What has quickly become a tradition, we are finishing off the first series of the year looking at our most recent annual winner of The Best Product Person. Chris Sarette, The Best Product Person of 2011, is the estimable subject of this series. Over the past weeks I have shared segments from a Q&A session I had with Chris — lending some insight into why Chris truly is The Best Product Person of 2011.
In this final installment of the series we explore the path leading from here.
> What trends do you see in product management? positive trends? any negative trends?
My sincere hope is that Mend is part of a trend that has people digging deeper to find out the people they’re affecting with their purchasing decisions. Right now, it’s very tough – you’re forced to rely on what you hope are sound business practices of the stores and brands you buy from. But I think the success of movements like Etsy and Farmers Markets is part of a growing trend to re-connect consumers to makers/providers, and the desire by consumers to shop with greater confidence.
> How do you see product management evolving over the next 5 years?
Both online and brick-and-mortar retailers are looking to provide a buying experience that’s more dynamic and exciting for consumers, and I think products will evolve to meet these expectations. I think we’ll see more and more of projects like Levi’s Water Less Jeans (http://store.levi.com/waterless/), which bring consumers into the manufacturing experience.
What is quickly becoming tradition, we are kicking off the first series of the year looking at our most recent winner of The Best Product Person. Chris Sarette, The Best Product Person of 2011, is the estimable subject of this series. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing a segments of a Q&A session I had with Chris — and lending some insight into why Chris truly is The Best Product Person of 2011.
> What is the best career advice you received as you entered product management?
Engineer excellence. Don’t think of quality as something you check for at the end of an assembly line, but rather as something that’s ingrained into every stop a product makes in its development.
> What is the hardest lesson you learned as a product manager?
Finding balance. You need to set realistic goals for yourself and your team, otherwise what should have been victories end up becoming failures, because you had unrealistic expectations from the start. At the same time though, you can’t afford to get comfortable in what you know. Pushing the boundaries of what you’re capable of will keep you motivated, and exciting to your consumers.
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Over the course of the night a few of the highlights were…
Featured Product:BridesView exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from branding to understanding the market (thanks to Alex Toplier and Danny Maloney)
The Best Product Person of 2011 Chris Sarette of Invisible Children and Mend
The Product Groupmeet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategists, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering.
If you are a Product Person and are interested in having your product featured or participating as a featured guest expert at an upcoming meetup of The Product Group, contact me(or email at jhorn (a-t.) tpgblog DoT com).
I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meetup …