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What Type of Product Manager Do You Really Need?

By Rivi Aspler

Saeed recently spoke at Product Camp (Silicon Valley), where he presented a presentation, named, How to truly manage your product like a CEO.

This post is related to Saeed’s presentation, especially slides 21-22 of it, offering a way to choose the right product manager for the Product Life Cycle stage that your product is at.

Just making sure that everyone is on the same page, I’m attaching images of these 21 and 22 slides out of Saeed’s presentation.The first slide presents the product life cycle objectives and the second slide explains what should a company focus on when addressing the challenges of each objective.



Assuming that we agree on the objectives and the different focus of each of them, it now becomes interesting to see what type of product manager should lead the product at each of these stages.

Using the two differentiated objectives: “Build It” and “Scale It”, one can see below the different skills set orientation that you would like to make sure that your product managers are leveraging.


For the “Build It” objective, which focuses on the building of a new product for a specific use case, for a specific market, one can see that a product manager should possess good engineering skills and an innovative mindset. Other skills are less important when building a new product.

The other example is of the “Scale It” objective.


For the “Scale It” objective which focuses on product and customer base expansion, one can see that a product manager should posses good management and marketing (inbound and outbound) skills. Other skills are less important when scaling and expanding an existing product.

Summarizing it all, I could simply say that finding your next product management dream job or hiring that next great product manager is about understanding the product management objectives that you will be pushing for the next 2 years and only then finding the person that posses the right skillset to best achieve those goals. Rivi


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