Don't become a product manager | Summary and Q&A

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January 23, 2022
by
Alisa Works
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Don't become a product manager

TL;DR

Learn about five reasons why product management may not be the right career path for everyone.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What does a product manager do?

A product manager is responsible for aligning with the strategic direction of a company and determining which product features or new products to build. They collaborate with various teams to bring these ideas to life and into the hands of customers.

Q: How does the role of a product manager differ from that of a CEO?

While product managers contribute to the strategic direction, they are not the ones setting it. Leadership, including the CEO or chief product officer, typically determines the strategic direction.

Q: What are some challenges of being a product manager?

One challenge is that the role is very fluid, with different expectations and priorities for each project. Additionally, product managers often face the pressure of being responsible for the success of product releases and enhancements, which can be a lot of pressure.

Q: Do product managers have direct reports?

In product management, it can take several years, possibly a decade, before a product manager has direct reports. The role requires leading without authority, so managing direct reports often comes later in one's career, usually as a senior product manager or product lead.

Q: What are the presentation requirements for product managers?

Product managers are often in the spotlight and frequently have to give presentations about the product to various stakeholders within the company. They play a crucial role in evangelizing the product and ensuring that the organization is informed and aligned.

Q: Is product management a rewarding career path?

Yes, product management is a strategic and fulfilling career path, offering opportunities to make a significant impact on a company's product offerings. While it may not be for everyone, those who enjoy strategic thinking, creativity, and collaboration can find it highly rewarding.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Product managers contribute to the strategic direction of a company but do not set it themselves.

  • The role of a product manager is fluid and can vary greatly from day to day.

  • Product management is a big responsibility, as the success or failure of product features often falls on the product manager.

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