Thursday, November 6, 2008

Product manager - who are you?

NEW YORK - MARCH 3:  (L-R) Microsoft Product M...I had a chance to work with a big customer in a web 2.0 project. From this project, I've learned a lot of things from business to techniques.
After 1 year, our client gets financial support from one big Capital venture organization (over 3 million dollars) and this project becomes one of top 100 raising web 2.0 sites this year.
(I am so sorry because I can't tell you more information about my customer , and my project business - that's my principle)
One of the most important factors help this project to be success is: product managers. They created good road map and a good product positioning for our product.
In this entry I will help you understand more about this position and how it is important.
I also share to you some experiences when we develop a product from idea.

What is Product management?

First, we have to know what Product management is.

Product management is an organizational function within a company dealing with the planning or marketing of a product or products at all stages of the product lifecycle. (wikipedia)

So, more detail - in product management, what we have to do?

Product planning

Product marketing

  • Product positioning and outbound messaging

  • Promoting the product externally with press, customers, and partners

  • Bringing new products to market

  • Monitoring the competition

So, what is product manager?

Product manager

Product manager is the person who takes responsibility of Product management in an organization.
In production companies, there are
usually 2 separate staffs takes important role in product development: sale - marketing + product management staff. Sale & marketing staff research the market, predict market trend in the future and send it to Product management staff. Product management staff will research to create product to follow market trend.

How important this position is?

As you can see above, product manager takes care of all things related to Product management. It's a very important role because:

  • This position determines the success of product and strongly affects to your business

  • It determines the development trend of a company in the future. If your company is built only one product, the product management strongly affect to the vision and mission of your company .

How to develop a product from idea?

This is a big question, so I can not write all related things in only one entry. I just give you some questions that you need to answer before deciding to develop an idea:

  • Who are end users that your product/service serves?

  • How your product/service earns money? (What is your business model?)

  • Who are your competitors?

  • What is the most important difference of your product with others? (differentiation).

  • Why users must use your product (not others)?

These questions are not enough. I will post a series of entry related to this question.
Wait and enjoy!
Do not hesitate to feedback me if you have any other ideas.