Lets get this thing started

4 11 2006

I am a product manager at one of the major internet companies in Silicon Valley. Prior to that, I was a software engineer with a computer science background.

Why product management?

Ken Norton, Director of Product Management, JotSpot (recently acquired by Google) describes it best in his blog:

Product management is a weird discipline full of oddballs and rejects that never quite fit in anywhere else. For my part, I loved the technical challenges of solving problems, but I hated having other people tell me what to do. I wanted to be a part of the strategic decisions, I wanted to own the product. Marketing appealed to my creativity, but I knew I’d dislike being too far away from the technology. Engineers respected me, but knew my heart was elsewhere and generally thought I was too “marketing-ish.” People like me naturally gravitate to product management.

My favorite line is “Remember buddy, nobody asked you to show up.” This is how one colleague greeted me on my first day in the new role – “Oh hey and by the way, this is going to be fuzzy and vague and you are going to constantly question the purpose of your position. That is part of the job. Congratulations on your new position.

Why do I need product managers?

Because. No, really. In the long run great product management usually makes the difference between winning and losing, but you have to prove it, which can get pretty tricky.

Why this blog?

Product management combines elements of lots of other specialties – engineering, design, marketing, sales, business development. There is no official course or training that one can take. No one graduates with a BS in Product Management. You learn the tricks of the trade either

  • on the job, or
  • talking to those who have travelled this road before you, or
  • reading books and blogs.

I find that I learn something better if I write it down. Hence this blog, where I hope to note down my experiences, thoughts and pointers to the wisdom of others.

Hopefully it will help other folks too.




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