Achieving Success in Product Management: Insights and Strategies


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 04, 2023

4 min read


Achieving Success in Product Management: Insights and Strategies


In today's article, we will explore various insights and strategies related to success in product management. We will delve into the wisdom shared by Steve Jobs in his famous commencement address, discuss the challenges of managing new versus established products, and gain valuable advice for aspiring product managers. Additionally, we will consider the unique experiences of a product manager at Facebook and delve into the importance of metrics and deliverables in the field. By combining these diverse perspectives, we aim to provide actionable advice for professionals in the product management sphere.

Remembering the Essence of Life:

In his iconic commencement address in 2005, Steve Jobs reminded us of a crucial perspective: remembering that we are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking we have something to lose. This mindset encourages individuals to shed their inhibitions and take risks, both in their personal and professional lives. The idea that we are already naked, with nothing to lose, empowers us to follow our hearts and strive for greatness. This philosophy holds true for product managers as well, as they navigate the complex world of developing and optimizing products.

Managing New vs Established Products:

Developing a long-term roadmap for a new product requires careful consideration of various factors. Internal alignment, ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page, is crucial for success. Additionally, the strategy must align with the needs and expectations of the target user base. Understanding the changes in the competitor landscape allows product managers to position their offerings strategically.

On the other hand, optimizing and growing an existing product or segment requires a different approach. Rather than focusing on establishing product-market fit, the emphasis shifts towards refining and expanding the existing customer base. This often involves analyzing user feedback, identifying pain points, and implementing iterative improvements.

Advice for Aspiring Product Managers:

For those aspiring to become product managers, breaking into the field can be challenging. Here are three actionable tips to help you kickstart your journey:

  • 1. Explore APM Programs: APM (Associate Product Manager) programs are an excellent starting point for aspiring product managers. These programs provide structured training, mentorship, and hands-on experience in product management roles. Seek out companies offering such programs and leverage them as stepping stones to your desired role.
  • 2. Alternative Pathways: If securing an APM position proves difficult, consider joining a company that has an APM program in a different role. By immersing yourself in the company's ecosystem, you can gain insights into product management and work your way into the desired role.
  • 3. Continuous Learning: Product management is a constantly evolving field. Stay updated with industry trends, attend workshops, and engage in online courses to enhance your skill set. Additionally, seek out networking opportunities within the product management community to learn from experienced professionals.

Unique Experiences at Facebook:

A product manager's role at Facebook presents unique challenges due to the company's size and scale of impact. With thousands of employees, strong company-wide communication becomes essential to maintain agility and speed. Furthermore, the products developed at Facebook often have a massive user base, touching millions, if not billions, of lives. This scale amplifies the impact of a product manager's decisions and requires a strategic and holistic perspective.

Metrics and Deliverables in Product Management:

In the realm of product management, metrics play a vital role in assessing the success and health of a product. Even areas that seem difficult to measure, such as improving customer service, can be evaluated through various metrics. For instance, tracking the number of resolved customer issues, customer satisfaction ratings, and response time can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of customer service improvements.

Additionally, product managers must define clear deliverables for engineers. Product requirements serve as a roadmap, detailing the desired functionality, features, and user experience. These requirements act as a guiding document for engineers, ensuring alignment and efficient collaboration between product and engineering teams.


In conclusion, success in product management requires a combination of vision, adaptability, and strategic thinking. By embracing the wisdom shared by Steve Jobs, understanding the nuances of managing new versus established products, and incorporating valuable insights from experienced professionals, aspiring product managers can chart their path to success. Remember to explore APM programs, leverage alternative pathways, and embrace continuous learning. By doing so, you can navigate the dynamic landscape of product management with confidence and achieve remarkable outcomes.

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