Why Jack Dorsey Thinks Product Managers are Chief Editors
By Arijit Banerjee
When a product is successful, the engineers and designers behind the product are always celebrated. However, product managers are the unsung heroes behind any product. The role of a product manager is considered as one of the worst defined roles in tech and probably the toughest too.
A product manager is not only responsible for coordinating with various teams to launch the product, but also for ensuring that the product sticks to its schedule while achieving certain milestones. Sometimes, the product gets lost behind all the detail-oriented tasks that the product manager is left to deal with.
The tech bigwig, Jack Dorsey has paved a new path by redefining product managers as chief editors. For a product to tell the intended story, there has to be cohesion and consistency in the making of the story. There will always be a flood of ideas that come in from the various stakeholders of the company and it is up to the Chief Editor to edit out the ideas that don’t fit into the product vision.
Jack Dorsey breaks down the product planning journey into three major areas:
Behind any product, there are a number of brilliant minds with a supply of ideas. However, it is important for the Chief Editor to pick the right people to take the product to its ultimate goal. So regardless of the circumstances, it is important to hire and pick the best possible people who can work together on the product.
2.Internal & external communication
Internal communication, he believes is the coordination of a few important aspects – What are we doing? Why are we doing it? What are our goals? Where are we going? This helps the team to set priorities and create a clear roadmap.
External communication is all about the product. Jack believes that the product should be able to speak for itself and should not be about what one voice wants to say about it. The product should therefore, be about what it could mean to people and that is the most important story it can tell.
3.Financial Management – It is important to build finances for the product, both through investment and revenue.
An editor of a book or a story cannot stuff it with several characters and plot twists, but needs to edit the story to make it enjoyable. Similarly, the chief editor needs to ensure that the product is clean and has just the right features so it offers an enjoyable experience. There are many roads that can be taken to reach the end goal of a product, but it is up to the chief editor to pick the best path and lead the involved teams in a coordinated manner to the finish line.