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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

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.
– Anonymous

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
– Bill Gates

Analytical Skills

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.
– Anonymous

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

Good communication

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

Positive attitude

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

Execution

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.
– Anonymous

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.

You should give it a try.

Torsten Tromm

About the author

Torsten is CEO and founder of Userpeek. He is an old stager in the online business with 20 years of experience as an online marketer, conversion rate optimizer and UX strategist.

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