Saturday, July 9, 2011

Problem Solvers

How many times have you heard seem a product management job posting asking for years of experience in a particular field or, while talking to somebody about the position, been given the impression that only a certain type of person can succeed in the job.

I call BS!

Product management is not about any particular knowledge, though it can certainly help. Product management is really about solving problems, and when you are hiring product managers, you want a history of solving problems. Nothing will be more valuable to you because anything else can be learned. I've not had much success teaching problem solving; that seems much more innate.

Personally, I'm fascinated by failures. The way people recover from errors truly shows their problem solving abilities. When you are interviewing, follow trails of what went wrong and how they dealt with it. You'll get a much better perspective on their true personality and how much hand-holding you are going to have to do.

What about you? What tricks do you have for hiring great product managers?

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