The Traveling Product Manager

Flying above the weather, I can only admire the technology that keeps me aloft. It affords a unique vantage point, enjoyed by only a fraction of the billions of humans ever to roam the earth. The pristine setting and wide-angle perspective remind me of the time before starting work on a new product.

Traveling down from 30,000 feet through clouds of uncertainty until the outlines start revealing themselves, continuing to an altitude of a minimum viable product which then evolves into its optimal manifestation. Traveling from “customer wants x” to “customer needs y” to “y requires a, b, and c” to “make a, buy b, outsource c” to “thank you for delivering y on time”. Traveling with creative experts and artisans from varied backgrounds and cultures, forming a melting pot of talents. From mountains of data through countless iterations of careful analysis to informed decisions. From backstabbing to back rubbing, from isolation to cooperation, from suspicion to harmony, from squeaky gears to a well-oiled machine.

I was fortunate enough to make this trip multiple times – sometimes as a passenger and often in the pilot’s seat. I love repeating these trips from a clear slate all the way to a satisfied customer. The journey never gets boring and always offers new challenges. I hope I’ll to be fortunate enough to experience it many more times.