Product Management :: Product Marketing

06 June, 2022

Product Management in big companies vs small companies

If you haven't already, then I urge you to look at the product management resources at Lenny's Newsletter. His top articles are really REALLY good. Sign up for the newsletter too - you won't be in bad company, there are over 300k subscribers.

Lenny was my Head of Engineering at Webmetrics (San Diego, California, about 25 people), when I was his (only) Product Manager - see case study. He left to co-found a start-up which was acquired by Airbnb where he was one of its first product managers becoming Head of Growth. He has since left Airbnb and is now an angel investor and writer. Super smart and a super nice chap. 

I loved his article on Startup PM vs. big company PM and agree with everything he says. 

There are a couple of points that I'd like to augment: 
Startup PM
Big Company PM
Optimise for speed, learning and reuse Optimise for quality, impact and completeness
Define the product culture and processes Optimise the product culture and processes
Validate (or not!) the excitement of foamy-mouthed CEOs / innovators yourself Get others to fill-out a business requirement specification and to follow the process
Justify the product roadmap to others Successfully navigate the business process that slots engineering time to work effort
Optimise processes in other business functions Stick to the knitting in your own department (or escalate the problem up the org structure!)
Beat the drum for the whole organisation Follow the beat determined by the corporate strategy
Dream of some stability in the product creative process Crave some innovative time to fix stuff without constant justification
Spend your day saying, "No, sorry because...." Spend your day reviewing other people's proposed product enhancements