product management

Product Management: Principles, Responsibilities, and Skills

What do product managers do? The role varies significantly between companies and even departments.

However, there are certain principles, responsibilities, and skills that span most roles. I’ll go through some of them here, in part by curating some thoughts by other smart people.


First, Ben Horowitz wrote a short, seminal overview of what makes a good product manager (vs. a bad one). It may be old, but it’s still relevant.

Next, Alex Roe, a former product manager at Google put together a good list of product management principles.


This thread attempts to articulate what great PMs do well. As an aside, it’s humorously counterintuitive that the value of a product manager is often hard to quantify, yet measurement and making data-driven decisions are typical PM responsibilities.


More recently, I realized there wasn’t a framework that laid out the various concrete skills that PMs may be required to have, so I created one and published it on PMLesson: The Four Skills of Product Management:

The primary competencies of Product Management, with relevant skills between each.