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Zen and the Art of Product Management

Is Product Management a dark art or refined science? Hopefully, the answer is not 42 (apologies to Douglas Adams)

So, What Exactly is Product Management?

The Meme above, while comical, illustrates how varied the answers are going to be, depending on the respondent. For instance, If you are a product manager or have been one, you have definitely at some point of your journey thought of yourself as Superman - somehow holding things together…

If you were to ask the average person working in a mid to large organization the role of various CXO's like Engineering, Sales, Finance, HR, IT - you would probably get a reasonably substantive and correlated answer. However, when you ask on the role of an average Product Manager or the CPO - it ranges from program/project manager, (quasi) marketing to sales enablement/business development to "not quite sure but they always seem to have a good time" ;)

So what is the role of the Product organization; why is it even interesting? What makes a good Product Manager? How would you position yourself as one or better yet hire a good one? And finally, how could you create a great product culture that can really magnify business outcomes. There are several good articles/blogs on this topic and we certainly encourage you to read those. Priding ourselves as core product thinkers, we thought we will jump into the fray and share our views.

Let's start with the function itself. They say PM's "own" the product, they are "mini-GM's" or even "future CEO's". However

  • They don't build - engineers do that

  • They don't sell - sales does that

  • While they influence they also usually don't own a marketing budget

But wait - they "control the roadmap" you say and again the same line - "they own the product!"

In our years of running good and sometimes difficult product orgs, our PM101 thoughts are

  1. Great product managers are Influencers and usually possess a "founder mindset"

  2. Great product managers understand market dynamics AND organization guardrails

  3. Great product organizations have responsibility WITH authority to make changes

Building great product organizations is a necessary Ingredient in the recipe for continuous innovation and in tech, often the key differentiator. Most companies (even great ones) achieve 2 out of the above 3 within their product groups.


Whether you have a startup or a Fortune 500 company lens - putting the right set of individuals with an established charter can make a significant difference in establishing a product market fit, first customer adoption and yes, scale.

If you're thinking of improving org dynamics, or help with product culture reach out, ask questions of us…


- The Venturis Inc Founding Team

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Gaurav Vaid
Gaurav Vaid
Jul 28, 2023
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Collaborative work based on an ongoing dialogue (over the years) of the product thinking minds of the Venturis Inc Founding Team. Distilling down our thoughts and experiences into this short blog. Hope you Enjoy it. Please do share your thoughts

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