Profile of a Product Manager


Anyone who spends much time with me knows that I'm passionate about product management. I've got a white paper that describes some of my thoughts around what product managers do. Now, via Dave Winer, we can read the profile of a great product manager:

Chris Pirillo is a super-product manager. He's got so many great ideas that he is passionate about. His 29-year-old brain is racing at 150 mph. It's like an encyclopedia in there. A bunch of programmers work for him. He brings them Chinese takeout every night. Chris listens to the users during the day, uses the competitors products, and he tells the developers what to do. Of course they don't listen but he argues with them on behalf of users until they get tired of arguing and give him what he's asking for so he'll just shut up. When they give him what he wants he hits the ceiling and it isn't acting because he really loves this stuff.

I've worked with product managers like that before and its so exciting that you just want it to go on forever. Part of my beef with current software engineering curricula is that about half of what they teach is really product management, not software engineering at all. I've known developers who became good product managers, but often as not, they're not developers, just folks who are passionate about the changes that technology can make and anxious to understand the needs of their users.