We all have favorite product management quotes or at least words we like to live by. Knowing how hectic days can be in the product management world, I thought I would compile some product management quotes that might inspire product managers to do the best they can.
Here are the 39 product management quotes divided into 8 key qualities we look for in great product managers.
Not surprisingly, most of them come from the mouths of leaders at great companies.
Strategic thinking starts with asking the right questions. It is about understanding current market, competition and trends to define the winning product. It is about making informed choices.
Roadmaps are evidence of strategy. Not a list of features.
– Steve Johnson
If you don’t invest in the future and don’t plan for the future, there won’t be one.
– George Buckley
Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details.
– Jeff Bezos
The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.
– Michael Porterer
When the wind blows, some people build walls, others build windmills.
– Chinese proverb
Great User Experience
The product manager needs to know how to identify customer needs, be able to tell when a design is good and when a design is bad and if it addresses the customer need in the most efficient way.
Make every detail perfect and limit the number details to perfect.
– Jack Dorsey, Square
The value is in what gets used, not in what gets built.
– Kris Gale
Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product.
– Jonathan Ive
Only move forward with creating a product that will be “above the bar.”
– Brian Lawley
Any damn fool can make something complex, it takes a genius to make something simple.
– Pete Seeger
Ability to prioritize
The product manager needs to map the product strategy down to the individual features, and prioritize them in the right order across product development stages so as to maximize the winnings.
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas.
– Steve Jobs
If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
– Reid Hoffman
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities
– Stephen Covey
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
– Hans Hofmann
The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritize them.
– Carlos Ghosn
Empathy with the customer
It is very rare to find somebody that is good and has relevant industry experience. That’s why it’s important to recognize the importance of talking to customers. A good product manager will look for every opportunity to learn from the target customer.
No matter how good the team… if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails.
– Woody Williams
Don’t make a better [x], make a better [user of x].
– Kathy Sierra
We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
– Jeff Bezos
Our job is to invent on behalf of our users.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
– Bill Gates
This is about making informed decisions based on data instead of instincts and gut feel. Lack of data does not say anything about how correct or wrong are your intuitions. Lack of data means you did not make testable hypothesis or you are not looking for proxies. The rule of thumb is, it’s always go support your decisions with data. So a good product manager is always prepared.
Data beats opinions.
The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.
– Eric Ries
My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers.
– Andrew Mason
Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
– Ken Blanchard
While the product manager is the CEO of the product he or she does not run rest of the organization needed to make the product a success. He or she needs to be able to negotiate while prioritizing the backlog and clearly communicate why a particular feature was chosen over the other one for the current release.
Don’t focus all your time and effort on creating the templates & perfecting the documents. Answering key product questions is more critical.
– Brian Lawley
A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat.
– Deep Nishar
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.
– Peter Drucker
Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
– William Butler Yeats
Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
– Walt Disney
Product Managers need to have a good attitude as they need to influence customers, product development, marketing, and the management. Having a good attitude makes a difference. Don’t get me wrong attitude doesn’t replace competence or leadership, but it can be the difference maker in bringing the team together to rally behind the product.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
– Lou Holtz
It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.
– Zig Ziglar
Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.
– Napoleon Hill
Product managers need to be biased for action. In order for a product to be shipped there are hundreds of things to get done and a product manager should be able to get down and dirty to get them done. At the end of the day, product manager need to make things happen.
At the end of the day, your job isn’t to get the requirements right — your job is to change the world.
– Jeff Patton
Good companies manage Engineering. Great companies manage Product.
– Thomas Schranz
Nothing is a bigger buzz-kill than over-intellectualizing. Design is about rolling up your sleeves and making things.
Embrace iteration as the road to improvement, but don’t let that lull you into rolling out poorly-thought-out crap.
– Kate O’Neill
Experience tells you what to do. Confidence allows you to do it.
– Stan Smith
Hopefully there are some product management quotes in here that are new to you.
And please share your favorite product management quotes as well in the comments below!
Ps. We’ve created a Remote User Testing Tool for product managers that shows how users interact with a website or a web app. This helps you turn user behavior insights into action in a way that charts and graphs could never support.