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Product Entrepreneurship v/s Product Management

“So, Product Manager is like a Project Manager for a Product?”

“Isn’t Management all about keeping things running?”

“Do I need an MBA to be a Product Manager?”

“I don’t want to be a Manager.”

“Nobody likes Managers.”

Does term Product Management reflect the breadth, creativity and responsibility? The more I ask, the more I realize it does not.

A lot of this may be due to growing number of ‘Leader v/s Manager’ comparisons on LinkedIn and lack of clarity on difference between Project Manager and Product Manager.

Anyway, does it matter? If the colloquial meaning does not match the textbook meaning, should it concern us? Maybe yes, maybe no.

However, given the evolution of Product and how we interact with them, it is time for a reimagine. And what better way to start than to look for the right name.

Product Management

Let us look at the life of a product and how it fits into Double Diamond paradigm. For this we need to extend the paradigm. Here is what it can look like:

This is how the RACI matrix for a Product Manager is perceived to look like for each phase:


Product ManagerConsultedResponsibleResponsibleInformedAccountableInformed

Product Entrepreneur

The role of a Product Entrepreneur can be used to describe the real breadth of the scope of work that makes a product possible.


This is how the RACI matrix for a Product Entrepreneur is perceived to look like for each phase:

Product ManagerConsultedResponsibleResponsibleInformedAccountableInformed
Product EntrepreneurConsultedConsultedResponsibleResponsibleResponsibleInformedAccountableAccountable

Product Entrepreneur may be a better term for the breath of work. The adoption of this may be a whole different story.

Curious about the diamonds I have used above? Read this excellent ThoughtWorks Insights blog on Double Diamond.

Dinker Charak

Dinker has over a decade of experience in building products across diverse domains such as Industrial Automation, Home Automation, Operating Systems, High Energy Particle Physics, Embedded Systems, Online Video Advertising, Messaging, K-12 education and Private Banking. He also founded Gungroo Software. He books '#ProMa: Product Management Tools, Methods & Some Off-the-wall Ideas' and 'The Neutrinos Are Coming and Other Stories' are available globally. He also manages, an Indian Sci-fi portal.

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