PRODUCTHEAD: The rise of the growth product manager

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

a favour: please share this with other product people

every PRODUCTHEAD edition is online for you to refer back to


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:

(Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash)

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,

Jock Busuttil

what to think about this week

Rise of the growth PM report 2021

“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.

A growth hacker by another name?


A post-mortem on growth hacking

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.

Sustainable growth takes more than a few clever hacks


Is your product ready for a series A?

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.

[VIDEO] You don’t get to 60,000 newsletter subscribers without knowing a thing or two about growth


ICED theory – growing infrequent products

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?

Infrequency, control, engagement and distinctiveness


recent posts

6 tips for presenting slides that don’t suck

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.

Ditch the slides if you can


My boss wants to set me an OKR on revenue growth. Is this right?

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?


Revenue is a rubbish choice of metric


5 tips to ace your first impression at a new job

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.

Best foot forward


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 ;-) ”

Walter Schärer

Walter Schärer
Marketing & Business Development Director, BlueGlass Interactive

If you’d like to book me to speak at your event, please get in touch.

can we help you?

Product People is a product management services company. We can help you through consultancy, training and coaching. Just contact us if you need our help!

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Helping people build better products, more successfully, since 2012.

PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from Grandma’s secret sticky BBQ sauce recipe.

Read more from Jock

The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management book cover

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

Jock Busuttil is a product management and leadership coach, product leader and author. He has spent over two decades working with technology companies to improve their product management practices, from startups to multinationals. In 2012 Jock founded Product People Limited, which provides product management consultancy, coaching and training. Its clients include BBC, University of Cambridge, Ometria, Prolific and the UK’s Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS). Jock holds a master’s degree in Classics from the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the popular book The Practitioner’s Guide To Product Management, which was published in January 2015 by Grand Central Publishing in the US and Piatkus in the UK. He writes the blog I Manage Products and weekly product management newsletter PRODUCTHEAD. You can find him on Mastodon, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn.

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