The Cranky Product Manager is empathic. Did you know that? She’s sensing that you, Product Manager, are feeling frustrated and that you have too much to do. That your days are filled with hundreds of emails, dozens of meetings, tons of documents and reading, customer visits, travel, presentations, strategic planning and and more and more and more. The onslaught just won’t let up, and you are feeling just a little overwhelmed (although you won’t admit it). As such, you’ve lost a bit of your sense of humor.
So, the Cranky Product Manager is here to help. Maybe give you a smile or even a few chuckles.
First, re-live your daily conference call hell with the video “A Conference Call in Real Life“:
Second, the next time you have to deal with that caustic-yet-brilliant CTO, remember this Dilbert:
Third, check out the Cranky Product Manager’s Pinterest board, for EVEN MORE cartoons on product management, software, and Silicon Valley (mixed with a dash of working-mom humor).
And fourth, try to get a bit more sleep, rein in your inner control freak, and remember that you just LOVE product management! It’s WICKED AWESOME.
Behold, a visual guide to the inside of a Sales Droid’s brain! Or more specifically, an Enterprise Software Sales Droid’s brain, as viewed from Product Management.
Please do not show to any sales people unless you are sure they have a sense of humor. (Fortunately, most sales people have better senses of humor than product managers, so you are probably good).
Common Product Management Fuck-Ups That Strike Even the Experienced
- Acting like a Requirements Monkey.
- Punting on strategy.
- Not focusing on a particular target market.
- Not meeting with enough customers often enough.
- Not meeting with prospects and non-customers often enough.
- Not truly understanding the real problems faced by your target market.
- Hearing only what you want to hear.
- Being afraid to draw pictures.
- Writing a Magnum Opus of a requirements doc or strategy doc, primarily to cover your ass.
- Forgetting to incorporate features into your product that help you measure success or failure, and thereby improve over time.
- Going along with a development process that can’t adjust when faced with negative market feedback
- Becoming Development’s co-dependent, and having them come to you about the placement of every freakin’ pixel.
- Allowing a piece of shit to ship.
- Making the product hard to buy or up-edition.
- Thinking that landing reference customers for a new product/release is someone else’s job.
- Letting the release treadmill create a “boat anchor” editioning and pricing situation.
- Assuming that everyone that stands in your way is an asshole or a political player.
- Neglecting to spend the time building rapport and credibility with engineers.
(NOTE: if you received this post via email, your probably can’t see the embedded image (the comic). So click on the link to view it on the website. Thx!)
Maybe you should leave these personal questions until the end, along with an explanation as to why you are asking. Better yet, try to find out via natural, non-creepy conversation that comes up in the course of the interview by being a nice, friendly person. Finally, better to not find out than to be creepy or pushy. Remember, you might want to contact this person again for more insight.
(Note: If you are receiving this post via email, you probably can’t see the embedded image. Click on the link to view the comic on the website.)
Ever wonder why so many startup entrepreneurs put out misguided and doomed products, EVEN AFTER attempting to take four steps toward an epiphany and drinking the “Lean Startup” Kool-Aid?
Alas, the Cranky Product Manager has witnessed similar “attempts” at market validation too many times to count. Maybe they could use some help from a real product manager.