What the Cranky Product Manager Hates About Aspiring “Product Guys”

Hey there, aspiring “product guy“!

First off, you’re a douchebag for your calling yourself a “product guy.”  

What IS a “product guy” anyway?  Do you mean “product manager” or “product marketer” or something?  Or is the GUY part the emphasis here?  What’s the equivalent female term anyway?  Product Gal?  Product Princess???

The Cranky Product Manager says *gag*.

Second off, you’re pretty frackin’ unqualified to do product work.  

After all, until last week, your only job experience was as a programmer. Or as a student. Yet you think you should be in charge of all of Product (the department).  Or at least of one product.

Sure thing. Go for it. Be the “product guy” you always wanted to be. Dictate features and future product direction from up high on your Product throne.  Wow the Silicon Valley startup scene with your spankin’ new title on mod business cards…

…Just as soon as you let the Cranky Product Manager become your Head of Engineering.  Or your Senior Technical Architect.

Oh wait. That’s probably not a good idea, is it?

Because the Cranky Product Manager is unqualified for those roles.  Even if she took a 3-day “certification course” in software development, she would not be qualified.  

In fact, the Cranky Product Manager is probably far more qualified to be your Head of Development than you are to be Head of Product.  (She at least has a degree in Computer Science, and actually worked as a programmer for a few years early in her career.)

Alas,  just WANTING to be a Product Guy/Gal/Princess/Manager/Marketer/Dweeb is not enough.  You actually need some education, skills, and above all, some EXPERIENCE. 

34 comments

  1. Ben

    About once a year you read a blog post that you couldn’t agree with *more*. Here’s mine for 2012!

  2. An aspiring PM

    Your Cranky Highness, could you please consider writing a post about how actually to become a product.. something? Ideally – a product manager. I mean, seriously – please help us, who don’t have a CS degree but a business one, with some tips how to break into the elite and elusive field of software/internet services product management. You can safely assume that we have some product marketing and/or industry experience and a burning desire to create profitable products that customers love.

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