How Aspiring Product Managers Should Select a College Major

I would recommend not doing a business major. While I’m sure you can learn valuable things in business courses, this could be a tragic lost opportunity. Your mind is in a formative state in college: your goal should be to stretch it as far it will go, watch it break apart, and then figure outContinue reading “How Aspiring Product Managers Should Select a College Major”

What Should a Product Manager Do Day-to-Day?

The majority of optimal product manager activities depends entirely on the maturity and nature of the product. Product managers should be acutely sensitive to the precise circumstances of their product and act accordingly. While there are some common threads, this leads to a very wide range of day-to-day activities. What you should definitely not doContinue reading “What Should a Product Manager Do Day-to-Day?”

Should a Product Manager Know How to Code?

Not necessarily. The perception that product managers should code reflects the fact that the discipline of product management is in its infancy — the true nature of the craft is only beginning to be recognized. Requiring product managers to code might be a reasonable hack for identifying individuals who have one aspect of the productContinue reading “Should a Product Manager Know How to Code?”

My Route to Becoming a Product Manager

As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I put absolutely no thought into choosing a career. I simply followed the roads that were most interesting to me which led me to a double major in philosophy and cognitive science, although I decided to only finish the philosophy major. In retrospect, these areas of study prepared meContinue reading “My Route to Becoming a Product Manager”

A Product Manager’s Responsibility

The responsibility of a product manager depends on their context within an organization. Here are some examples of variables that might change a product manager’s responsibilities: Management structure. In some cases a product manager has the mandate and influence to push their product forward as they see fit, in other cases they will be responsibleContinue reading “A Product Manager’s Responsibility”

How to Change A Thought Process

I’ve found that the best way to change a thought process is to fully commit to exploring it, fleshing it out, and articulating it. In doing so, your thought process will inevitably change as you’ll see places where it breaks down and opportunities to improve it. In researching your ideas, you’ll be able to connectContinue reading “How to Change A Thought Process”

How to Become a Product Manager (Three Steps)

Step #1: Use your current qualifications to get a job in an area of a business where there is strategic white space. This implies that the business is stagnating in a key realm due to lack of clearly defined vision and there isn’t a clear person whose role it is to define and execute the absentContinue reading “How to Become a Product Manager (Three Steps)”

Product Managers Need to Dictate What They Do

In the midst of the many possible activities for a product manager to prioritize, above all, you must keep yourself in situations where you dictate what you and your team do. This entails spending the time to think deeply about the vision and strategy for evolving your product, and socializing your plan with management and your team so that they areContinue reading “Product Managers Need to Dictate What They Do”

Reading for Product Managers: Works by the Architect Christopher Alexander

I strongly recommend reading this series of books by the architect Christopher Alexander: The Timeless Way of Building A Pattern Language The Oregon Experiment While these books were written before the discipline of product management  existed, they get to the essence of how to build things that will be inhabited by groups of humans — aContinue reading “Reading for Product Managers: Works by the Architect Christopher Alexander”