Why Most Product Managers Suck

Originally posted on TheNextWeb

The first product manager (PM) is a crucial unicorn hire that no startup should compromise on. The reason is simple – your PM is responsible for managing your team’s most precious resource: time.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone seems to think they’d make a great PM (engineers, consultants, you name it), but the reality is that most folks just can’t hack it. I’ve worked with countless PMs at huge companies like Yahoo and Google, and over the past two months have interviewed over twenty PM candidates.

Out of all these folks, I’ve only encountered two PMs who actually do the job well.

To thrive in this role requires ridiculous influence, knowledge and experience. A good PM is a rare jack-of-all-trades. He or she knows how to innovate through minimalism, possesses strong communications skills, can influence without authority, and is just absolutely ruthless at prioritizing what tasks should make it into the next sprint or release.

Let’s break down what my team (and most startups) are looking for when we hire PMs. We want people who can: a) Innovate through minimalism, b) prioritize ruthlessly, c) influence without authority, d) communicate with presence. Continue reading on TNW…


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