Product committee’s/product councils

It is no secret Steve Jobs disregarded product committees. Adam Lashinsky’s book, Inside Apple. Clearly articulates this vision – http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Apple-Americas-Admired-Secretive-Company/dp/145551215X

Clearly, consensus decision making was not his forte albeit he gave importance to only one thing: may the best idea win! So, why then do I disregard hierarchy and committee based decision making from my own product management experience?

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Lessons from Apple – What will it take to be a great product manager from India?

For starters, it requires a different way of thinking. It requires setting yourself apart. It requires strategic thinking, it requires us to trust gut instinct on what will work and what will not – when validation by facts is impossible, it requires excellent communication and presentation skills. It requires excellent analytical and logical reasoning skills, it requires great lateral thinking skills. It requires a great understanding of technology. It requires great management skills. It requires ‘influence without authority’ skills. It requires high levels of integrity and ethics, values. It requires directness/frankness, approachability. It requires business skills as a lot of it deals with product pricing, positioning, understanding customer segmentation, customer behaviour, customer needs and wants, requires reasonable level of understanding of product marketing/communcation/promotion, it requires high levels of hardwork, it requires partnering with engineering/marketing/sales to convey what is doable versus tradeoffs, It requires working across time zones. It requires travel. It requires persistence. It requires empathy for customers and a problem solving approach. It requires quick decision making. It requires the courage to call a spade a spade. It requires conviction and immense self belief. It requires the ability to say NO! It requires PASSION!

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