In this Sunday Rewind we look back at Marty Cagan’s opening keynote from mtpcon London 2016, where he shares his thoughts on what makes a great product manager by looking at the people behind some great products.
Behind every great product there is always someone who works hard to solve incredibly difficult problems. In this talk Marty examines some highly successful products, and the outstanding product managers responsible for them.
Marty looks at the work of Martina Lauchengco, who improved the performance of MS Word for the Mac, and at the work of Kate Arnold in the early years at Netflix. He also looks at Jane Manning’s work on Google Adwords, at Alex Pressland’s work on the BBC’s mobile strategy, at Camille Hearst’s work to make iTunes a part of the daily life for American Idol watchers, and at Lea Hickman’s work to develop Adobe Creative Cloud.
Marty’s examples show that product management is distinct from other disciplines, he says. Product managers must deeply understand all aspects of the business, from marketing to sales, finance, manufacturing, legal, and partnerships.
Great products require intense collaboration with design and engineering to solve real problems for customers in ways that meet needs of business. Great product managers are smart, creative and persistent, says Marty. They’re not afraid to lead through inspiration, motivation and logic.