Tide of Product Managers in Startups

Posted on 25 Jul, 2017



Manager, even in present times remains the buzz word across industries for the employees. Most employees aspire to reach to the title however managerial their roles are or not.

Startups and tech companies have moved on where the ‘full stack developer’ or ‘tech lead’ were some of the aspiring roles. What’s buzzing now -  the ‘Product Manager’ role. Every other professional ranging from 2 - 3 months of ‘worked-on-product’ experience to extensive development experience - want to be the product manager.

Ever since our startup in women’s health domain has announced a few roles -  Product Manager role has got the significantly higher number of applications and the aspirants are ranging from UI designer, UX expert, developers, business analysts, CTOs, marketing heads, creative heads, QA engineers -  it means almost every role possible in tech companies. And also the newest addition is -  the CEOs of failed or wrapped up startups. Hardly 15% were the actual product managers with a relevant experience. A friend and also a product manager at the startup in Bangalore gave a similar testimony.

Companies with experienced founders or recruiters would have the clarity about the role they are looking for but the mess belongs to a lot of companies too who are just in love with the title they want to hire for instead of having the clarity about the role. But the ratio is not that bad with companies.

As most of the above roles may not convert to product manager, there are some which can potentially be transformed. It needs more than few skills and plenty of experience. Though software and internet products are quite faster to make but usability and experience matters a lot more than physical products because of the thinnest proximity of the competition and decreasing attention span of the users. Anyway, these are the technical points. What is rather more important is the business aspect of the product. Not completely but a lot of it goes to the product manager where she/he is creating the business opportunity for the product, making matrices for the marketing teams and creating cross integration for the data to flow both ways.

As there are no courses or degrees directly produce the product managers for the software and internet product industry, the best way to en route towards the role is to have the zeal for creating a business, creating intuitive experience for the users and all of those in the limited time and budget.

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