Does Product Guy need to be of the target audience? Can a bald guy sell shampoo? Does the baby food product manager need to wear a bib at breakfast? But on the other hand, should golf companies only hire lousy golfers as product managers to ensure they really know how their hacker customers feel after pulling two identical hooks to the wrong fairway?
Tough ones. No wonder that in the post-Steve Jobs era, there is no clear-cut answer to this eternal question that was perhaps the most asked one, when I collected input for this Product Guy series.
What matters is the passion for the product and the people who use it. That passion can come from within one’s own life, but interestingly, it can equally arise from having the imagination and the curiosity about other people’s lives (note: If this feels too creepy or outer space now, take a breather and read something tangible, like Facebook Graph API documentation)
So when the life is too short to develop a new skill – like a consistent golf swing – Product Guy should focus on trying to understand how it feels for those who have it.
The ultimate stage of dreaming to live other people’s lives is what happened to Jesse Eisenberg. He went to see basketball in London Olympics and was introduced in the TV broadcast as Mark Zuckerberg. And he probably can’t code at all.
For the record, I am so rooting for Ashton Kutcher to be able to pull off the same.
Happened in the previous episodes of Product Guy series:
- Intro to product guy series – why and the definition of ‘product guy’
- Product guy – know your theories – Aristotle and stuff
- Product guy – make one scoreboard – with a tribute to air traffic controller movies
- Product guy – find your inner hipster – the dialogue between design and engineering
Stay tuned for the next episode: Product guy – understand your levers