April 2

Surprising Findings From the State of Product Leadership Report 2021

Earlier this week, we teamed up with the folks at Pendo to launch the State of Product Leadership

There are 7 key findings, along with some recommendations that we’re making — and you should definitely check out the whole report for all of it. 

But there were a couple of things that really surprised me.

1) Delivery is seen as a top product metric by today’s product leaders.

Personally, I’m not so sure this is a good thing, though. Obviously, yes — we want to keep our promises and deliver products at the times our organizations need them. But if we’re measuring delivery, how do we know that we’re actually delivering *value*?

2) Product people at marketing-led companies are actually *more* likely to be data-driven than product people at product-led companies.

This was a head-scratcher for me. Not that marketers aren’t data-driven, but it was a surprise that product-led companies seemed to be less data driven than those that were more marketing-led. The actual percentages weren’t so far off, so maybe it’s not worth getting so worked up about. But nevertheless, it was a surprise to me.

3) People really aren’t as satisfied working in product these days — which makes me sad.

We asked an NPS-style question to product leaders about whether they’d recommend their career path to a friend. The score? 9. It’s technically positive, but it’s certainly not a resounding statement about how satisfied they are. 

There are a lot more learnings in the State of Product Leadership report — so take a look and let us know if anything surprised you. Actually, we’ll be inviting everybody who downloads the report to a special virtual event where we dissect the findings and draw some of our own conclusions. You can join us for that and add your take on things as well!

Mike Belsito

About the author

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world. For his leadership at Product Collective, Mike was named one of the Top 40 influencers in the field of Product Management. Mike also serves as a Faculty member of Case Western Reserve University in the department of Design and Innovation, and is Co-Host of one of the top startup podcasts online, Rocketship.FM. Prior to Product Collective, Mike spent the past 12 years in startup companies as an early employee, Co-Founder, and Executive. Mike's businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere. Mike is also the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of us, one of the top startup books on Amazon.


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