Skip to main content

Advice to younger PM self

I was lucky in my early career. Or so I thought. I got a job in an established, serious, mid-large, international company. First couple years were great. As a young professional you learn a lot. Not only in your field but in general. How the business works, how to communicate effectively, how to be a part of a team.

But here is the part I didn't understand back then.
Big, stable companies are mainly focused on retaining their position. Innovation is a risk which they don't want!
Most larger companies are great at maintaining existing products and leveraging them as cash cows in order to generate vital business benefits. This often leads to a conservative attitude, protection of the current assets, and focus on operational excellence and flawless execution. In such an environment, product innovation is the exception rather than the norm, and experimentation and making mistakes are discouraged. Roman Pichler

It's so obvious now, but back in the day, it frustrated the hell out of me.

You don't learn much from success. You learn from failure. Big companies avoid failure. Means you'll not learn a lot in a big company.

As a young professional, choosing big established company might jeopardise your career.

What should I have sought instead? An environment where failure is acceptable. Where people understand that without failure there will be no learning and no success as a result.

Such environment may not only exist in startups or small businesses. Nowadays, even large organisations understand the importance of experimentation, so they establish incubators, intrapreneurship programs and innovation labs. Whatever the form is, the environment to seek is where learning valued the highest and failure understood to be a part of the learning process.

More advice? Hear it from the best! Watch Dave Wascha reflect on his 20 years in Product. 

Popular posts from this blog

Product Vision: an elevator pitch for your product

On this blog, I write a lot about making data-driven decisions. But what if you just starting to think about your product? You have a vague idea and nothing more. No point to go for prototyping or even talking to customers as you don't know yet who to talk to and what to talk about. In such situation - start from creating a product vision.

3 steps to build a customer journey map

A customer journey map is a visual tool that shows how satisfied your customers are on every step of using your product. By a quick glance at the map, you can immediately see where you're doing fine and satisfying your customers and where you're failing.

First things to fix on a Customer Journey

Customer experience is the cornerstone of your product success. Customer Journey Map could help you to measure customer experience. Which parts of a customer journey are the most important? Where should you pay the most attention?