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You cannot learn product management without practice

The Twitter wisdom excites us, it gives us confidence.

Digital products are a team effort particularly when the product grows beyond the MVP. The leaders talk about the shared practices and workflow, and the recent proliferation of collaboration tools such as Notion, Slack, Figma, and not to forget Github clearly show that real time collaboration on work is a defining factor in the product success.

Since many of our work practices are quite similar for the dependency on the tools (and that is why such a huge adoption of these tools) whether it is for the product-market fit, marketing, data sense, or API integrations, we tend to learn from the industry for our specific use cases.

A recent tweet by KP caught my eye where they say that the tons of product management wisdom is being shared on Twitter by John Cutler, Shreyas Doshi, Marty Cagan, and others, and yet products and people struggle to understand what product means and to put this wisdom into real practice.

On the face of it, the product manager’s job sound to be collaborative in nature where they involve leaders and teams in different functions. Some of them could be involved more in engineering, discovery, and data while a few others might be more into strategy and pricing, revenue, or UX or even product positioning.

But every product is different because the challenges are specific and unique to the organization, its leadership style, its audience, budgets, culture, and many such factors. It means that product managers cannot simply take a playbook that works somewhere else and try to replicate it in their organizations. So, product management is about practicing product management.

I remember Shreyas tweeting about this point—PM’s work is lonely.

The Twitter wisdom excites us, it gives us confidence and I have learnt a lot from many product leaders on Twitter but when I am at work, I always notice that a lot of personal judgment and product sense that I use by my own—many decisions happen on the fly, without a context to most of the learnings that I gained from anyone. These decisions or actions are quite unique and personal to the product in a given situation, and sometimes I am not sure whether my team will understand it the way I do. This practice gives me the confidence to build on these experiences.

However, the Twitter wisdom certainly helps in building the capability and in widening our perspective from how they work and how it is working well in other organizations. In that sense, I am always thankful to my network and community on social media and in community groups.

Vinish Garg

Vinish Garg

I am Vinish Garg, and I work with growing product teams for their product strategy, product vision, product positioning, product onboarding and UX, and product growth. I work on products for UX and design leadership roles, product content strategy and content design, and for the brand narrative strategy. I offer training via my advanced courses for content strategists, content designers, UX Writers, content-driven UX designers, and for content and design practitioners who want to explore product and system thinking.

Interested to stay informed about my work, talks, writings, programs, or projects? See a few examples of my past newsletters—All things products, Food for design, Inviting for 8Knorks. You can subscribe to my emails here.

Vinish Garg is an independent consultant in product content strategy, content design leadership, and product management for growing product teams.