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.

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

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