The Product Manager is the conductor of the product. Halfway between Design, Tech, and Business, it is his role to develop the product to satisfy his customers.
As Product Manager at Koober, I wanted to share my knowledge of the job to help you understand it and why it is necessary.
Over the last twenty years, many companies have been able to use technology at the heart of their product to address user issues. Beyond social networks, some startups have even used technology to simplify everyday habits.
Uber has simplified taxi booking through technology and Airbnb has tackled the booking of holiday accommodation.
Over the last few decades, a new profession has emerged: the Product Manager. Its role is to design and carry out the development of digital products.
The role of a Product Manager is to find market opportunities and then develop the product that best meets the expectations of users.
The missions are diverse but all centered around the product.
The Product Manager is responsible for
- finding new market opportunities
- finding the product-market fit;
- designing solutions to user problems;
- Conducting user research to better understand users;
- understanding the competitive market;
- specifying technical features;
- carry out the production of these functionalities;
- testing the features to ensure they meet the issues.
The Product Manager is responsible for exploring market opportunities and benchmarking the product. He or she is also responsible for understanding the users/customers to be able to respond perfectly to their problems.
This discovery phase is necessary for the proper development of the product and the implementation of a strategy over several months.
After having explored the market, the competitors and after having understood and found answers to the user's problems, it is necessary to specify the functionalities and ensure that they are correctly developed and used by the clients.
The most important skills for a Product Manager are curiosity, empathy, and communication.
The Product Manager often has to work on completely different products, with complex stakeholders. You have to be able to adapt very quickly to new markets and issues.
Curiosity is a very important skill because it allows the Product Manager to have a very wide range of skills and therefore to adapt to any situation.
A Product Manager with a strong interest in Tech, Design, Business, or Marketing will always be highly valued.
Understanding customer problems requires a great deal of empathy. The Product Manager must be able to put himself in the shoes of his users, listen to them, and discuss their problems.
It is often said that being a Product Manager means "knowing how to say no".
The Product Manager must be able to communicate easily with the various stakeholders and tactfully tell them that their request is unfortunately not a priority.
The Product Manager masters several product management tools and methods:
- Lean startup
- Amplitude / Google Analytics
Even if the job of Product Manager is synonymous with unpredictability, here is an example of one of my typical days at Koober.
- I start my day by checking the impact of the features delivered to users on Amplitude, a data visualization tool.
- I check in with the technical team to see the progress of features under development on Notion, a task management tool.
- I design with the Designer the next feature on Figma, a Design tool.
- I review with the Growth team the impact of a feature on retention and acquisition performance.
- I call a user to understand why they are unsubscribed.
- I validate the developed features and put a new mobile application in production on Google Play and AppStore.
With various areas of expertise, there are as many types of Product Managers as there are digital products. Whether they are business, technical, design, or marketing oriented, Product Managers, play a central role in the companies that develop them.