like acting as a liaison and advocate in the product space? Tracy Edwards, Chief Product Officer at SBI, shares her experience leveraging different tactics to get stakeholders onboard, working within SBI’s ‘initiative vs capability’ structure to align her product vision against other company initiatives, and identifying the right problem and evangelists from the get-go to ensure product success. This episode gets to the core of what products are really about: communicating how technology is filling a human need. 

Mar 15

35 min 15 sec

Mariah Hay is the VP of Product for Help Scout. She’s continually working & innovating towards including human perspective in all steps of the product design process. What does it look like for a team to practice human-centered design? What are some of the challenges of this kind of work? George Brooks and Mariah sit down to discuss how we can be getting closer to people to create products that will help them thrive. 

Mar 8

36 min 7 sec

Corporate loyalty is dead! Now is the time to make your stake in the ground and build a foundation of experience and work that will carry you through any future career you wish to pursue. In this episode, Jeff Gothelf unpacks the ideas from his newest book, “Forever Employable” and explains how to reverse the flow of opportunity so that employers are chasing YOU.People of Product is hosted by George Brooks and Dan Linhart.The show is edited by Larissa McCarty.Brought to you by Crema.Crema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.   

Mar 1

34 min 2 sec

The greatest entrepreneurs, innovators, & product people are the ones who are seeking to try more things. Continuously gathering experiences or trying a hand at new skills is what gives you perspective & allows you to move forward. In this episode, Dan & George discuss the life-long pursuit of “tasting new things” and how it will impact the work you’re doing today.

Feb 22

34 min 34 sec

Diana Kander is a well-known professional entrepreneur who coaches corporate teams to practice and measure innovation. She’s showing the business world how to challenge certainty in order to foster curiosity. In this episode, Diana delivers tactical advice for how to overcome fear and passivity to grow more curiosity in your personal and professional life. 

Feb 15

32 min 45 sec

Most would agree that an environment with candid, kind, & consistent feedback is ideal. But how do you get there as an organization? In this episode, Dan and George describe what it takes from leadership to promote a safe and healthy space for feedback. Plus, practical tips for how to give and receive feedback better.

Feb 8

44 min 14 sec

Feedback is tough. Both from the giving and receiving end. However, when done in an appropriate & actionable way across an organization, something magic happens! Feedback becomes easier and extreme growth takes place. Listen as Dan & George make the case for fostering an environment of radical feedback.

Feb 1

26 min 8 sec

Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite business artifact: org charts! It’s simple documentation at face value that provides the necessary structure for support. But there are many benefits to org charts beyond just that. In this episode, George & Dan explain the unique structure of the matrix management model plus how org charts enable companies to retain and enhance culture, scale profitably, and deliver great work.People of Product is hosted by George Brooks and Dan Linhart.The show is edited by Larissa McCarty.Brought to you by Crema.Crema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.

Jan 25

55 min 59 sec

Meet Justin Mast - Founder & CEO of Bloomscape, fifth-generation greenhouse grower, & serial entrepreneur. Listen in as he shares his pathway to success, where the plant market is headed, and how Bloomscape has leveraged tech to improve the “plant parent” experience while maintaining their core values.

Jan 19

52 min 21 sec

Overwhelmed by the 2021 to-do list? Learn why it’s important to prioritize the initiatives that have higher risks + how you can still make time for innovation that aligns with your principles.

Jan 11

42 min 18 sec

Implementing any new tool within an organization takes time and will likely cause some friction - even the great ones! In this episode, Tyler Hilker and Justin Mertes discuss what factors prompt organizations to adopt new products despite the hurdles, the characteristics of those powerful products, plus recommendations for navigating the change. People of Product is hosted by George Brooks and Dan Linhart.The show is edited by Larissa McCarty.Brought to you by Crema.Crema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.

Jan 4

49 min 9 sec

Crema is going on a short holiday break. But before we do, let's take a look back at 2020. 

Dec 2020

23 min 37 sec

Business advisor and author Barry O’Reilly joins George this week to discuss why ‘copy and paste’ transformation doesn’t work, why being able to rapidly test a hypothesis and ask good questions is imperative to business success, and how to align your team around the deeper issues. 

Dec 2020

45 min 26 sec

Stockpiling funds feels comfortable during a pandemic, but now is not the time to freeze. If you want to spark a tech revolution within your organization and do more than just survive, you’ve got to innovate. In this episode, hear why teams are investing in digital transformation now and how to start small by creating “startups within.”

