My previous Open Question asked what you did before you became a Product Manager.
This time I’m interested in hearing WHY you became a Product Manager?
In my case, back in the late 80s and early 90s (yes, I’ve been working in high-tech for a long time) I had worked in a couple of not so successful startups. They failed for a number of reasons, but in one company, the failure was primarily due to being almost completely technology driven and lacking almost any aspect of market focus. Here are a couple of examples:
- The VP of Engineering once said (and I’m not making this up): “Customers don’t know what they want. I know what they want.”
- The CEO said (in response to a suggestion (by me) to do some market research before deciding what to build): “Who needs market research. By the time you finish the research you could have already built the product.”
There were many more Dilbert moments like these from that company. One bright spot at that company was a rather short-lived VP of Marketing. She understood Product Management and opened my eyes to how things should be done. Unfortunately she left the company before changes could be made. I decided that Product Management was what I wanted to do next.
I wanted to work in a company where there was a customer and market focus, and where some level of discipline was present when making decisions on what to build. In short, I wanted to work in a company that had more than just a hope and prayer of being successful and I wanted to play a role in that success.
And that’s why I became a Product Manager.
What’s your story? Leave it in the comments below.