LinkedIn’s Internet Product Management Group posted the following question – I couldn’t resist a response….
What is the source of inspiration for a product manager? Please post your response or write to me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I’m 100% on the same page as Trevor: I’m addicted to problem solving – the bigger the problem / complexity, the bigger the buzz I get. Love it.
My inspiration stems from seeing/finding points of pain/failure that makes the product less useful / usable / desirable than it need be.
From there, I try to establish the ‘whys’ – why is it less useful / usable / desirable to the target consumer; not from just what they tell you, but from what you can interpret from their behaviour when using the product.
Once the insights have been gathered, the potential treatment to the causes come flooding through [along with the rush of excitement] and you start to bounce the ideas off of others, trying [in a positive way] to pick them to pieces; questioning how they address each of the cause checklist items, to help identify the best way forward.
And then, you go through the pitching of the ideas into the business, to people that haven’t been on the same journey as you. You have to unravel, simplify and rationalise your journey to help them see [very clearly] the size of the opportunity you have identified.
Finally it’s into development and – the piece de resistance – in the consumers hands. And the inspiration to improve it some more starts all over again.
The whole process is, for me (and no doubt other product managers), INCREDIBLY addictive. Probably too addictive.
Of course, if I had never once seen an improvement [through sales / usage / satisfaction] as a result of my efforts in the above, it’s more likely I’d find a problem just that: a problem – not an inspiration that feeds my addiction. LOL!