10 Commandments of Startup Product Management

Ten Commandments

Below are my ten commandments for startup product management. I’ll confess to having worked with too many PMs who violated a number of these commandments - and possibly a few that violated them all.

  1. Thou shalt not try to product manage in a market for which thou is not a subject matter expert.
  2. Thou shalt empower continuous customer engagement both inside and outside of product management.
  3. Thou shalt always have a long term product vision to guide you.
  4. Thou shalt facilitate the voice of the customer, not be its gatekeeper and / or translator.
  5. Thou shalt be a sh*t umbrella, not a sh*t funnel for thine engineers.
  6. Thou shalt not make an organization build something that does not matter.
  7. Thou shalt take accountability and make corrections for the failings of thy decisions (especially when thou makes an organization build something that does not matter).
  8. Thou shalt not covet shiny new objects without definable business impact.
  9. Thou shalt subordinate your opinions at the altar of the customer, continuously testing your assumptions to divine the right and true path.
  10. Thou shalt not worship false idols. The best product manager was Steve Jobs. You are not Steve Jobs.

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