From the outside, it might seem that joining a fledgling start-up should only be about economics and the big payoff: the popular business press always has stories of farsighted technologists, instant millionaires, and thirty-somethings coping with Sudden Wealth Syndrome. And there are certainly enough folks in the Valley who have made it that most of us know one. This strikes me as too narrow a view, though – and leaves out the important emotional aspects of start-ups. Deep into my fourth adventure, I’m less occupied by eventual exit strategies than by the day-to-day challenge of managing chaotic growth.
The ‘poop’ on product management: being a product champion is a lot like being a parent. We love our products, make multi-year commitments to their development, hide their shortcomings, and look out for their best long-term interests while other organizations live in the moment.