Product managers and leaders across the globe are facing layoffs. Product teams are looking for ways to increase efficiency while doing more with less. So, what does it take to be successful as a PM today? This week, Product Talk host and Tempus Labs, Inc. Director of Product, Jonathan Ozeran, interviews Asset Panda VP of Product Management and Design Ram Shamanna on key traits needed to be successful as a product manager. 

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On success as a PM: diverse backgrounds

Is there a specific background needed to be successful as a product manager? Or can anyone find success as a PM? Here is what Ram had to say:

“I’ve noticed there’s an increasing number of technologists moving into business. I always think of product management as the area of overlap between technology and business.”

“Integrated thinking, where you bring perspectives from other disciplines to your field of study, can provide unique insights.”

“If you’re interested in thinking deeply about the space, it is especially helpful if you have multiple disciplines in your background. It helps you innovate, you’re always thinking of not reaching stagnation.”

On success as a PM: customer delight

Product managers are less focused on growth at any cost, and more focused on customer satisfaction. We understand that to find success as a PM, we need to delight our customers. This is what Ram had to say about customer delight: 

“If you believe a product manager’s role is to help build delightful profitable products, you will need to constantly ensure that the product is resonating with the target audience.” 

“You cannot rest on the knowledge that the product has met product market fit, you need to continually pulse the target audience. There may be expectations or outcomes that the users are seeking or changing.”

I would encourage product managers to intentionally step back and focus on the outcomes that a user is seeking, what problems they have, and to fall in love with the problem.

On essential ingredients of a successful PM 

So, is there a secret recipe for success? What are some of the essential traits need to find success as a PM? Check out what Ram had to say: 

“A good product makes a user’s life better in some dimension, let’s say a utility or productivity.” 

“A great product manager anticipates and understands the user needs, and or indexes on one of those dimensions.” 

“The whole is different and sometimes greater than the sum of its parts. So, focus on the holistic experience for the product and for the user.”

About the speaker
Ram Shamanna Asset Panda, VP, Product and Design Member
About the host
Jonathan Ozeran Director of Product, Director of Product

Jonathan is a product and operations leader, company builder, investor and advisor. He has assembled, scaled and led product, design, software engineering, hardware engineering and machine learning teams across numerous financing stages (pre-seed through Series G).

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