Whenever I am asked "What type of Product Manager are you?" I struggle with a succinct answer. I don't have a specific industry that I specialized in, I'm not looking to narrow in on a platform like iOS or Android, and while most of what I have worked on might broadly be classified as productivity, I really enjoyed my time at Imgur which is about as anti-productivity as it gets. It has been nagging at me for years.
The best I have so far is based off this saying: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. And I enjoy going far.
There’s a lot of product work that centers around moving quickly. You can spin up new landing pages, add some tool tips, or optimize a check out flow. Often those initiatives can move quickly and independently. I enjoy that work, but after a while I often find myself leaning towards more fundamental product changes.
I usually find myself closer to the heart and soul of our product. My teams are just as likely to make foundational changes to the product as they are to make optimizations. They live at the intersection of different domains, which means initiatives often require pulling in several teams and several executives. In “core product” it becomes life changing to have a tight knit team ready to spend a lot of time together.
Of course you need to be able to both go fast and go far. You may even need to do both within a single initial product launch. But it turns out I enjoy product areas that require going far and my leadership style leans towards building teams that excel at going together.
I’m writing to help develop my philosophy around leadership and product management. I hope you'll come along for the ride (and learn something along the way). Let's go!