A people and team-focused perspective

Being a good product person is all about keeping the balance. At the core, our job is to make sure the product is what the market needs. Product people need to be knowledgeable, visionary, passionate to the bone, willing to take decisions, organized, in sum, CEOs of the product. They also need to be able to communicate effectively and keep good relationships with all stakeholders since they can’t and shouldn’t be running the product all by themselves. This is where some see a conflict in the psychological profile of product people: A passionate visionary, yet strong enough to admit what they don’t know and rely on others to help out? …

Much (and more) has been said about what makes a good product person. Something I gathered from many talks with CEOs and VCs is that many companies struggle with finding a great match for their specific team. It’s time for a more contextual approach.

Here’s what we already know

Ex-Google PO Ken Norton described the perfect PO as someone who is a wickedly smart, natural leader with a “spider sense” for products, a strong tech background and the ability to channel multiple opinions. In my understanding, a product guy or gal needs to be a bit of everything: Someone technical enough to understand both problems and solutions and communicate effectively with tech people, business-minded enough to understand the big picture (and its metrics) and last, but not at all least, UX-minded enough to make sure users will love the product. …


Ken Knoll

Berlin-based product guy. Building amazing teams and mobile apps.

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