Discovering the Right Product

Last night I attended an SVPMA meeting featuring Google’s Shreyas Doshi. Shreyas is a very smart and articulate guy; one thing that caught my attention during his talk is this quote (probably misquoted, but close enough): “The role of a product manager is to discover the right product to make”.
Product management is hard to define, and this quote actually captures the essence of it in a very succinct way (which, as a nice bonus, makes it a good product definition in and of itself). a thorough discovery process involves coming up with a plan, searching for clues, utilizing resources, experimenting, following the wrong leads, gathering facts, putting puzzle pieces together, and coming up with the desired finding. This is pretty much what a good product manager does. Add to that dealing with difficult people and leading with no formal authority, and you’ve got a complete picture of a day in the life of a product manager.

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