Everyone wants to be a product manager, PMs want to be GMs, GMs want to be CEOs, and the CEO just wants to build product again ..
— Anish Acharya (@illscience) January 15, 2019
A lot of PMs out there probably read this tweet and nodded their heads in knowing agreement. Actually, a lot of CEOs did, too, if we had to guess. Ultimately, our title-chasing proclivities miss the fact that building things is more gratifying than a promotion. Harvard research says as much.
But First, a PM
When a company starts taking off, a product-focused founder might have to start relinquishing some of his control over the product development process, and then it’s time for a first PM. When exactly is it that, though? According to Jonathan Golden (formerly of AirBNB), if you’ve met these three conditions, it’s time:
- You’ve achieved product/market fit and need to scale
- Your engineering team is greater than seven people
- You are mentally ready to let someone else control the roadmap at some level
The first two are probably easier to quantify than that last piece, but there’s plenty of CEO shrinks out there to help you out with that. If you’re not there yet, don’t miss this comprehensive piece, full of good advice on how to go about this critical hire.
Chicken and Egg
I wonder how much of a given businesses workflows are defined by the software tools they use vs. build/buy software around their existing processes. I suspect software tools are more powerful in influencing behavior than we think.
— Micah Rosenbloom (@micahjay1) January 14, 2019
With SO MANY TOOLS now cramming the product stack, it’s hard to tell if we got tools to help us with work, or if we got tools that dictated how we do work. If you’re looking for an afternoon of philsophical musings, check out the discussion in response to this tweet, but prepare yourself for some inevitable Internet rabbit hole-ing.
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About the Author
Hillá Watkins is the editor-in-chief of ProductCraft. Previously, she was a content specialist at Insert, a mobile engagement platform, and a digital insights analyst at SimilarWeb. A graduate of Yale and Georgetown, Hillá is a life-long nerd.