I’m getting really annoyed with the characterizations some of the Product Management blogs are making about other groups in technology companies. Enough with the missives about Sales Monkeys or arrogant engineers. Seriously, like this is news that they think or work differently than Product Managers?
If we were all Vulcans and acted logically, then yes, these things would be news, but you know what? Those “Sales Monkeys” are making at least 2X the money you are Mr./Ms. Product Manager. And, in all likelihood, those Engineers hold way more cards than you do with the CEO.
If you’re getting annoyed by what’s going on in your company, then you have two choices — help fix it, or move on. There are a couple of other choices actually, such as do nothing, or complain about it on your blog, but to be honest, if that’s what you do, then you’re not as great a product manager as you think you are.
If you’ve read this far, you might be thinking that I’m being rather harsh or somewhat nasty. Perhaps I am a bit, but lately I’ve been hearing a lot of whining in the Product Management community and it’s finally gotten under my skin.
I was a technical writer a long time ago. I did it for a number of years and liked it initially. Then I went to some of Society for Technical Communication conferences, met a lot of other tech writers, subscribed to an early tech writer listserv — yes this was a long time ago — and I realized that while I liked certain aspects of technical writing, I didn’t like a lot of technical writers.
They were a really whiny bunch. Half the messages posted on that listserv were about how some writer somewhere didn’t get the respect they felt they deserved from the developers they worked with or something similar along those lines. I remember thinking, if your job is so awful, then get another job!
I recently spoke at the Software Marketing Perspectives conference in Boston. It’s the first time I attended the event. While somewhat smaller than I had expected — perhaps 150 or so attendees — what I found most troublesome was the amount of complaining I heard about sales people, engineers or other functional groups in companies. Unlike my short career as a tech writer, I’m not looking to leave Product Management anytime soon — unless someone wants me to be CEO of their company!
But really, let’s get over our issues and realize that our job is to work with and across groups, including Sr. Management and facilitate positive change in our companies. Don’t agree with me? That’s fine. Tell me why I’m wrong? I’d really like to hear from you.