Dr. Jim Anderson’s blog, the Accidental Product Manager, is a great resource and full of insightful PM lessons and advice. Dr. Anderson recently sweetened the deal with a “Secret Product Manager Career Guide” when you sign-up for his newsletter. I just finished reading the eBook and highly recommend you take a peak yourself. I have highlighted a few of the gems worth sharing below:
Chapter 3: Don’t Just Be A Problem Finder – “A good way to kill your career is to become known as the person who always shows what is wrong with every new idea. Here’s a news flash: you were hired to make problems go away!”
Chapter 5: Watch Your Words – ”One more career-saving tip is to never just press the “send” key when you are done typing an email. Sit back and pretend for a moment that you are the person who is going to receive the email and take the time to reread it.”
In chapter 6, Dr. Anderson talks about the importance of not falling in love with your job. His point is making sure you understand that this job will eventually end and it is important to keep your skills and network up to date.
I would humbly add that this advice carries onto the products you manage. Yes, it is important to be passionate about your product and to do everything it takes to make it a success but you must also be able to see the bigger picture.
Falling in love with your product can cause you to become so focused that you start missing clues that could significantly challenge your assumptions. The market could shift, the core technology could change, new social or economic trends could emerge, and so on.
Even worse, internal company directions could change and you could find that your former golden ticket is now the short straw.
Be passionate about your product, but don’t forget to come up for air (and check Dr. Anderson’s ebook for more good stuff).