I had no idea what the hell I was doing when I first became head of product. My company had grown to over 50 employees without structured product management, and I didn’t have formal PM experience.
To get started, I leaned heavily on resources that I found across the internet. My favorite articles are below. Since taking on my current role I’ve often reread these materials and found them to be just as insightful and helpful as when I first saw them.
Whether you’re a PM, engineer, or just work at a technology company, these posts will give you a sense for the output you should demand from product management. If you aspire to lead product teams in the future, these articles should also give you a great idea of what to expect and how to succeed.
Product teams need to prioritize well, so I’ve ordered these posts with my favorites first:
- Brandon Chu (Shopify): 7 Heuristics for Being a Product Director
- Silicon Valley Product Group: The VP Product Role
- SaaStr: What do you look for when hiring a B2B SaaS VP Product?
- Rich Mironov: A VP Product’s Checklist
- Quora: What does the VP Product do when there is a product-focused CEO?
- Rich Mironov: What’s a VP Product?
- Rich Mironov: What We Need in a VP Product
- Mattermark: Common traits of high-growth VP Products
Heading product at a technology company can be a difficult and frustrating job. As an exec with a broad purview and a small team, it can feel like your ass is on the line in a very visible way for outcomes that heavily depend upon others. Heading product for an enterprise SaaS product can be especially stressful due to customer pressures and the complex dynamics between marketing, sales, support, and engineering. If you’re currently leading a product team, I hope that these references can save you some time and help you succeed.