It’s a trend: Product Manager is the new sexy job to have in Silicon Valley. But why are companies putting so much value in the Product Manager’s job? Once you’ve understood the value that this position brings company, we’d like to explain the reason why this particular set of skills is so relevant in the current professional market.
Why is this skill needed? Some companies are stuck in the product or technology itself but find it hard to generate user or revenue growth, because the problem they’re solving is just not that important. The Yo app comes to mind as a great example of this. Product Managers can help them find the real value in their offer and maybe even pivot the current product into another one.
Other companies struck gold and found a relevant problem affecting a large group, but they are struggling to make money out of it. Pinterest belongs to this group. The Product Manager’s responsibility in these companies is to find ways to monetize or get more revenue from the product.
Why is this skill needed? The tech industry is booming and with it the need for technical expertise in every job position. Moreover, the trend is for companies to hire Product Managers who are Software Engineer converts, since they hold a strategic position that demands a comprehensive understanding of the whole process: from design and development to commercialization and engagement.
User experience orientation
Why is this skill needed? Providing an excellent user experience is often the same as offering the simplest one possible. Paradoxically, achieving that level of simplicity requires significant work: talking to customers, A/B testing, agile development, design thinking, etc. Professionals who excel at U/X are scarce, companies try hard to find them and attempt even harder to retain them. Think of Jony Ive and the impact he’s had on Apple’s success.
Given the strategic position that the PM holds, companies place a special interest in the selection of the right talent to take on these responsibilities. Whether you’re considering the transition to Product Management or already doing so, you should prepare to prove your capabilities in all these aspects. You can start by reading 3 Skills to From Coder to Product Manager or 3 Common Mistakes for Engineers Transitioning to Product Management.
If you are interested in learning more about Product Management, we offer an 8-week part-time product management course in San Francisco.