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[Product Manager Diaries] Saeed Khan

Name or What Do You Want to Be Known As:

Saeed Khan

Role or Product Manager Job Title:

Founder

When did you start this Product Management Journey?

1997

Why do you think it's cool being a Product Manager?

For people who like solving problems in creative an innovative ways, there's no better job.

Describe a "week-in-the-life" of yourself as a Product Manager. (Tell us how you spend your time, what types of tasks you do and who you meet with.)

:-) . There is no standard "week in the life". But it's a mixture of internal meetings, customer and partner interactions, investigation, research, decisions and actions. We try to spend as much time as we can "away from the desk", because that is where all the real knowledge and insights lie.

In one sentence, what do you identify as the main pain-point you are having as a Product Manager?

One word: balance. i.e. how to balance the demands and activities of the role in the best way possible.

If you have an online Portfolio, or links to products or services that features your work (i.e. designs, articles, etc.), list them here! 

blog: http://www.onproductmangaement.org is the best example, though I've published articles on many other sites on the web.

What are three suggestions or pieces of advice for those who are considering ditching their existing careers and stepping into the Product Management world?

  1. Know what you're getting into. It's not easy to be a good PM -- you need a broad set of skills and abilities and a lot of empathy, patience, and social/political intellect.
  2. Learn from others. There's no single body of knowledge (yet!!) to help you understand everything, so learn what you can on your own, but learn from other in your company or network.
  3. Don't lose sight of the price. Your goal is product success. It's not about building product or collecting requirements or working with Dev etc. Understand your (business) goals and leverage the resources/people/teams of your company and partners to reach your product goals. "Building the right product and building the product right" ads up to only about 1/4 of what you need to achieve product success. Don't think it's otherwise or you will likely struggle and possibly fail.