There has been a lot of talk recently about the role of product managers in companies, and the value that they bring to the table. Part of this is a continuation of an age-old debate, and part of it has been brought into focus by moves such as Airbnb and Stripe getting rid of product managers (which, of course, neither of them did). Now, I’m no fan of stories of Airbnb’s designers whooping with delight when they thought all the PMs were getting fired, but, on the other hand, we should always be willing to ask ourselves… what are we for?
Wow. This article is the best distillation of the delivery trap I’ve ever read. Thank you so much! Reading it was cathartic.
I’ve worked in Product over 20 years and sadly I’ve fallen into this trap many times. Each time thinking that I was acting in the best interests of customers, teammates, and our business. You are so right that most companies are designed to work this way. It becomes part of the culture and PMs are rewarded for persevering. Why? Because that’s how the prior generation of product leaders climbed the ladder. So the cycle repeats.