PRODUCTHEAD: The rise of the growth product manager
PRODUCTHEAD is a regular newsletter of product management goodness,
curated by Jock Busuttil.
i might be a product manager
Growth product managers are expected to focus primarily on revenue growth
Growth hacking failed in part because it produced unsustainable growth
Some companies stimulate growth by “infiltrating” offline communities
With infrequent use products, market penetration is a better measure of product-market fit than retention
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As usual, I started writing my introduction to this week’s edition of PRODUCTHEAD on the topic of growth product managers. Before I knew it, I’d written such a long piece that I decided to lean into it a little more and turn it into a full article.
To whet your appetite, here’s what I’ll be writing about:
- “No one wants to get rich slow”
- The rise of the growth hacker
- And so to growth product managers
- A repeating cycle
- Experience is lumpy
- Beware ‘lack of experience’ rebranded as ‘specialism’
- Different dimensions of experience
- Where to start: be honest about your skill gaps
- Build out your experience
- Final thoughts
- Further reading
I’ll be publishing “Should a growth product manager even be a thing?” on I Manage Products in a couple of days (Wednesday 26th January). If you’d like to receive it in your inbox the moment it’s published, sign up to the other email list.
Meanwhile, here are some of the articles I’ve been reading that started me thinking about the topic in the first place.
Speak to you soon,
what to think about this week
“Google Trends revealed an increase of 425% in average monthly interest in Growth Product Management over the last 5 years.”
The role of growth PM still lacks a precise definition. But its demand is undoubtedly on the rise: startups and tech companies continue to demonstrate a huge interest in hiring growth PMs. Leading tech orgs, including big names like Facebook and Uber, have successfully implemented growth-oriented strategies, with growth PMs heading up dedicated teams.
[H. JAMES, A. BENNET & J. SAYER / PRODUCT-LED ALLIANCE]
Growth Hacking is declining in relevance. Will it disappear entirely? I don’t think so. Nor do I think it should. But the craze that once drove every startup (even enterprise!) to look for a Growth Hacker is on a steep decline. And I believe that’s a good thing.
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It’s been said that good product managers know what to build, but great product managers know what not to build. Former Airbnb growth product manager Lenny Rachitsky draws on his own experience and examples from Substack and Superhuman to advise startups on how to achieve product-market fit and stimulate the kind of growth investors want to see.
[LENNY RACHITSKY / STARTUPFEST]
My experiences over the years taught me that managing infrequent products is a difficult affair, and I developed a fascination for it. Take, for example, the core definition of product-market fit. It posits that you’ve reached PMF when users are retained over a period of time. How does this definition apply to infrequent or episodic products that might be designed to only be used once a year or even less?
[VIVEK KUMAR / REFORGE]
This is an updated version of an article I wrote over a decade ago.
All product managers will need to stand up and present to others at some point. Some people are less comfortable giving a presentation than others; that’s natural. Either way, you won’t be helping yourself (or your audience) if your slide deck is atrocious. So here are my 6 tips for presenting slides that don’t suck.
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
My boss wants to set me a personal OKR [objective and key result] to achieve revenue growth through demonstrable product improvements.
Can you think of any reasons why I should push back on a suggestion like this?
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
Because so much of product management is about working with people, it’s important to take time to reflect on the kind of first impression you make to those people. In this latest entry for my series of 100 things I’ve learned about product management, I share some coaching advice to help you make the best possible impression every time you start working somewhere new.
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
upcoming talks and events
I’ve spoken at various product management and technology conferences around the world and online. I share ideas primarily on the topic of product management, and this tends to overlap with agile and ethical product development, leadership and strategy, and fostering healthy product cultures and communities.
“Day 2 saw an impressive presentation by Jock Busuttil on user testing. He asked the attendees to lend each other a smartphone and take a picture. What a turmoil that caused ;-) ”
Marketing & Business Development Director, BlueGlass Interactive
If you’d like to book me to speak at your event, please get in touch.
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PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from Grandma’s secret sticky BBQ sauce recipe.
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The Practitioner's Guide To Product Management
by Jock Busuttil
“This is a great book for Product Managers or those considering a career in Product Management.”— Lyndsay Denton