I was recently asked a question – here’s the answer I gave:
“I have just been offered an awesome job as a product manager for a startup and although I studied UX design, I think it could be for me. Just wondering whether you could give me some insight into your day-to-day duties and what the role might entail when working on a product for a startup?”
I was chatting with someone the other day about what it meant to be a product manager, not so much in terms of abstract qualities, but about their day-to-day role in a start-up and whether it differed much from working in a larger company.
In a start-up, I suggested, money is tight, so a product manager has even more responsibility than usual to ensure that, by the time the expensive development work starts, you’ve already done the product discovery. It’s crucial to have a solid idea of what the product needs to be to solve the market problems identified.
A London startup is attempting to disrupt the local property rentals market in a way that benefits tenants, landlords and property agents equally – a win-win-win scenario, you might say. Jock Busuttil finds out more from the man in the Wigwamm, Rayhan Rafiq Omar.
Lovely article from Joel Gascoigne about why startups should just start charging from the outset, and why it’s not that big a deal to evolve and change pricing later on – as long as you don’t screw over your existing customers.
If you’re a startup, you probably don’t want to be splashing the cash on expensive, highfalutin’ PR agencies. If you work in a bigger organisation, sometimes you need to think like a startup to get around the corporate PR team’s reluctance to, well, engage in PR.
While I was working at a former start-up called Zeus Technology (now doing rather well for itself, thank you), one of the investors was a chap called Nic Brisbourne. He is a perfectly pleasant chap, but at the time he scared the life out of me. I think that subconsciously I worried I might scare him and his venture capital away. One day I accidentally nicked his taxi and he was surprising forgiving.
I am now much less insecure.
Aaaaaanyway, his blog is rather good. If you’re planning a new venture and want to hear the perspective from the money side of the table, take a look at the Equity Kicker.
Whether you’re part of a large, established company or a small, new start-up venture, you need to think like an entrepreneur if you manage products. Here’s a round-up of some of the presentations and discussions I attended at London’s recent ProductCamp, with links to the slide decks and recommended reading where applicable.
Summary of advice:
Know your product, market, company, self: you need to go into your new venture / product management role with your eyes and ears open (via @cathyma)
Keep validating your business case: a business case will evolve over time, you need to continue to check your assumptions throughout the process, in parallel with development (via @SaintSal)
Learn how to influence others: whether they’re your investors, senior managers or other key stakeholders, convince them your approach is right through hard evidence and diplomacy (via @PaulLomax)