Ben Horowitz’s “The Hard Thing about Hard Things” is an essential read for those who want to become a great Product Manager. While reading the book, Lawrence Ripsher was reminded of impressive behaviors his colleagues had demonstrated over the years. He’s listed 20 of these, each worth reading in detail.
What distinguishes the top 1% of Product Managers from the top 10%?
You can be a good Product Manager. Or a great one. But what would make you one of the 1% of Product Managers that consistently excel at their jobs? Ian McAllister offers a list of abilities that this person must have. For instance, along with having a firm grasp on the big picture items such as market opportunities and positioning, this person must be a superior communicator.
What’s the career path for a great product manager?
Your progress depends on how good a Product Manager you are. As we know, there is a breadth of knowledge resources out there to learn from. But Max McKenzie gives a nice overview of how your skills should improve your career. You must be able to talk to people, understand data and be able to control your emotions.
The Career Dilemma: Hunter Walk’s advice to product managers
You have to question whether you want to continue directly managing product, or become a manager of people doing this work. Hunter Walk, during his time at Linden Labs and YouTube, realized that progress needn’t mean the latter.
What is the career progression for a product manager?
As the Product Managment profession has matured over the past few decades, a hierarchy of product roles has evolved. A career Product Manager can simply jump from level to level, should they perform well in their jobs. If you are newer to the role, this list of common titles that exist along that path from Junior to VP, is useful to see.
Many product managers and would-be product managers who do not have a strong technical background can’t help but feel a little insecure. Particularly if they happen to be working with a highly skilled, super smart team building a high-tech product. Should they have technical skills on par with the rest of the team? Hunter Walk argues no, that it’s more important for that person to be technically curious, but hold one superpower that separates her from the generalists.