Can a product manager be a star?

Am I glamorizing the product management? Can a product manager be a star? For all their potential, most corporations' product managers are process-focuses contributors. Here is sample of what a PM should manage from Product Development Management Association (PDMA) (

Commercialization, PAC (Product Approval Committee), Performance Satisfaction Surveys, Product Requirements Document , Six Sigmas, SWOT Analysis, Worth What Paid For (WWPF)... Each concept is a time consuming process. Their sheer number overwhelms and shifts the focus from creativity to the obsession of meeting a certain deadline. PMs have tens and even hundreds of tedious items on their to do lists.

So where are the Product Managers who make products out of words and intention? PDMA offers this definition, copied from someone else book:

Creativity: "An arbitrary harmony, an expected astonishment, a habitual revelation, a familiar surprise, a generous selfishness, an unexpected certainty, a formable stubbornness, a vital triviality, a disciplined freedom, an intoxicating steadiness, a repeated initiation, a difficult delight, a predictable gamble, an ephemeral solidity, a unifying difference, a demanding satisfier, a miraculous expectation, and accustomed amazement." (George M. Prince, The Practice of Creativity, 1970) Creativity is the ability to produce work that is both novel and appropriate.

This is similar to poet Rimbaud definition of poetry: ''a long, gigantic and rational derangement of all the senses.”

Engineers may become stars. CEOs are stars. Product Managers must be first promoted or start their own companies, together with their favorite and trusted engineers. A star product is not an act of solitary creativity, like poetry.
1 comment

Popular Posts