A distinction we like to highlight at Postlight is that a product manager is not a project manager. Don’t get me wrong. Project management is important. But the focus is too often on maintaining a process, not shipping a product. That’s sensible on big projects, but less useful when you need to bring a product into the light. Product managers get in there. Moving things around. Dropping things off. Explaining to the team that the research doesn’t support this tactical move or that. My co-founder Paul Ford says that a good product manager has a crooked index finger from hitting “Command-R” to reload a web app tens of thousands of times. I think that’s right — you’re looking for that person willing to obsessively look at tiny changes until the entire picture of the product comes into view.
Lately I’ve been thinking about SMB marketing websites & eCommerce websites in the context of product management.
You have all the ingredients of a web app. There are UX considerations, performance considerations, back-end logic and infrastructure considerations, user stories and jobs-to-be-done.
(Isn’t monthly unique traffic similar enough to MAUs?)
So, along that train of thought… I wonder what principles we can borrow from product management and apply to SMB marketing & eComm websites?
(Aside: I’m a big fan of Postlight. You should read their blog and subscribe to their podcast.)