i need a reality check

Product Manager Manifesto? Oath? Something Else? Is It Worth Arguing Over?

Posted in Product by josh duncan on January 20, 2009

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The 280Group blog has recently posted a Product Manager Manifesto.  The stated purpose was to help explain product marketing to people outside the realm and to express why the job can be a lot of fun:

In the course of managing my products there are thousands of small decisions that must be made and tasks that must be accomplished. The sum of these can add up to a phenomenal product. I choose to own the responsibility for making this happen.

I am an expert in all areas regarding my products: customers, the market, technology, competition, channels,
press, analysts, trends and anything else that must be taken into account in order to win.

Tom Grant on the Forrest Product Blog, not a fan:

In fact, some of the elements of the “Manifesto” border on self-loathing. I haven’t met a product manager who didn’t want to be “an expert in all areas regarding my products.” The problem, of course, is finding the time, when you’re already racing to answer the latest urgent request from Sales or Support, or you’re spending way too much time in meetings.

Tom is right that this really isn’t a call to action so, maybe it shouldn’t have been called a manifesto (note to self, don’t write a manifesto any time soon, it really seems to piss some people off).

However, I do think there has been some really great discussions over this article and lots of great comments (also see Pragmatic Marketing ).  Isn’t this type of discussion worth while to help us become better product managers?

At the end of the day, do you really think there are that many CEOs out there reading Product Manager blogs saying to themselves,

“Man, these PMs are clueless.  I’m just going to sit back and continue to make crappy products in the meantime.”