To Startup or Not to Startup

A few months ago, John Milburn of Pragmatic Marketing approached me about writing an article for their magazine about my experiences building a product management organization in a startup. After a lot of collaboration and some good debate, we have an article in this issue of The Pragmatic Marketer entitled “To Startup or Not to Startup.” (Download – 522 Kb PDF). Here is an excerpt:

What value does a product manager add to a start-up environment, and is that value primarily tactical?

At an established company, the role of product management is usually fairly well defined. In a startup, you must define what being a product manager means. Our experience is that this means regularly asking for forgiveness instead of permission. Time is your biggest enemy in a startup. Every second is precious, and you dont have time to convene meetings for minutiae.

At a large company, it may be enough to be a product manager, but in a startup you must be a product leader. Being a leader means that you have the confidence to invent a new way of doing things and to say This is our new product management process. You are the only person who can define
what product management means in a startup.

Look for an upcoming webinar on the same topic! Developing…

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1 Comment

  • Reply Adam April 6, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Cool stuff!

    My blog ( is geared entirely around start-up product management, and I did a webinar for the Ryma community that just that topic as well –

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