Every product manager’s happy place is at the intersection between technology, user experience, and business strategy. Acting as a bridge between users and the business, we as product managers are meant to solve big problems and make a difference in cross-functional teams, where everyone collectively defines and owns the product process.
A big piece of the Product mentality is about balance, really—between client needs and engineering, budget and creativity, getting the work done and getting it done in the right way.
I believe a good product manager has at least these three qualities:
- Leadership. They help their team think about solutions, and avoid rabbit holes. They often are mini-CEO of their products.
- Ownership. They know where their product is going, they monitor its success, they’re responsible of recognising all the features that work and those that don’t, so that they can act accordingly.
- Empathy. They understand what all the involved parties want.
Some products are a one-man-show, some have a team behind. To give you a music-related metaphor, a good product team is a band and not an orchestra. Team members need space to be creative and build on top of others’ ideas.
I think investing early in research is incredibly useful, in order to avoid mistakes that can be painful to amend once the product is getting mature.
What sets me apart
I’m curious. I love learning new things and I get passionate about them very soon, which means that I welcome any opportunity to research new markets, and get my hands dirty with new products.
I’ve worn many hats. In my early days I’ve been involved with tech support, sales, and customer relationships. This doesn’t just help me as a product manager—after all, although we are not supposed to know each of them specifically, a sufficient grasp to make the right decisions is mandatory. Having direct access to users’ thoughts and processes makes me understand why people do what they do, with no filters or sugar-coated truths.
I’m a big believer in the power of openness. I share everything I can—whether it is a rough sketch or wireframe, a document, an idea, etc.—with the widest group possible.