Our first month

I started Product People in October 2012 because I believed that companies, both large and small, sometimes need an experienced product manager to drop in and help out without the associated faff and expense of hiring one full-time.

Now, before I left my previous job running a team at Experian, I wasn’t 100% sure there was even a market for this style of work.  Thankfully there is, and what I’ve been discovering in this first month has been that the reasons why companies need an interim product manager can vary dramatically.  Here are a few I’ve encountered in my conversations so far.  Do any of these chime with your own situation?

“We’d like to hire our first product manager, but want to have product process in place first so we can hire someone slightly more junior – and less expensive.”

“Our project is short-lived so it wouldn’t make sense to hire a product manager full-time.”

“We’re not sure what we’re looking for in a product manager yet – can you help us figure out what we need?”

“We’re seeking funding and know that VCs favour companies with a strong product team.”

I’ve learned a great deal in just one month, mainly through conversations with my potential clients.  Now it’s all about bringing the work.

Jock is a freelance head of product, author and startup mentor with over seventeen years’ experience working in technology. He helps startups and larger organisations with digital transformation and to improve their product management practices, including Experian, BBC, University of Cambridge, and the UK’s Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS).

He is the founder of Product People Limited, which provides product management consultancy and training. He is also the author of the popular book The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management and the blog I Manage Products.