Dec 2020

26 min 40 sec

Why has Apple suddenly lowered its commission rate for small businesses on the Apple Store? And why have they faced so much heat from hey.com and the European Commission this year? We explore these questions and more in the latest episode of People of Product.  People of Product is hosted by George Brooks and Dan Linhart.The show is edited by Larissa McCarty.Brought to you by Crema.Crema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.

Nov 2020

26 min 23 sec

Values & principles - companies love to boast about them! But what does it mean to put these into practice? Is there a real difference between the two? In this episode, George and Dan talk over the nuance of principles vs. values and make a case on the importance of defining these foundational concepts in your organization.People of Product is hosted by George Brooks and Dan Linhart.The show is edited by Larissa McCarty.Brought to you by Crema.Crema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster. 

E

Nov 2020

44 min 2 sec

LiDAR technology in the new iPhone 12 is paving the way for a whole new world of innovation. George and Dan sit down with CK Hicks, a Lead Architect at Crema and emerging tech guru, to discuss what LiDAR technology is, how it’s being used with the new iPhone, and the larger implications of this depth perception capability.  

Nov 2020

28 min 17 sec

Is Roam Research just another note-taking tool? The #RoamCult claims they’re on the precipice of a new era of idea management. It’s not just the ingenious features like bi-directional linking that make this platform next-level. It’s how it gets to the core of thought-tracking in a more human way. In this episode, find out what makes digital products have a truly devout fanbase. Links/Sources:Roam Research - https://roamresearch.com/

Nov 2020

35 min 38 sec

We’ve revamped the Option Five podcast and are excited to introduce you to: The People of Product. It’s the same show you love, but with some updates and a fresh take on the world of digital product and the people behind the tech.

Nov 2020

7 min 28 sec

Dan and George sit down with Richard Banfield, VP of Design Transformation at InVision. Option 5 is brought to you by CremaCrema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.

Oct 2020

55 min 58 sec

"Humble Confidence" - contradiction, or culture saver? Dan and George explain how humble confidence can bring out the best in your teams.Follow us on Instagram: @Option5PodcastTweet at us: @cremalabOption 5 is brought to you by CremaCrema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.Find Crema on the web at https://www.crema.usFind us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/Cremalab

Oct 2020

40 min 23 sec

Dan and George return to the mics to discuss the next phase of the Option Five podcast & philosophize about the way humans in product teams learn best.Follow us on Instagram: @Option5PodcastTweet at us: @cremalabOption 5 is brought to you by CremaCrema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.Find Crema on the web at https://www.crema.usFind us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/Cremalab

Oct 2020

49 min 39 sec

In this week's episode, George and Dan discuss how size affects level of structure, how to prevent team members from getting siloed within a product team, why customized professional development is the most effective, and more.Follow us on Instagram: @Option5PodcastTweet at us: @cremalabOption 5 is brought to you by CremaCrema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.Find Crema on the web at https://www.crema.usFind us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/Cremalab

Oct 2020

42 min 21 sec

George and Dan trot down memory lane in our latest episode, reflecting on their favorite Option Five podcast moments. From interviews with renowned authors to discussions around learning frameworks, the podcast has been a springboard for some pretty amazing ideas. Sixty episodes down and we’re just getting started… Follow us on Instagram: @Option5PodcastTweet at us: @cremalabOption 5 is brought to you by CremaCrema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.Find Crema on the web at https://www.crema.usFind us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/Cremalab

Sep 2020

50 min 58 sec

Over the past 7 months, we’ve been forced to unlearn what we assumed was the only way to work and live. At this time, many of us have created new & better habits to adapt to our new situations.Think… what if you kept searching for routines to replace so that you could continue to grow? In this week’s episode, George & Dan discuss how to hone in the skill of “unlearning.” Look within and decide if you possess the humility it takes to let go of practices that might have worked in the past but aren’t beneficial for the future. Follow us on Instagram: @Option5PodcastTweet at us: @cremalabOption 5 is brought to you by CremaCrema is a digital product agency that works with partners from top innovative brands to funded startups. Our team of creative thinkers and doers simplify the complex to discover the right solutions faster.Find Crema on the web at https://www.crema.usFind us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/Cremalab

Sep 2020

36 min 14 sec