Product Management is Good CEO Training
Sam Altman has a good description of the CEO’s role in his Startup Playbook.
“A CEO has to:
- set the vision and strategy for the company
- evangelize the company to everyone
- hire and manage the team, especially in areas where you yourself have gaps
- raise money and make sure the company does not run out of money, and
- set the execution quality bar.”
This is an almost identical description of what a Product Manager has to do within a company:
A Product Manager has to:
- set the vision and strategy for the product
- evangelize the product internally to everyone with something at stake.
- recruit and manage the best possible internal team to help build the product (making sure the team is strong where the PM is weak)
- get resources committed to the product and make sure the resources don’t get taken away to work on other stuff, and
- set the product quality bar.
Dealing with all the ways 1–5 can get messed up inside a company is good practice for doing it as CEO, where the product isn’t a new feature, it’s an entire organisation.