The Cranky Product Manager has received several emails asking about her real life, does she work here, does she work there, etc… Enough emails that she needs to address the issue explicitly.
So, people, huddle up. Here’s the deal:
- The Cranky Product Manager is a FICTIONAL CHARACTER that is loosely based on reality. She is based on the accumulated real-world experiences and observations of a several real-life product managers over the course of their long, multi-company careers. And yes, the author of this blog is a former software product manager/developer/consultant who has been doing this “software product” thing for a very long time for many companies. But that doesn’t mean that even MOST of what you read here is actually true. It’s FICTION.
- Just to reiterate point #1, the Cranky Product Manager character is far more outspoken, obnoxious, and bitter than her real-life author. The Cranky Product Manager is so pissed off that you should never put her in front of a customer because she would totally go off on the next one who mentions the words “social networking.” Rest assured, the real-world author is a bit more refined, at least on the surface.
- The company that the Cranky Product Manager works at — let’s call it “DysfunctoSoft” — is a FICTIONAL COMPANY rife with dysfunctional FICTIONAL characters, processes, and behaviors, yet somehow has a bunch of customers and occasionally manages to ship product. The real-life author does not work at this company. This company is “the worst of the worst” that the author and her friends have ever experienced or ever heard about.
- Don’t bother trying to find out the Cranky Product Manager’s true identity. Just take it for granted that ANY detail of her persona that might possibly provide clues as to who she is in real life has been disguised / changed to protect her anonymity. FOR EXAMPLE, the Cranky Product Manager character is an in-the-trenches product manager, because that’s where all the humor is. The author, might have given up the software life to become a suitcase-wielding model on “Deal or No Deal.” Or maybe she is not even a she, but a 300-lb prison inmate who uses the broken fingers of spineless release managers to remove popcorn kernels from between his teeth.
Perhaps the author of the Cranky Product Manager blog is pictured here. But you will never know…