I came across an article written by Gibson Biddle which I think is very instructive to the role of the person in charge of Products in any organisation. More often than not, the role of the Product Management office is misconstrued and is not accorded the right importance. Gibson Biddle grew up as the VP Product at Netflix, then became the Chief Product Officer at Chegg, and now he is an Executive-in-Residence and Adviser for many fast-growing consumer tech startups.
Gibson talks about the need for top management involvement in key Product development and management decisions and rollout. According to him, “One of the greatest challenges for the Head of Product at a fast-growing startup is to maintain focus on product strategy, to enable good, fast consumer and data-driven decisions, and to pass on learnings across the organization as it grows. It’s easy when the company is a dozen people, but how do you scale the fast decision-making of startups when the company grows beyond fifty or a hundred people?”
As part of Gibson’s EIR Product and adviser roles, he tries to solve this problem through quarterly product strategy meetings. Think of this meeting as a board meeting for product.
This article is a must-read for people in charge of Products in any organisation in this day and age. For those who would prefer to watch rather than read, Gibson gave a talk on this topic at Omidyar Network recently. You can watch this in the video below.