“Product management becomes critical when your prospective customers need you to sell them more than one thing in order to become paying customers.
The moment that happens, a) pat yourself on the back (“Yay, people think we’re big enough for them to buy more than one thing!”) and then b) roll up your sleeves (“Uh oh, what’s our story and messaging and product roadmap and sales training and resource allocation and … uh oh”).
That’s why I call it “hard” marketing–it’s hard to do product management well. Not because it’s rocket science, but because its execution crosses so many organizational boundaries that good intentions almost never make it out the other side intact.
technology companies often have a mid-level project manager on the development team… as the product manager
For example, technology companies often have a mid-level project manager on the development team. CEOs usually point to that person as the product manager, but that person is an operations or development person whose job is to keep engineers on track and make sure they meet their milestones. In return for allowing themselves to be “managed,” engineers use the project manager as a human shield so they don’t have to deal with non-engineers. This is not product management.
Successful product management happens when one team reports to one leader. That leader is responsible for the information loop from customers back to product development and back out to customers.”