Memo to Boss: May I Change My Title, Please?

David Fradin Worlds First CPSO (Chief Product Success Officer)

If you want to ensure your product is successful, help you be successful, save the world and have a better sex life, (Not necessarily in that order) don’t bother reading the rest of this.

Just copy it and paste into an email to your boss, close your eyes and hit send. (Lady Product Managers be sure to change the gender).

To: Boss
From: Me, your Product Manager
Subject: MY Title

Dear Boss,

I know you probably don’t have this problem, but when I go to a cocktail party and am talking with a beautiful lady, she sometimes (ok, infrequently) asks me what do I do? Nevertheless, what I say is important.

I say that I am a product manager.

She says, “What is that?”

I say I am responsible for my product. I work with sales, engineering, customers, operations, training, support, CEO, and the boogie man.

I am sometimes a project manager, business analyst, UX designer, general designer, scrum master, product owner, product architect, dispute mediator, referee, but mostly a janitor cleaning up the messes everybody else causes.

I get a little credit if we succeed and all the blame if anything goes wrong. Heaven help me and my future family if the product fails and …

By that point, or usually after the first phrase of my enlighten monolog, she smiles, turns, and walks away.

This has happened dozens of times over the years, and quite frankly I doubt now that I will ever get married and have 2.3 kids like the demographic studies says I should. I have an MBA, financially successful and a babe magnet car. Alright, it’s a Volt but nevertheless. I have looks too, but that is another blog post.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I need to make an urgent request for you to save my family life and contribute to the success of my product not to mention you will help save the planet!

May I humbly request letting me change my title to “Product Success Manager?”

That says what I do.

Product Success Manager says I am primarily responsible for my products success.

That title bleeds with what I do. I intimately understand what our customers want to do. I communicate those needs to development. I determine the product’s value proposition, target personas, and market, lay the groundwork for the test, market, sales, support, distribution and other plans. I help set the pricing strategy and picking the metrics to know how well the product is progressing.

Plus the other 30 things that make up a product’s market strategy that ensures product success. I ensure we are building a product that satisfies those things that our customers want to do. I ensure we get a good return on investment.

In short, my job is to ensure my product is one of the 60% of the new products in the world that is successful and not a failure. To not be one of the $600 Billion wasted each year in product failures thus draining the world of valuable resources.

Can I change my title please to Product Success Manager?

Please? Please? Please?

PS. You can become the VP of Product Success to equal the former VP of Sales who is now called Chief Customer Success Officer, VP of Engineering is now called Chief Value Officer, VP IT is now Chief Information Officer, VP Marketing is Chief Marketing Officer or on Tuesdays and Thursdays the Chief Brand Officer.

Do I need to go on?

PPS. If I can’t call myself Product Success Manager how about Entrepreneur? Nobody knows what they do, including them, but they get dates.

PPS. I promise I will invite you to the wedding.

2017-03-08T13:09:14+00:00

About the Author:

Go to https://dfradin.youcanbook.me, to schedule a time to talk. David Fradin has trained thousands of managers throughout the world in the successful management of products. With over 47 years of experience across major companies, 75+ products and services and 11 startups, he infuses his workshops with insights gained as an expert product leader, product manager and product marketing manager at companies like Apple and HP. He was classically trained as an HP Product Manager and was then recruited by Apple to bring the first hard disk drive on a PC to market. As a result of his leadership and management skills, Apple promoted him first to Apple /// Group Product Manager and later Business Unit Manager at the same organizational level at that time as Steve Jobs. He recently authored “Building Insanely Great Products: Some Products Fail, Many Succeed…This is their Story” Lessons from 47 years of experience including Hewlett-Packard, Apple, 75 products, and 11 startups later. Go to: http://amzn.to/2lyRhn7 Coming soon will be "Organizing and Managing Insanely Great Products" and "Marketing Insanely Great Products." His workshops cover the founding values, vision, product lifecycle and management employed by Apple at its start and which it subscribes to today. You can learn more about his workshops at https://spicecatalyst.com/get-brochure-professional-development-training-courses-description/ Soon to be released by Wiley and Sons, in the Early of 2017, is a seven volume set of university level textbooks entitled: "Foundations in the Management of Successful Products" covering keys to product success, product market strategy, marketing, soft skills, user experience, user interface, product engineering, and product support. What students will learn in the workshops, online courses and books are cover what has made Apple the most valuable company in the world today.

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