product manager introduction

【為什麼我們挑選這篇文章】產品經理 (PM) 這項職缺,其實在公司中也可歸類為微型的「CEO」,畢竟從產品的訂價、策略、製作到上市階段每一個環節都須兼顧到。而成功的 PM 所需具備的特質,除了要對自己家的產品有十足的認識,更要懂得會在「公司內」、「公司外」銷售自己的商品。

另一方面,以公司的角度來看待產品經理的條件,產品經理要懂得「具體說明」為何使用某個方法、策略來應用到產品上,同時全面性的思考整個產品到公司的佈局,而不僅僅只是把產品順利推出去上市而已。

未來若是想要長久往產品經理的路邁進的話,需懂得跟不同意見的人相處,就算聽到與自己不同意見的當下,也先別急著解釋或反駁,綜合評斷後若發現其他人的建議更好,也要懂得稱讚與鼓勵。

畢竟每個人在公司執掌的內容不同,看事情的角度自然不一樣,其中或多或少一定有可以參考或修正的地方。(責任編輯:孫敬)

本文作者:TengYuan Chang 

product manager introduction

今天下午在 Clubhouse 上聽了一場收穫良多的演講,講者和主持人 Ian,Albert,和 Han-Shen 都是在設計和產品管理上經驗豐富又願意分享的前輩,之前有機會在灣區和紐約向他們請益的時候就覺得收穫滿滿,這場 Clubhouse session 仍舊相當 insightful. 以下是這場演講的筆記。

1. 如何定義 Product Manager 這個職位?

Product Manager 的成功是來自於產品的成功。Ian 現在任職 Facebook/Instagram,之前在 Microsoft 做過 search,所以也比較了兩間公司對於形塑 PM roles 的差異:

a. Facebook: Executive team 給比較 high-level 的方向,PM 來決定策略和 framework,測試 idea 會不會 work. Ian 分享了他在 Facebook 從來沒有寫過 spec 和 PRD,但寫了很多的 strategy document,負責規劃整個團隊的策略和 goal setting.

b. Microsoft: 在 Microsoft 時,executive 都是做過 search 很多年的老手,對產品和功能要怎麼做已經有很多的想法。PM needs to write very detailed spec,負責跟 engineering team 把東西做出來。

有個玩笑話是:Facebook 的 engineer: 「I do whatever I want to do, until PM convinces me what’re more important」. Engineers are responsible for shipping good products as well. PM needs to give them direction. 另一方面,Microsoft 的 engineer: 「I won’t start doing anything until PM have all the specs and documents ready」 從這邊就可以看出兩個公司文化上的差異。

2. PM plays the role as a mini-CEO

差別只在於 CEO 有更多的 authority,PM 往往沒有這樣的 authority。

a. 所以 as a PM, you have all the responsibilities, but you don’t have the authority. So PM has to convince the team what is right and what to do

b. 因為沒有 authority 卻有 responsibility to ship products 所以 PM 不好當。Ian 從他的經驗中學到的是: Sometimes it’s all about listening and helping them to be successful

3. What makes a successful PM?

There are different types of successful PM。不過也要看公司的 culture。像 FB 就是比較 bottom up 的 culture。Ian 分享他看到的三種成功的 PM 類型:

a. Great product instinct: use Steve Jobs as an example. He is able to think beyond what people tell him what they want.

b. Great sales: Sell the idea to the team. Sell it to the executives.

c. Great facilitator: Not the best idea thinker. But she can work with different functional teams. She can actually build up the team, brings the team along, and helps the team be successful.

4. How to plan for the career? 如何保持自己在頂尖的狀態

最重要的是 know what eventually you want to be. 可以是一間公司的 CEO,或是在公司做到 top executives

a. 但一開始選擇的大方向也會決定最終職涯的走向。A lot of domain knowledge are not transferrable。比如說 B2B 和 B2C 的產品所需要的 skillset 就不太相同。

b. 常常問自己:am I still learning?

c. 當剛轉換到一個新的領域,新的公司,或是新的 position,剛開始的時候,Make sure you probably contribute the least, but you learn the most。然後慢慢會變成:you contribute a lot, but not learn as much as the beginning。

d. 然後一步一步 change the roles or change the company,但最終還是指向一開始所設定的目標。

e. But in the end of the day,對於 PM 來說:Shipping successful products is what makes you have credit

