Product managers: product educators in chief

Product Managers are effectively Product Educators in Chief. They must educate customers about what to expect from the product and how to use it1. They empower the sales and support teams to pitch the product to those customers, and they must ensure the engineering team understands what customers are demanding and why, so they can build a product that will delight customers2. A PM’s product specs are the first draft of documentation, their speaking is a key part of both practicing a sales pitch and listening carefully for how potential customers respond to it.

Customer-facing documentation is one critical aspect of that. Another side of that is how we document the product space internally.

Reviews of prior art and literature are critical to a product manager’s self-education, as well as a key asset in the engineering teams’ learning as well.

Object storage comparators, lit review, and prior art

Because Joyent is open source, I blogged about my research into object storage implementations and literature here. It includes:

This is almost certainly incomplete, but includes enough discussion of the market leaders to point everybody in the right direction, as well as some stalking horses to keep everybody sharp.

  1. Giving customers what they expect is a good start, except when the customer wants a faster horse, and then the education bit gets especially interesting. [return]
  2. Of course, like all good educators, PMs are consummate learners first. PMs need to listen to and learn from customers, support, sales, and engineering, and move easily between both roles. [return]