Let’s talk about Product Management
Josh Elman

I have used the first Venn diagram for 20 years. The only thing that has changed is the customer or customer need bubble has been replaced by UX. It has been interesting to see how the process has been consistent across boxed software, enterprise software, web pages, internet services, sass, and mobile. The biggest changes in product are company driven. Each company has their own flavor of product management and part of being a great product manager is learning to adjust your swimming style to the water in which you are swimming. I have felt the big internet companies pull product in their own direction, Apple (customer/UX) Google (Tech) Amazon(Business) and I think the overall ecosystem is better because of how their product managers have been forced grow in each area. I am a little old school but I like product managers to have P&L, to be in front with the press, to answer support calls, to be the evangelist, to have an opinion on colors and fonts to press engineering on platform choices, to spend hours and hours and hours with customers and potential customers. When I hear of product managers becoming designers or project managers or coders, I fear that company has lost sight of the value a great product manager can bring to the whole team. The product manager not only listens and then articulates the needs of the whole team, the business, and the customer but also inspires the organization to fund them, the customer to use the product, and the team to produce.