In the opening keynote at this year’s London MTPCon, Silicon Valley Product Group’s Marty Cagan shared his latest thoughts on what makes a great product manager by looking at the history of some great products.
Through his time at eBay, Netscape, HP and elsewhere, Cagan has worked with lots of great product teams, and has been influential in his writing and coaching about the role of product over the years, but he acknowledges that there is still a lot of confusion about the role of a product manager. There hasn’t been much success in defining the role, but the role itself, Cagan believes, has never been more essential. Product managers work in three ways he says – there are PMs don’t make any decisions and escalate everything to their manager, there are PMs who call a meeting every time a decision needs to be made, and then there is a third way, which is essentially a product manager doing their job.
Behind every great product there is always someone, who may or may not have the title of product manager, who works incredibly hard to solve very difficult problems. In his presentation Cagan examined some highly successful products whose success can be attributed to an outstanding product manager.
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