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Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy Paperback – 20 September 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

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Product details

  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 348 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1976182190
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1976182198
  • Customer reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

Product description

About the Author

Parth Detroja studied Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University and graduated Summa Cum Laude as a Merrill Presidential Scholar (top 1% of class). During his time at Cornell, he cofounded the Cornell International Business Association (CIBA) and served as the lead undergraduate teaching assistant for AEM 3249: Entrepreneurial Marketing and Strategy. He has previously interned at Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM. He is currently a Product Manager at Facebook. Neel Mehta studies Computer Science at Harvard University, where he has a 4.0 GPA and is a John Harvard Scholar (top 5% of class). He's done the "tech triple crown": he worked at a .com (Microsoft, as a Program Manager Intern), .org (Khan Academy, as a software engineer), and .gov (the US Census Bureau, where he founded the first fully-funded tech internship program in the federal government.) At Harvard, Neel founded the Harvard Open Data Project, a student-faculty group that built Harvard's first open data repository, and was a teaching assistant for CS50, Harvard's introductory computer science course. Aditya Agashe studied Computer Science and Business at Cornell University and graduated Cum Laude as a Rawlings Presidential Research Scholar (top 1.5% of class). At Cornell, he founded Belle Applications (belleapps.me), a company that builds and optimizes software platforms for businesses. He grew annual revenue to $50,000+ and is negotiating an acquisition offer from a small-business conglomerate. Adi is currently a Program Manager at Microsoft.

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20 December 2020

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 690 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny
22 August 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny
Reviewed in the United States on 22 August 2019
After I blew my Microsoft PM interview by not being knowledgeable about enterprise cloud trends, a friend suggested I read Swipe to Unlock. I was on the fence about getting this book as it costs almost $30 with shipping and tax at the time. However, I am extremely glad I made the investment.

Swipe to Unlock is essentially a collection of case studies on random important information that you aren't really taught in school (motivation behind various acquisitions, tech industry trends, recent gov't, and tech policy rulings, analysis based predictions, etc.)

I read this book before my on-site for a PM role at Google. One of my Google interviews focused heavily on emerging markets payment solutions. Before reading Swipe to Unlock, I knew nothing about this topic and would have been forced to give a vague and uninformed response.

Luckily for me, this book had a very insightful payment section which went over the key mobile payment players in each region (eg. WeChat, Paytm, M-Pesa, etc.) The book also predicted that in Southeast Asia, ride sharing drivers would in the future serve as mobile cash in, cash out ATMs to power digital wallets. Given Google is a major investor in GoJekm the leading ridesharing app and digital wallet in Indonesia, sharing this insight went over very well in my interview. I honestly don't think I would have gotten my Google offer had I not read this book.

I think this book is a must-read for anyone interested in working in tech, especially Product Managers. Everyone has some knowledge gaps whether it be the technical side, the business side, the legal side, etc. Swipe to Unlock does an amazing job of giving you a thorough overview of obscure must know things that may show up in your interviews. Although this book isn't written like a traditional interview prep book, reading it will definitely help you stand out in your interviews.
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92 people found this helpful
Jean Ren
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for All Those Interested in Breaking into the Tech World
24 May 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for All Those Interested in Breaking into the Tech World
Reviewed in the United States on 24 May 2019
I am a PM at Quora and discovered Swipe to Unlock through our company book club. One of our leads nominated it as our read of the month. Our books are usually more of stories (e.g. Bad Blood) rather than case studies, so I was a bit reluctant reading “a primer” given that I have been working in tech for almost 8 years now. I have to hand it to the authors though, they did a phenomenal job incorporating vivid storytelling into the book!

Each chapter of the book is full of key insights regarding business trends and tech developments. I think this book is a must read for everyone working in tech, but especially product management professionals. There’s few good resources to help PMs think big and critically analyze opportunity. I think Swipe to Unlock and Zero to One are probably the best books on the market for that.

I was familiar with at least half the material in this book, but I previously lacked the ability to explain the concepts in ways that non-technical members of my team could understand and thus comprehend the significance of the technical product decisions we were making. So this book definitely helped with that. But, the real value I got from this book was in the later chapters which focused more on business strategy and emerging market trends.

Having a Western-centric user base at Quora, I haven’t yet had much exposure to the tech trends in high growth tech markets such as South East Asia. This book does a phenomenal job breaking down key growth strategies other companies have used to successfully win market share in emerging markets. It also reveals that rationale behind major acquisitions such as Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn and provides actionable analysis on what things to look for to make an acquisition successful.

If you are a product manager, I would highly recommend reading this book. It will broaden your perspective from thinking how to incrementally improve your product to how to spot the next major opportunity. I just ordered copies for both of my reports to read!
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84 people found this helpful
Abhay Gupta
5.0 out of 5 stars Swipe to Unlock: An Essential for a PM Interview
8 May 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Swipe to Unlock: An Essential for a PM Interview
Reviewed in the United States on 8 May 2019
Whenever I asked my PM friends how to prep for product management interviews, I kept hearing the same three things: read Decode and Conquer, read Swipe to Unlock, and do mock interviews. I had already read Decode and Conquer and had been doing mocks, but hadn't heard of Swipe to Unlock until I started talking to people in the industry.

Although this book isn't branded as a PM interview book, in my opinion, it was MUCH more insightful than Cracking the PM Interview. I found Cracking focused largely on what product management is and how it varies by company. While that's definitely useful information, it is oriented towards beginners.

I found Swipe to Unlock did a wonderful job complementing Decode and Conquer. While Decode and Conquer gives you an overview of what sort of questions to expect and examples of good responses, it doesn't really go into the tech trends or business strategy required to give a truly stellar interview response. That's where Swipe to Unlock comes in.

Through reading this book, I learned key insights on things such as the ridesharing market and the digital wallet ecosystem in Aisa and the key growth strategies for cloud SaaS. These were critical in helping me land APM offers from both Uber and Asana straight out of undergrad. For anyone prepping for a PM interview, I'd recommend reading Swipe to Unlock, then Decode and Conquer, and then doing mock interviews, Doing those things in that order is a killer combo.
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60 people found this helpful