When Should The Product Manager Quit?

I have been through this question and without disclosing the company name, let me tell you the one factor which helped me decide.

To give you a quick context, I was madly in love with the product – worked hard to take it from zero to launch and once we launched, the company raised a huge round of funding.

And with funding came new hires and I ended up reporting to the new Director of PM (I was earlier reporting to the cofounder).

I was still in love with the product, but one day I just quit.

Here is what really happened.

  • As a PM, your only success metric is – the success of the product.
  • Personally, the only thing that should matter is whether you are owning PM decisions or not. I know many ‘fake’ PMs who don’t own even a single feature. Quit reading this if you are one.
  • My new boss was a very insecured PM. He wanted to be the one sending status updates email to sending release notes (which I was writing).
  • I was still okay with this, but the day product roadmap was disrupted to give in to mediocre decisions (“let’s launch <feature X> to please the boss), I realised my North Star metric, i.e. the success of the product is at stake.
  • Suddenly entire product decision was shifted to ‘make people happy’ (remember: lots of new VPs joined the company, so the culture was highly diluted).
  • I tried harder / fought with the team / tried convincing the cofounders – but I guess they were in a ‘flow’.
  • The ‘flow of mediocrity’.
  • Finally, I quit.
  • The company was sold for penny after ~3 years. Of course, my quitting wasn’t responsible for this :), the ‘acceptability of mediocrity’ was.

As a PM, you need to own the success and failure of your product.
The day you are taken off it, you should be off it.

Do whatever to make it success (including fighting the internal politics), but do know when product metrics shift from customer happiness to investor/founder’s happiness.

(From my Quora answer).

Featured Image

Sign Up for nextbigwhat newsletter

The smartest newsletter, partly written by AI.

Download Pluggd.in, the short news app for busy professionals