How we Grow as Product Managers
It starts local. A friend asks you to come to a meet-up, or to have a beer with a few friends from Silicon…(Valley, Alley, Roundabout, Beach, insert your fave here). Or you set up a coffee with a cool product manager or designer you know. They tell you about some books to read.
Then you head to a conference where you see 1500 other product managers from all over the world. You hear their stories and laugh about sharing the same problems.
You apply for a job in another country, you want to see how they do things in California. You come back after a few years looking forward to seeing what’s changed in your home city. You build your library and your toolkit. You continue to build stuff, some things that you’re proud of, other things that frustrate you.
The career (and job) of a product manager is one of finding commonalities, patterns and lessons. The stories that we hear from product leaders from around the world is that diversity of perspective and experience are what drive us to build better things and be better managers. Our world continues to shrink, and change continues to happen faster than ever. Getting an edge means collecting as many valuable experiences as you can from as many places as possible.
Mind the Product Training
Eight months ago Mind the Product mapped this journey as we considered how to build our new training program. We knew we wanted to create a best-in-class training program that would embody the seven years of lessons we had collected from our conferences and meet-ups. We knew the only way to get there would be to test out a lot of different assumptions we had about what could work and what’s needed. Our mission is to make Mind the Product’s trainings one of your most valuable experiences. What’s happened since then has been nothing less than the coolest thing I’ve ever done:
- Mind the Product has done public trainings in five countries reaching hundreds of product managers
- We’ve trained a dozen trainers with a dozen more on deck to join us, in four countries across two continents
- Myself and a small cohort of expert product managers have written nearly 24 brand new curriculum modules and are currently writing another six
- The core team has iterated on a corporate sales process that assesses need and can quickly adapt to unique challenges and scenarios
- Finally, we’ve worked with a half-dozen corporate clients and designed custom curriculums for their teams, with a crazy sales pipeline bubbling for 2018
What did we learn?
So. what did we learn? We could write a book (and are planning to) but the most important lessons that we learned are the same ones that Mind the Product teaches in our courses:
- You don’t KNOW until you’ve done it
- We will never be finished: our training service is always expected to change and evolve, so we’ve baked iteration into the process
- Your customer is a font of knowledge: we will always ask you about your experiences, and get feedback on how you felt going through our trainings
At the end of January, Mind the Product is launching its first multi-city training, taking place in four cities over the course of three days. After that, we’ll be rolling on more cities in the following months. Our vision is to have dozens of trainings happening concurrently in cities around the globe, while also being able to maintain the most current content, combined with the best instruction given by experienced product managers.
Watch this space, if we keep moving as quickly as all this, we’ll be in your city faster than you can groom your backlog.