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:

  1. set the vision and strategy for the company
  2. evangelize the company to everyone
  3. hire and manage the team, especially in areas where you yourself have gaps
  4. raise money and make sure the company does not run out of money, and
  5. 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:

  1. set the vision and strategy for the product
  2. evangelize the product internally to everyone with something at stake.
  3. recruit and manage the best possible internal team to help build the product (making sure the team is strong where the PM is weak)
  4. get resources committed to the product and make sure the resources don’t get taken away to work on other stuff, and
  5. 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.

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