How To Be A Good Product Manager

Tips on product management and product marketing for product managers. By Jeff Lash

Sharing knowledge

Posted on December 4, 2006 by Jeff Lash · 5 Comments

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If you want to be a bad product manager, hoard information. This is a competitive field, and you can’t let others know your secrets. Don’t share any lessons learned, as they can only be used by others to create products that will compete with yours. Refuse to talk shop with other product managers — it’s a waste of time, after all, since it takes your focus off your product. Telling others how you do your job or what your experience is with product management is just a bad idea.

If you want to be a good product manager, share your knowledge. Realize that you have lessons to share but even more to learn. Know that you improve your own skills and expertise when you teach others. The vast majority of other product managers are not competing with you, so everyone benefits when knowledge is shared. Communicating your perspective helps you explicitly formulate your own beliefs, affirming good practices and making you question bad ones. It overall raises the level of discourse about product management and ultimately helps product managers and product development professionals do their jobs better and create better products, in turn helping any consumers of those products.

So that’s why I’m starting this blog — to share what I’ve learned, to help me, to help you, and to maybe in some small way help everyone. Okay, that’s a lofty goal, so let’s start with the first few and work our way up from there.

How To Be A Good Product Manager features tips on product management and product marketing, written by Jeff Lash (@jefflash on Twitter), Vice President and Group Director for theĀ Product Management and Portfolio Marketing research and advisory services at SiriusDecisions.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • Anish // Jan 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm


    A bit sceptical about sharing things to every one.Does a small disceation help as it is the better part of valour

  • David Locke // Jan 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm


    To get your PMI certification, you have to learn the relevant body of knowledge. That body of knowledge has come into being because people shared what they knew.

    Sharing does lead to commoditization eventually, but it takes a long time for something someone said to become something everyone said.

    When you participate here, you only find content that others shared or communicated. If we didn’t share our thoughts in comments, then Jeff like other bloggers wouldn’t know he had an audience, and he would stop blogging, or sharing, or communicating what he knows, and we wouldn’t have this resource.

    Sharing what we know creates a resource. Contributing is one way of saying this has been valuable to me.

  • Philip Wang // Dec 18, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Hey,Jeff, I ever talked to my colleague about you and your blog, I said you have been a vice-president of some company with at leat 3 years experience to write a bolg, in fact I know a little about your present company, it is related with medical? I have years experience working in related field, what I is wanting to say is now I get a job to engage in sales and marketing of IT products, for example software and sourcing service, it leads me to review your blog again, 3 years ago, I started to read your blog, but at that time, I was in charge of medicaitons product sales and management, now situation changed, that is why I came back to your blog. 3 years ago, I started to follow your blog, but less words were left for a different career from you, I think I can leave more footprints from now on, as begining of changing to IT industry, your words gave me inspiration to think how to sales and market our products.

  • Philip Wang // Dec 18, 2010 at 5:42 am

    more words want to be said here about sharing topic, several days ago, I participated an inner training about how to be a coach, it is a possible beginning for me to become a sales and marketing manager, but that needs fact to prove,back to sharing topic, when the trainer asked me what is my idea about a picture of a manager is helping a staff , I said two points ,one is one is improving himself/herself through teaching others, another is when you are sharing ,you are also gaining. that is my answer. In fact I have initiated the sharing process to whole pharmaceutical industry in China, in new company, I also share with other colleagues, it is indeed a sort of pleasure to release your thoughts and feeling to someone else, I can harvest news or clearer ideas in sharing action. well, I want to restate my decision here, I will leave more footprints as a follower to your ideas, maybe later we can be in contact with each other, of course, that will happen when you are available. in excitement I have talked too much. lol

  • Ten Years of How To Be a Good Product Manager : How To Be A Good Product Manager: Product management tips // Dec 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    […] Year Anniversary! On December 4, 2006, I published my first post on this blog, where I wrote, “If you want to be a good product manager, share your knowledge. Realize that […]

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