All related (10)
Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
VP of Product at Shopify
My personal take is that when I am speaking with strong product candidates, I can see a few qualities shine through in their story. For me, those are:  1. They are constant Learners/curious They are constantly asking questions and actively listening. They are readers and constant consumers of information. To me, this shows that when they come on the team, they will bring fresh ideas forward. Ask the team questions that others may not consider and bring new information to the table.  2. They are persistent and don't stop at 'no' In this, they are contantly trying to understand constraint...more
Rodrigo Davies
Product Lead, Flow Area at Asana

For me the biggest differentiator is having a growth mindset. This doesn't just mean they want to make an impact and improve as a PM. For me it comes down to three things:

  1. They have a sense of what they know and don't know, and are always eager to learn more. They question their own assumptions.
  2. They're humble and curious in trying to figure out what they don't know and leverage the expertise of others.
  3. They frequently seek feedback from others and try to challenge themselves, not just to achieve more but to be a better colleague and partner to others.
Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
VP of Product at Shopify

There is definitely a fine line here. Every decision cannot be data driven and will likely be informed to some extent BUT part of the excitment of product management is leaning on that intuition. In some cases, you will have data to back up your assumptions and in others you will not. Every situation is going to be different and you'll have to become an educated risk taker. Leaning on previous experiences or patterns you've seen somewhere else.

Anton Kravchenko
Director of Product Management at Salesforce
Typically, promotions are the result of an individual's performance and business needs. In other words, it's hard to make a case for becoming a Director if your area can be covered by a single Sr PM, so both you and your product area need to grow.  PM Directors are also people managers who hire and build a team of other Product Managers. Having good people skills is important but you also need to be a great PM, so you can lead and help your team of Product Managers grow.  Finally, shifting to be a Director shifts your time allocation -- you spend more time in meetings working with your te...more
Natalia Baryshnikova
Head Of Product Management, Confluence Experience at Atlassian
The biggest struggle I have observed is related to transition from an individual level product craft growth to growing that of a group. Andy Grove in High Output Management said "Managers are responsible for increasing the output of their organizations and neighboring organizations they influence". Read this sentence again and again. The learning curve is in learning how to optimize for the outputs of your team vs. your own. This means that you need to make trade-offs across your teammates and their areas, as well as help each of them grow as much as possible.  My recommendation is to read...more
Louisa Henry
Head of Product for Mid-Market Businesses at Gusto
If you’re already working somewhere with a PM org, try to move into it. Getting a role at a new company as a first time PM is difficult. Most hiring managers want to see some product experience before making a hire. A lateral move within your company may not be as difficult as it seems. See if you can pick up a side project or do a 3-6 month rotation. Getting the experience will not only help you be considered & help you interview for external PM roles, but will also give you data points to truly understand if being a PM is the right move for you. Another option is to look for companies ...more
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management at Walmart

The two disciplines are very different, despite some intersections on go-to-market, outbound communications, and occasional blurred lines between the roles in some companies regarding strategy and customer requirements. Early on in my career I had the opportunity to simultaneously work in both functions and experience them. Product Management has very broad scope and deals directly with technology. Ultimately, for me, building (or fixing) products felt most rewarding. :)

Rodrigo Davies
Product Lead, Flow Area at Asana
* I get frustrated whenever I hear business outcomes and customer outcomes described as two forces that are in tension, and that it’s necessary to choose between either building a fantastic product or having a fantastic business. It’s certainly possible to have a highly profitable business with a shoddy product, but I believe that the advantage that organizations gain by going that path is short term, and that eventually a poor product experience will erode trust and lead customers to move on to better products. * This is especially common in new product / technology are...more