5. Facebook 面試 PM 的程序

Facebook 對 PM 的面試相對蠻標準的。主要會看三個面向:product sense, execution, leadership and drive。而在流程上,就是標準的 phone screen,然後接 on-site 或 on-line interview。

a. Product sense: 是不是能了解使用者?Know what problem to solve? Why the problem is important? Who is the user? Once the candidate is able to identify the problem, can she also design the solution?

b. Execution and exercise : goal setting and define the metrics. What do we want to achieve? How do we define the metrics?What are the counter-metrics? What is the magnetic north, the true north star?

c. Leadership and drive: 問個人經驗。What is your biggest success, or biggest failure? What have you been doing to work on your weakness?

6. 成功的 PM具備怎樣的特質?

PM is a passion-driven career. So common traits of a successful PM is she has to be very passionate about the product

a. Great PM have really done a lot of research about his product, and know about the space. They can talk about it all day long.

b. Great PM can articulate what he’s working on really well and debate about it
另一位講者 Albert 也分享了一個故事,是某一年 YC 的 product school,當主持人 Jessica Livingston 問 Mark Zuckerberg 對於 The Social Network 裡面描述 Facebook 早期故事的想法時,Mark 是這樣說的:

…it’s such a big disconnect from I think the way that people make movies think about what we do in Silicon Valley building stuff. They just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things.

7. What good product designer you’d like to hire?

Product designer plays a very important role. Great product designers work very closely with researchers

a. Good product designers need to know why they propose this solution to solve the problem. They can also define the principle of the product.

b. Product manager’s responsibility is to think more holistically, think about how to define success and how to measure it。相對比較 quantitative。

c. Product designer 有時比較 qualitative。但最終好的 product designer 還是要知道怎麼清楚的 articulate the solution

8. PM 從 individual contributor 到成為 manager

兩個重點:
(1.) surrounding yourself with smart people who disagree with you
(2.) Empower those who disagreed with you and help them succeed

a. Inspired by one of Ray Dalio’s Principles: surrounding yourself with smart people who disagree with you is the key to long-term success。確保這些聰明的人願意提供他們真實的 constructive feedback。當意見不同的時候,剛開始一定會想要 fight back。

b. 但經過辯論後,若最終是其他人 (可能是工程師或是下屬) 的不同意見才是比較好的方向時,要給予他們 credit,讓他們成為 spotlight,讓他們有機會可以 drive the influence,賦予他們舞台並協助他們。

9. 當不曉得要如何 motivate the team/engineer 的時候該怎麼辦?

a. 首先要確定,公司是不是有這個 culture 可以讓這個 team 可以 become exciting about building something towards the goal。很多時候 it’s not about the motivation, it’s about culture of the company.

b. 要確定 engineer 是 not excited about the goal, or not excited about the strategy.

c. 但不管怎麼樣,PM 的工作中一個很重要的部分就是 execute。You must have the grit to do whatever it takes to get things done.

d. Roger 也提供一個 tip: build personal relationship with the team

e. Junior 或是轉職的人可以有的比較正確的心態是,儘管經驗尚淺,但是不是有什麼其他事情是我可以幫的上忙的?比如說 notetaking。

f. Albert 認為:Problem is the currency of product manager。對問題的了解是 PM 的核心知識。想辦法把對問題的了解 transfer 給 team。因為 engineer 最擅長的就是提出解決的方法。

10. How to make technology and business goals more aligned with each other

a. Make sure when you design the goal and the metrics, it is easy to understand between your manager, the team, and most importantly, the clients.

b. Roger 建議: 在設 KPI 時,一定要問:how does it make people’s life better。並想
辦法用一個 10 歲小孩就可以了解的方式來說明。

11. How PM works with designer and researchers?

a. It’s always good to have designers and researchers get involved early on.

b. Ian 分享從他的經驗,researcher 幫忙最多的是:settle the debate。Researchers can settle the debate between PM and engineers by sharing his finding from the users — quantitatively and qualitatively

c. Roger 也補充,他認為不論 designers 或 researchers 想要做怎樣的研究,PM 還是要有這個 ownership,包括幫助 researchers 準備 research plan, prototypes, key questions, 參與至少幾個 interview,幫忙產出最終的結論。

d. 如果已經有個 product,有個明確要解決的問題,PM needs to make sure he knows what makes your users stay up at night, and make sure designers and researchers also understand this problem before they start conducting research.

