Giff Constable's take on Ben Horowitz's classic.
In Summary: Product Managers are not a 'one size fits all' group. A company's need for the role depends on industry, type of product, type of customer and the team around them.
Few people are good at everything, but there are qualities all good PMs should possess. Good PMs lead and serve, manage expectations and focus on outcomes not releases. As Satya Patel points out: it's important to hire PMs for 'attitude over aptitude.'
Revisiting Ben Horowitz's legendary essay (now 20 years old!), Giff outlines his 12 traits of a good PM (versus a Bad One).
UserVoice's Colin Lernell on the debate that refuses to die.
In Summary: PMs who learn how to deal with data from collection to presentation, how to run experiments, how to demonstrate ideas through prototypes and how to speak the language of developers will become more valuable to their teams, and – most importantly – their users.
Product development is a team sport. Ultimately, Product Management boils down to one core skill: empathy.
Build for outcome, says Xing's Jan Milz.
In Summary: Product Managers are often faced with the challenge of deciding whether to deliver on a user need or an internal requirement. After 3 years as a PM, Jan believes in seeing everything from the customer’s perspective. Assumptions should be treated as what they are: unproven hypotheses about the future.
As a discipline, he is convinced that 'jobs to be done' thinking, combined with user-centered metrics, will become the de-facto standard for Product Managers of the future. Solutions should always come late in the product thinking process.
There are 2 kinds of Product Debt. Product Managers must make time to pay back both.
In Summary: Product Managers work hard to co-ordinate competing demands for new features and design enhancements within individual products. But they also need to synchronise the development of multiple products within an ecosystem.
Containing product debt requires an awareness of the 'multichannel' user and the 'unichannel' user and the honesty to recognise that certain products require immediate focus in order to avoid destabilising the overall experience.
It’s easier, faster and less risky to innovate on the web. So product debt often accumulates in native channels as development focus shifts constantly towards the path of least resistance.
Think like NASA, says UserTesting's Heather J McCloskey.
In Summary: The key to a successful launch lies in careful planning. Product Managers should establish a clear plan early, keep it updated throughout, and make sure they involve internal stakeholders well in advance.
Launch day shouldn't be the first time a new feature or product gets in the hands of users. PMs should get feedback or share early prototypes before launch.
It's important not to announce launch dates too early as constantly shifting them out will damage your reputation. But you don’t want to be the company that always has new features coming 'soon.'
Post-launch, users need a way to share their opinions and the Product Team needs a way to offer customer support. Finally, it’s vital to look back to examine how the journey of the launch played out.