A PM’s homage to David Carradine


Just what happened to David Carradine? As I kicked open my morning browser, I was shocked by the news of his sudden death and of course by the questions of the circumstances surrounding it. May God rest his soul.

I adore Carradine’s work, and the original Kung Fu TV series is one of my all-time favorites. But for my money, Carradine’s most notable moments on film were in 2004’s Kill Bill Vol II, especially his character’s speech about Superman.

As you reflect on your career as a Product Manager, are you Batman / Spiderman, or are you a Superman? Do you put on a costume to go to work, or were you born a Product Manager? Is the face you put on at work your real face, or is it your Clark Kent?

Are you putting on a costume every day? How long will you be able to sustain that? What do you really want from life? From your career? Is it product management?

I guess I feel like product management – the disciplines and the role, not the “job” per se – are part of who I am as a person. I don’t put on a costume in the morning that makes me want to understand my market or my customers; those are the questions that I have been asking my whole life. It wasn’t until I realized that the title of PM existed (circa 1996) that I also realized this was the role for me.

We often talk about PM as a waypoint, and just as often claim that PMs should be the CEOs of their product line. But for me, “Product Management” is as much a mindset, a way of being, as it is a job. As founder of my own company, I am essentially also my company’s product manager. Without that skill, without that role, I couldn’t get very far.

What is Product Management for you, young grasshopper? Is it a costume? Or were you born this way?

David Carradine, rest in peace.

– Alan

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One response to “A PM’s homage to David Carradine

  1. Passionate PM

    Nice post, Alan.

    As for me, I just bumped onto a PM role after having spent about 5 years in Customer Operations, Business Analysis, and Software Testing. Now, I realize I have got into the role that I was always passionate about (and that reflects in my email too!).

    Cheers!
    Passionate PM