12. If a person lacks of people skill, does it mean she’s not suitable for PM role?

a. 從 Ian 的經驗,他遇過得好的 PM 都有很不錯的 people skills,如果本身不具備好的 people skills, make sure you partner with someone with that skill

b. 另一位講者 John 也分享:如果這個問題的本質是要問是不是只有 extrovert 才能做個好的 PM,這倒不一定。最終還是要想辦法發揮影響力。Mark Zuckerberg 和 Tobias Lütke 都不是 extravert,但他們都有辦法發揮自己的影響力來帶領公司成功。

13. 如何加強 communication skills?

a. Ian 分享他在大公司的經驗,公司有提供 communication training,例如 presentation training, crucial communication。他也是在做這些 training 的時候才發現,溝通是需要練習的。

例如減少使用 filter words,當有人提醒之後,才有辦法有意識的做改善。[註: filter words 是指口語或寫作上不必要的贅字。這篇 note 的第一版是寫 stop words,stop words 是做 natural language processing 或 search 的專有名詞,意指句子中不相關的字詞。有可能是 Ian 講太快口誤,以前做 search 留下來的遺毒,也有可能是我當時聽錯。]

b. 另一位講者 Roger 則分享:4Rs: right content、 right people、 right timing、 and right method.

c. Albert 認為:找到一個模仿的對象,觀察,抄別人怎麼 communicate 的,學起來。

d. John 也補充:有時候最難的不是講,而是有意識的 active listening: pay attention to the context, not to think about what to say.

14. How do you prioritize?

a. How to evaluate good and bad idea?In big company:align with company’s mission. In a startup: growth is everything

b. How do you measure the idea?How much do you want to invest in understanding and opportunity sizing vs. building things? Roger 認為至少 invest 1/10 的 time and budget to do the research.

c. 三個維度的架構來做 prioritization: Importance vs. Urgency vs. How bad if we make a wrong decision? 因為有些決定,做了就不可逆了 (例如 privacy issue),要多加一個維度來衡量。

15. 想要跨領域轉職,有沒有什麼建議?

a. 想清楚 Why do you want to be a PM? Does it make you achieve your career goal?

16. 怎麼進 FAANG 當 PM?

Facebook 有非常標準的 interview process,所以

a. Make sure you practice for the interview

b. 找人做 mock interview

c. 注意公司的 hiring window 另外先想辦法到美國,不管是用唸書當跳板,或是找到公司願意提供 H1B。另外務必找到人 refer,否則履歷石沈大海是必然。

17. 從怎樣的 signal 判斷要換到下個工作

Ian 建議:Go back to your career goals. At current job, am I still picking up the skillset I need to achieve my career goals?

a. Focus on things I can learn. Focus on things I can get improved and achieve my career goal.

b. If it’s not really aligned with my career goal, that’s fine. I can move on.

另一位建議:確保你要達到的目標和上層是 align 的。如果資源不足又需要達到設定的目標,確保主管也清楚的知道這個困難

18. Work with PMM

a. Get PMM involved in early days. So their market research and GTM strategy are aligned with product strategy and product features

19. Have multiple PMs working on same project

a. Don’t need to be a decision maker. Listen to everybody and be the one to manage the discussion and push the project move on.

b. Note taking and share with the team.

之前和 Ian 聊天就覺得他講話非常的有啟發,擔心聽過就忘記了,才想說要筆記下來。原本只是自己記錄用,但意外的發現可能會對不便參加的人有幫助,放上 Medium 會方便有需要的人參考。以下也列上講者們的 Clubhouse 和 LinkedIn 帳號,當天錯過 session 的人可以追蹤起來。

1. Ian (@ian-lin) | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ian-lin-0646674/

2. Albert (@uxalbert) | https://www.linkedin.com/in/albertdesign/

3. Han-Shen (@hanshenchen) | https://www.linkedin.com/in/hanshenchen/

4. Roger (@rogettsainy) | https://www.linkedin.com/in/rogertsai/

5. John (@johnychao) | https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnychao/

最後,我的 Clubhouse 帳號是 @tengyuan,也歡迎後續討論和交流。

(本文經 AI 新媒體量子位 授權轉載,並同意 TechOrange 編寫導讀與修訂標題,原文標題為 〈[筆記] Facebook 資深產品經理聊聊產品與創新
〉。首圖來源:Unsplash)

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