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Some fresh ideas about business, technology, and design for product managers

One of my friends is the product manager for a set of data feeds that integrate her product with 3rd party systems.

We’ve all been there when you’ve hit the proverbial brick wall with a difficult, or outright unreasonable people.

So you are a Product Manager or in the process of being a Product Manager in an Industrial company. An Industrial company could be any company that may strictly play in the B2B world and its products may compete in a car assembly plant, in a petrochemical refinery or maybe in an oilfield in Texas. Chances are that you have landed on this article because you are wondering what such Industrial Product Managers do and how different is the role from those in tech organizations such as Google or Apple.

As an associate product manager, I often find myself in product delivery mode; entering tickets on Pivotal Tracker, testing (and rejecting!) tickets, creating wireframes, and prioritizing and re-prioritizing the backlog. In other words, I spend a considerable amount of time in the trenches alongside my teammates, working together to deliver delight to our customers.

Some of you who read the title are probably already saying, "I literally have no time at all for extra work — how can I do a side project?" First off, let’s all take a deep breath and clear a few things up right now:

Mar 27, 2019
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Roadmaps are a great source of truth for a product, but there is an absence of roadmaps for the individual product managers. This is where a personal product philosophy comes in.

A personal product philosophy is defined as the core principles, beliefs, process, and attitudes a product manager has toward developing a product in general.

Ask a PM about their day-to-day, and they’ll likely tell you about their company’s mission (“Our software will change the world”), their customers (“We have a really robust, engaged community”), the initiatives they are working on to help their customers and in turn their company, and HOW they are getting that work done.


For me, I’m in the camp that there is no one size fits all workflow style for everybody, and that it’s imperative that you should choose the right workflow for the team and the environment.

Sep 13, 2018

Product Managers need to think on our feet and act fast to survive and thrive in the war for customer loyalty. In this post, we explore three mental models that can help product managers better understand their job.

Aug 11, 2018

As a Product Manager, you need to know where you are, where you’re going, and what needs to be done along the way.

In that sense, a good roadmap is a polestar for product teams. It keeps us connected to the longer-term vision so that we don’t get lost in the day-to-day. It’s the strategic counterpart to task lists and opportunity backlogs.

May 23, 2018

How many times have you heard a product manager described as being a “jack of all trades, but master of none?"

Have you ever heard your own PM job characterized as having “all of the responsibility, but none of the authority?"

While not particularly optimistic assessments, perhaps, there is good news:

You are the Leonardo da Vinci of product management!

Sep 10, 2017

A video interview with the Chief of Product at Notion, a powerful dashboard analytics tools for PMs.

Jun 13, 2017

There’s a lot of great advice out there for folks looking to move into product management roles. In fact, we contribute a lot to this very conversation in a regular segment of the 100 PM podcast called “get the job, learn the job, love the job.”

This post focuses on what to do after you’ve broken into Product Management.

May 18, 2017

A video interview with the VP of Product for Pivotal Tracker:

  • Lessons for moving your product from free to paid
  • The importance of small teams
  • Why Pivotal Tracker is more relevant after 10 years than ever before
Mar 18, 2017

Know your value prop.

Product managers deliver the most value by being able to empathize with the user and represent their needs, galvanize teams, and most importantly, execute. Insanely sharp product sense coupled with the drive to deliver will help the team build and ship delightful products.

Business first.

Building and bringing products to market requires deep understanding of the business goals, vision, and culture. Delivering great product doesn’t happen in a vacuum...

Feb 25, 2017

We often hear that product managers are called the CEO of their product — meaning, they manage the end-to-end development and launch of their product. However, that seems to over-ascribe the authority of the product manager. After all, product managers don’t need to deal with shareholders and often times, do not directly manage the P&L or finances.

Product managers are responsible for being the advocates for the users, having insanely sharp product sense, and helping the team and company ship the right products.

To successfully execute the above, instead of calling product managers “CEOs”, I liken PMs to “CIOs” — Chief Influence Officers.