Five Elements a Product Manager should Master
Leadership*; Ship Amazing Products!; Customers 1st; Storytelling; Passionate (II**);
They are the most important Leaders in a product driven organization – Product is where the magic happens and almost everything else connect. They should master the first 6 Leadership Super Powers (#7 Leadership Superpowers*) … Passionate; Inconceivable Tenacity; Hyper Strategist; Inspiring; Craftsmanship;
Ship Amazing Products!
They ship Products! They do whatever-it-takes to make the product successful!
They create value by combining wisdom, science and art, they are highly analytical (data driven) with attention to both the big picture (market, target user segment, positioning, company strategy and goals, competitive positioning) and the tiniest details of their domain (day-to-day constraints, compromises, content plan, edge cases, design trade-offs, engineering dependencies etc.). They can zoom out and drill down unlike others. They are Polymath. They have a strong background in many fields. Design, UX, Technical Architecture, Marketing, Engineering, Business Analysis, Project Management, Statistics, Sociology, Psychology, History and many others. Always curious and eager to understand and learn more.
“Good product managers know the market, the product, the product line and the competition extremely well and operate from a strong basis of knowledge and confidence. A good product manager is the CEO of the product.
A good product manager takes full responsibility and measures themselves in terms of the success of the product. They are responsible for right product/right time and all that entails. A good product manager knows the context going in (the company, our revenue funding, competition, etc.), and they take responsibility for devising and executing a winning plan (no excuses).
Bad product managers have lots of excuses. Not enough funding, the engineering manager is an idiot, Microsoft has 10 times as many engineers working on it, I’m overworked, I don’t get enough direction”
~Ben Horowitz | Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager | http://a16z.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/good-product-manager.pdf
They must understand their Customers better than anyone else.
“Empathy – We will truly understand their needs better than any other company…” ~Mike Markkula | January 3, 1977 | “The Apple Marketing Philosophy” … a.k.a. Empathy; Focus; Impute
They must have supreme communication skills. They connect the Strategy and Vision to the Tactics and Details. They are “The Context Providers”
“Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.” ~Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last
They must be fanatical about building amazing products. They are passionate about the Product Vision. They are passionate about their Customers. They are passionate about *every* aspect of the product experience.
(**Disclaimer: This was also hiding in the Leadership* element above but Passion has it own set of rules… ;)
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” ~Steve Jobs.
RELATED READING LIST
- Resources for Product Manager (by Jason Shah) @ http://blog.jasonshah.org/post/49945745306/resources-for-product-managers
- What I look for in a Product Manager (by David Lifson) @ http://caterpillarcowboy.com/post/48271453758/what-i-look-for-in-a-product-manager
- The Art of Product Management (by Ian Kennedy) @ http://everwas.com/2013/04/the-art-of-product-management.html
- How to Be a Lean Product Ninja (by Dan Olsen) @ http://www.slideshare.net/dan_o/product-lessons-from-the-early-days-at-friendster-by-dan-olsen
- What distinguishes the Top 1% of Product Managers from the Top 10% (at Quora) @ http://www.quora.com/What-distinguishes-the-Top-1-of-Product-Managers-from-the-Top-10
- We Are Product Managers (Satya Patel) @ http://venturegeneratedcontent.com/2013/07/11/we-are-product-managers/
- A Product Manager’s Job (Josh Elman) @ https://medium.com/@joshelman/a-product-managers-job-63c09a43d0ec
- What Type of Product Manager Do You Really Need? @ http://onproductmanagement.net/2013/04/23/14767/
- How to Hire a Product Manager (by Ken Norton) @ https://www.kennethnorton.com/essays/productmanager.html
- The 6 Pillars of Steve Jobs’s Design Philosophy @ http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665375/the-6-pillars-of-steve-jobss-design-philosophy
- Ode to a Non-Technical Product Manager (by Hunter Walk) @ http://hunterwalk.com/2012/08/18/ode-to-a-non-technical-product-manager/
- So, what do product managers do? (by Hunter Walk) @ http://hunterwalk.com/2007/11/12/so-what-do-product-managers-do/
- What is product Management? @ http://blog.generalassemb.ly/what-is-product-management/
- Be a Great Product Leader ( by Adam Nash) @ http://blog.adamnash.com/2011/12/16/be-a-great-product-leader/
- The 3 Skillsets that Make Successful Product Managers @ http://blog.kentonkivestu.com/3-skillsets-for-PM-success
- Humans need to know why @ https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3392-humans-need-to-know-why