Laura Burkhauser joined us to discuss what goes into being a great product manager. Laura is the director of consumer products for the popular online designer dress and accessory rental company, Rent the Runway. She is also an integral part of the 2020 Product Awards, serving on the Awards Advisory Board.
Recently, she discussed her role as a member of Products That Count’s Awards Advisory Board and provided insight and tips about being a great product manager.
Three Key Points
Being a great product manager depends on the product, but I tend to look for smart generalists. People who are strategic and understand how to build a strategy.
- Savvy about consumer data—You need to ask the right questions. That’s often the hardest part of working with data.
- Having a customer focus—They have to care about the customer.
- Must be willing to learn—You have to be hungry for the feedback, hungry for the failure, and eager to learn from it.
Advice for Future Product Managers?
I think that product management is often deciding between a good idea and a great idea and that’s hard to do.
It is easy when you are just starting as a product manager and you have a number that you’re trying to hit or something that you’re trying to achieve.
I think it’s harder to take those big swings to ask “not how do I get from 2.0 to 2.1 but how do I get from 2.0 to 3.0, or 4.0.” That kind of risk-taking and innovation is extremely valuable. It’s very rare. It takes some bravery. So I would just say be brave.
About the speaker
I'm an experienced product leader working at the intersection of fashion and technology. I'm passionate about personalization, moments of unexpected joy, and launching the thing. ?