Product Management Career Ladders at 8 Top Technology Firms



Slides: Product Management Career Ladders

One of the areas I often mentor product managers on are the career paths available to them within the profession. Since there isn’t a lot of discussion about this out there, I wanted to share what the career ladders look like for product managers at 8 top technology firms as well as some of the key dimensions upon which advancement in the profession occur.

Product organizations tend to be a small proportion of technology firm’s overall R&D teams, with ratios of up to 1 product manager to 10 engineers as common. Given this, companies tend not to focus on developing the same formalized career ladders compared to their engineering counterparts except at the largest tech firms who have achieved the scale of hundreds of product managers within their organization. The 8 technology firms whose career ladders I’ve showcased below have all achieved this scale and have thus invested in career ladders for their respective product organizations.

Video: The Art of Product Management



Video: The Art of Product Management
Slides: The Art of Product Management

Recently Karl Ulrich asked me to give my talk on the Art of Product Management at a Wharton Entrepreneurs Workshop. They recorded the video and I wanted to share it here as well.

Product managers drive the vision, strategy, design, and execution of their product. While one can often quickly comprehend the basic responsibilities of the role, mastering each of these dimensions is truly an art form that one is constantly honing.

In the last decade as a product manager here in Silicon Valley I've learned an incredible number of important lessons on how to be better at this role. In this presentation I share my lessons learned on the art behind each of these four dimensions of product management. I cover role models that exemplify each dimension, best practices on excelling at that dimension's discipline, and countless examples from valley companies that exemplify these traits.

Video: The Hunt for Product/Market Fit


Video: The Hunt for Product/Market Fit
Slides: The Hunt for Product/Market Fit

Last month I was asked to come by Pivotal Labs to share my learnings on finding product/market fit. The team recorded the video and I wanted to share that here for those interested.

The hunt for finding product/market fit in an early-stage startup is an elusive one, often fraught with chaos, and certainly never easy. However learning to leverage a cycle of defining, validating, and iterating on each of your most critical product/market fit hypotheses is a sure-fire way to bring some predictability to the process and provide guidance on whether your team is getting closer or farther from the ultimate goal.

The Art of Product Management


Product managers drive the vision, strategy, design, and execution of their product. While one can often quickly comprehend the basic responsibilities of the role, mastering each of these dimensions is truly an art form that one is constantly honing.

In the last decade as a product manager here in Silicon Valley I've learned an incredible number of important lessons on how to be better at this role. In this presentation I share my lessons learned on the art behind each of these four dimensions of product management. I cover role models that exemplify each dimension, best practices on excelling at that dimension's discipline, and countless examples from valley companies that exemplify these traits. Look out for links in the footer of slides for further reading from my blog on each topic that wouldn't conveniently fit in the slides. I hope this helps fellow product managers accelerate their own learning on mastering this craft.

How to be a Great Product Leader

Follow the Leader

One of the challenges we've long acknowledged in the tech industry is how difficult the transition can be from a software engineer to an engineering manager due to the vast distinction in the skill set to be great at the new role. Equally challenging but less talked about is how much this same challenge exists when transitioning from a product manager to a manager of product managers, ie. a product leader.

I wanted to share some of the best practices I learned along the way making my own transition from a product manager to a product leader.