Sometimes it’s hard to define the role that Product Managers serve in a company. And there are also times when Product Managers are met with hesitation from some of their own colleagues or as Lucas Cerdan wrote in our free eBook, The Path to Product Excellence: Stories and Advice from the Field:

“What I found when I started at Algolia was resistance to product management. The company has a very engineering-led culture, and many of the team members had poor experiences with product management in the past. One of my colleagues asked me, ‘Ok you’re a product manager, but what do you manage?’”

It can be a tough question because you’re sort of being asked to prove yourself on the spot. They’re not asking “what does product management do,” they’re asking, “what do YOU do?”

In our eBook, Lucas talks about how he immediately began focusing his work on the customer. And when I say “immediately,” I mean before they even hired him!

“Algolia wasn’t hiring a product manager, but I was excited by what they were doing, and I was determined to find a way into the company. I found and talked directly to some of Algolia’s customers to ask them about their experiences using the product. I recorded these conversations, analyzed the user feedback, and created a set of recommendations for how to change their product. I sent this information along with my application. Fortunately, they were excited by the work I had done and hired me!”

Lucas joined Algolia as their first product manager, and while some in the company were initially hesitant about the role, he would prove so impactful that they grew the team and eventually hired a VP of Product Management. To read how Lucas did it and to get more stories and advice from product experts such as Dan Olsen, Kat Kennedy, and Hiten Shah, download our eBook!

Monty Mitra Feb 21, 2019