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What hard skills are must haves to be a Product leader? What are nice to haves?

1 Answer
Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
Shopify VP of ProductFebruary 9

The hard skills that come to mind for me are:

1. Technical - This is going to vary depending on the type of career you want to have and the company you want to work for. Generally, it is important for you to have an understanding of technical development principles and vocabulary. You want to be a strong partner to your peers and competitively, this will put you ahead of others. 

2. Analytical - Data is an important part of the product management journey. Someone said "If you care about it, measure it" and its very true. Data is critical to helping you understand how to build your roadmap, see your threats and opportunities and competitive performance. You will want to feel verse in the tools that help you measure and what they are telling you. 

3. Business skills - As a PM, you have to understand the product AND the business behind it. You need to speak to revenue and profit, budgeting, forecasting, etc. The ability to have these conversations with company leaders is critical.

4. Industry knowledge - When working on product, you need to understand the landscape in which you are competing. You are tracking key market trends for your project and constnatly reporting on that. 

5. Strategic Thinking - You need to be able to make and anticipate paths based on your industry knowledge and business understanding. You'll have to consider company goals and determine what is the best way to get there.

6. Ruthless Prioritization + Decision Making - In product, you will always have too many options. You will have to pick a path and fairly quickly. You will need to understand what things get you to goal quickest. 

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