Product Management 101

“It is my strong belief, and the central concept driving this book, that behind every great product there is someone— usually someone behind the scenes, working tirelessly— who led the product team to combine technology and design to solve real customer problems in a way that met the needs of the business. These people usually have the title product manager, but they might be a startup co‐founder or CEO, or they might be someone in another role on the team who stepped up because they saw the need. Further, this product management role is very distinct from the design, engineering, marketing, or project manager roles.”


Good product management is these two things:

  1. Strategy: To set the long-term vision and strategy for the company’s products.
  2. Communication: To communicate this strategy to all of the relevant participants and stakeholders.

Typically, the primary tool used in these key roles — product strategist and communicator — will be a product roadmap, which is a strategic, high-level document that conveys the “why” behind the features and products being built.

Great product management adds these:

Emotional Intelligence

  • Cultivation of empathy and equanimity
  • Relationship Management
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social Awareness

User Centered Experience

  • Empathy
  • User research including contextual inquiries and ethnographic studies
  • Deep understanding the business value stream
  • Market research
  • Competitive research
  • Synthesizing business value, user needs, market factors into technically feasible, delightful features.