Who says where product people have to begin their careers? Passion and the desire to improve and create products can come from anywhere… such as a tech writer. Nils Davis’ journey is one of a tech writer crossing over to the product side, and doing so superbly.
In the third part of our series speaking with Nils Davis, we look at valuing focus and greater advice for all varieties of product people.
> What is the best career advice you received as you entered product management?
The best advice I’ve heard about succeeding in a creative organization like a software company is from Robert Sutton at Stanford – “Strong opinions, weakly held.” In other words, have an opinion about what needs to be done, but be prepared to have your mind changed by a good argument. This is a critical skill when you’re working with smart and creative engineers, marketers and managers.
> What is the hardest lesson you learned as a product manager?
That I can’t get everything I want! Also, just how difficult it can be to communicate a vision to a development team (especially offshore) or, sometimes, to a management team.
Over the next few weeks, I will share more of my interview with Nils Davis, as well as other fascinating product people!
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