Keith Cowing

Keith Cowing

Product guy. Entrepreneur.
Career advisor. Read bio

The difference between product managers and product leaders

December 1, 2014

whiteboard

Product Managers understand the key metrics they’re trying to drive
Product Leaders move the metrics

Product Managers inspire the marketing team to work hard and drive awareness
Product Leaders inspire their users

Product Managers identify the best way to climb the hill
Product Leaders identify the best hill to climb

Product Managers understand their team’s constraints
Product Leaders recruit world-class talent and transcend constraints

Product Managers learn best practices from the industry
Product Leaders teach best practices

Product Managers are constantly in motion and handle a busy calendar
Product Leaders differentiate motion from progress and optimize for the latter

Product Managers add features and make the product 10% better
Product Leaders remove features and make the product 10x better

Product Managers focus on the top 10 things that will improve their product
Product Leaders focus on the top 3

Product Managers write specs so that designers can build mocks
Product Leaders involve design from day 0 because design is everything, not a phase of the project

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