The day I actually became a Product Manager

Here’s to all the strong Product Managers out there!
May we KNOW you, may we BE you, may we UNDERSTAND you.

It is the 21st century. The century where people call themselves PM, and you need to guess whether they are Product Managers, Project Managers, or just Private Messages?

Da dam. You always hear stories from top industry leaders about how they have been starting their careers from a young age. But what if they made that interviews actually when they were starting? Would it be different? Would the perspectives be more valid and accurate?
Does it make sense for you? If not, it totally makes sense for me. Therefore, I have decided to start the Freestyle Q&A series with inspiring youngsters who are just on the rise of their careers.
And the first on my list is Nane Vardanyan - Product Management Enthusiast. True Artist in the Soul. An Entrepreneur with the Spirit.

Let’s grab your attention first and start with entertaining questions.

If Product Management was an art piece, how would it look?

A painting where there is so much happening at the same time.
So, one word, Abstract.

P.S. Like Jackson Pollock, Nane :) ???

If Product Management was a song, how would it sound?
Jazz with Blues and it totally goes to Classic Piano with James Brown’s voice. Come on, just remember how he yells and screams. Just perfect Product Management sound.

If Product Manager was a cartoon character, who would it be?

For sure Rick from Rick and Morty, cause he constantly invents stuff.

Let’s now talk about serious stuff.

How have you decided to get into Product Management?

I did not choose Product Management, it chose me. Just kidding.
Honestly, I was actually doing Product Management before I even knew what it was. In the university with couple of friends, I have been involved in my own startup development, called Creatr.

While developing the idea of our startup, we actually were doing what exactly Product Managers do nowadays: basically, customer interviews, prototyping, testing, market research, market strategy development, and the product management itself. Before that I was just doing development, and when I had the chance to explore that part of the world, I just fell in love and I knew that it is something I was gonna do.

Explain Product Management to a Five-Year-Old
Imagine you got a gift and it is a LEGO city. Imagine you try to create houses there, parks, and then you understand this is not working, and you improve and build something new.
That is basically what is Product Management.

Most Searched Question_ What is the difference between project management and product management?

I would say Product Management is a more strategic role. You are doing a lot of research as a part of your routine, product analysis, customer development, and you constantly look into the data.

Whereas Project Management is more concentrated on breaking down the idea into small tasks, creating more detailed processes and flows around these tasks, coming up with deadlines, and tracking the whole progress.

So, it is more concrete and detailed into processes, on the contrary, Product Management is a more global phenomenon.

Let’s now talk about interesting stuff.

What do you like about Product Management?

The one thing that I really love is the first time when the idea of a feature or a product is coming up. This is when you start to figure out what kind of thing you need to build, you look at the data, you look at the customers’ preferences, you look at the market what is trending right now, you try to brainstorm with all the facts on hand, and then attempt to figure out the whole flow. That is my favorite part.

What do you dislike about Product Management?

Nothing. I just love every part of it literally. #TrueLove

What are the key personality traits of Top Product Managers for you?

Analytical thinking and Communication. These are the two key traits.
Analytical thinking is all about data-driven decision making. Top Product Managers try to understand data to achieve better results, figure out overall flow, and based on that users interaction.
The right communication is the key cause you work with diverse professionals starting from the marketing department and ending with the development teams, and you need to be able to work with them smoothly.

Top product people to follow right now and why?

Oh, I just love this newsletter which is called “Bring The Donuts” by Ken Norton. It is like a bible for me, no kidding. You can find so many cool and insightful articles there. Just go and check it.

What book would you recommend for Product Management?

The first one is INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, it helps to understand how teams should interact with Product Managers, and the second one is Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, this one was just mind-blowing for me. It shows the mixture of product development and marketing and helps to understand how to increase the number of customers.

Let’s now talk about cliché plus futuristic stuff.

What would you advise a person just starting their career in Product Management?

Product Management is all about practice, nothing can replace that.
You can read a lot of books and watch different video lessons, but you need to practice. It does not even matter if you don’t have an entry-level job.
Just come up with a crazy idea for a startup or just take an existing idea, and do all the steps of the product development since the idea generation.

How do you imagine the future of Product Management?

From the perspective of Armenia, a lot more companies are starting to understand the important role of a Product Manager. That is why the position will be in huge demand in the future.
From the global perspective taking into account COVID-19 and remote lifestyle, it is a little bit hard to say how the role is gonna evolve. But I am on the radar. However, I would like to mention that the movement of Product Managers who are starting their own startups and becoming CEOs is gonna continue in the upcoming future for sure.



T-shaped Marketer. Currently working in the Netherlands. Writing based on the mood with free verse style. Join me ⤵️

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Lian Hakobyan

T-shaped Marketer. Currently working in the Netherlands. Writing based on the mood with free verse style. Join me ⤵️