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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Start-up Product Manager

Quick thoughts on 'how a start-up product manager should be like'. From my experience and understanding, start-ups are best place for a product manager to test his/ her skills, so if a start-up experience is missing from your profile, get it now, but before that check your compatibility with start-ups here.

Start-up Product Managers......
  1. not read job description in detail, but instead focus on domain, market & technology of job opening. If you are someone who reads job description 4 times before applying for the job then you may not be a good fit for Start-up kind of job.
  2. about founders, co-founders and the team they would be working with, and would least worried about organization structure, and job security. They spend time searching and reading about founders & co-founders, to understand their vision and ability to persist long with a business idea
  3. not look around for IT support when face an issue working with out-look, MS-Office or for that matter any software application, they just google their way to solution. If you are someone who rely on support staff for app support etc, you are most likely to runaway from the start-up job in first 6 months itself.
  4. .... do not wait for QA to handover smoke test report, instead they download the latest dev release from build server, perform a round of testing and post results on the wall.
  5. .... habitually do not use calender for booking meeting slots, they just go to concern person and pull him/ her into a room, talk and close the topic.
  6. .... need to be reminded quite often of their loosely tighten shoe lase. if you are someone who finds it difficult to walk with lose lases, think twice before applying for a start-up position
  7. .... are most likely to miss salutation and conclusion part in their emails.
  8. .... put their priority in following order, productivity, people, and process. If you are someone who cares for process above productivity and people are most likely to fail miserably on your new job.

Working at start-up is litmus test of a product manager's ability to own a product. Working at start-ups is like stress, volume & regression testing of a product manager. Its tough, really tough to excel under extremely uncertain conditions, but if you manage it once it could be your 'Berlin-wall tear down' moment to glory.

more thoughts on this in coming months, but if you have something to share or add, do it now in comments section below.


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