The description of my job comes from Marty Cagen of the Silicon Vally Product Group. In his book "Inspired", he explains the product manager's contribution.

Key Takeaways from Marty Cagan's "Inspired"

How to create tech products customers love

Let’s dive into the crux of what Cagan describes as the product manager’s contribution.

1. Vision & Strategy

At the heart of a product manager's role is the ability to define and communicate a clear product vision and strategy. This vision serves as a north star, guiding the development team and stakeholders toward a common goal. A product manager not only crafts this vision but also ensures it aligns with the broader business objectives and market needs.

2.  Customer Advocate

Cagan emphasizes the importance of understanding the customer. A product manager acts as the voice of the customer within the company. This means engaging directly with users, gathering insights, and deeply understanding their pain points and desires. By doing so, product managers can create products that genuinely resonate with the market.

3.  Decision Maker and Prioritizer

In the fast-paced world of tech, countless ideas and potential features compete for attention. The product manager’s role involves making tough decisions about what gets built next. This requires a keen sense of prioritization, balancing short-term gains with long-term strategic goals, and ensuring the team focuses on what will deliver the most value.

4. Leader and Facilitator

Leadership is a key attribute of successful product managers, according to Cagan. They must inspire and motivate cross-functional teams, often without formal authority. This involves facilitating collaboration between engineering, design, marketing, and sales to ensure everyone works cohesively towards the product goals.

5. Execution and Delivery

A product manager’s job doesn’t end with planning and strategizing. They are also deeply involved in the execution and delivery phases. This includes working closely with development teams during the build process, iterating based on feedback, and ensuring that the final product meets the high standards set by the vision.

6.  Metrics and Outcomes

Finally, Cagan stresses the importance of being data-driven. A product manager must establish clear metrics to measure the product’s success and continuously track performance. This analytical approach helps in making informed decisions, iterating on the product, and proving its value to stakeholders.


Marty Cagan’s *Inspired* serves as a foundational guide for understanding the multifaceted role of a product manager. By defining the vision, advocating for the customer, making strategic decisions, leading teams, overseeing execution, and measuring success, product managers play a crucial role in the lifecycle of a product. Their contributions are essential in transforming innovative ideas into successful, market-ready products.

Written with help of Node Weaver.