So you want to be a product manager, part 4: It takes a village

Posted On Oct 13 2016 by

This post is a personal reflection on the excellent post written Rohini Vibha and introduced earlier on Hectic Pace. 4. It’s not about being a star — It’s about managing a universe. Part 3 of this post might have left you with the impression that failure to launch rests squarely on your shoulders. Even though Vibha reminds us in her own story about QuickBooks that “the launch” was her responsibility, she was also relieved to realize that its success or failure was not 100% her responsibility. A good product manager gets the right people in the room. A great product manager listens to the …


So you want to be a product manager, part 3: Play to your strengths

Posted On Oct 11 2016 by

This post is a personal reflection on the excellent post written Rohini Vibha and introduced earlier on Hectic Pace. See part 1 and part 2. 3. Product Managers are neither designers nor engineers.  Do what you do best. Focus on strategy and the desire of end-users. Not all of us will have the luxury of product development divisions waiting to contribute their best lines of code to a problem, but a product manager must emphasize strategy and vision. You will be inclined to pick colors and layouts and sand the rough edges of workflows and user interfaces. Unless you’re also the lead …


So you want to be a product manager, part 2: The user is in charge

Posted On Oct 6 2016 by

This post is a personal reflection on the excellent post written Rohini Vibha and introduced earlier on Hectic Pace. See part 1 of this series here. 2. Your product is only as good as a user’s perception of it. In today’s personalized web word, the user is always in charge. That’s not the same thing as “the customer is always right,” but regardless, you need to check your ego at the door. My favorite writing professor in college once gave me advice that I follow to this day. He told me to find my favorite sentence in what I’ve written and …


So you want to be a product manager, part 1: Love the Problem

Posted On Oct 4 2016 by

This post is a personal reflection on the excellent post written Rohini Vibha and introduced earlier on Hectic Pace. 1. You’re not managing a product. You’re managing the problem it solves. If you’re not solving a problem, you’re not a product manager. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The most dangerous four words from a systems librarian or a developer are “Wanna see something cool?” Nope. I wanna see something that solves a problem for me or for my customer. I’ve had many, many meetings with librarians and library staff about features. It’s easy to fall into the …


Darn right, I want to be a product manager

Posted On Sep 29 2016 by

I’m immensely proud of my time as a product manager. I have a new role now at OCLC, but as they say, you can take the boy out of product management…it’s the lens through which I view the library world. I was thrust into the role in my first professional position at a for-profit library vendor. I spent nearly a decade trying to establish product management discipline and a better product life cycle at an academic library. And I spent nearly as long developing and managing products and services at OCLC. I’m certified in Pragmatic Marketing. I’m a dedicated disciple of its …