Path to Product

A new community for early-career and aspiring product managers

Emma Townley-Smith
Apr 17, 2017 · 3 min read

Medium is a great place to find Product content…

…if you’re a venture capitalist, industry veteran, or person who really likes listicles full of productivity tools. (Kidding, mostly.)

Don’t get us wrong, there’s lots of great product management lore out there already, but we think something’s missing. There isn’t a central place for early-career product managers to talk through the tough stuff.

In your first 3–5 years of product management, you have to cover a lot: defining and learning about the discipline of PM, figuring out how that discipline works in and outside of your specific company and industry, and building skills in all of the various PM areas. We want to complement the wealth of PM best practices available on Medium with content by and for junior product managers, to help us grow into the field. We want to create a place for junior PMs to develop their unique product voice. We also want to create an entry point for people thinking about jumping into PM in the next 1–2 years.

What Path to Product isn’t

Path to Product isn’t just for people holding the product management title. We want to reach anyone interested in product management, or looking to transition into the field. We recognize and celebrate the diversity of backgrounds that make up the world of product, and strive to help anyone and everyone develop product intuition.

As far as content goes, we’re not just going to aggregate other people’s product management articles and send them out in an email list. There are a lot of great people doing stuff like that already. We’re going to take a highly curated look at what content can help you in your first couple of years. We want to be the bridge from that takes you from “I’m in product, but not sure what that means” to confidence in your PM discipline knowledge.

What Path to Product is

We’re building out our publication on 3 founding pillars:

  1. Stories: We want to help people understand how to get into product in the first place, and the unique challenges that arise when transitioning from different disciplines.
  2. Critiques: We want to offer a forum for junior product managers to sharpen their product design critique and product strategy skills.
  3. Insights: We want to capture insights as we grow in the field. This category is a little broad, but we are intentionally leaning on the true definition of insight: not a fact or an observation, but a surprising learning that you couldn’t have discovered or confirmed without real experience in the field.

Join us!

We’re just getting started and welcome anyone who shares our love for product to join us as we grow this community. Some ways you can help:

  1. Follow Path to Product! We need your critical eye on our first pieces of PM content.
  2. Submit your articles! If you’ve written something that fits into one of our categories, we’d love to read it. Drop us a note ( and we’ll make sure to get back to you!
  3. Spread the word — we know there are plenty of junior PMs and product hopefuls out there, but they’re a small part of lots of larger product communities. Help us find the people who need and want this community most.


Emma (PM @Capital One Labs) and Sherman (PM @PatientPing)

Path to Product

A community of early-stage and aspiring product managers sharing stories, insights, and product critiques

Emma Townley-Smith

Written by

Design-driven Product Manager (@Livongo; @CapitalOne; @omadahealth; @stanforddschool). Love learning how people and products work.

Path to Product

A community of early-stage and aspiring product managers sharing stories, insights, and product critiques

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