I received an email recently:

Hello Freeman,

I ran into your Chinese blog site when I was searching “Femtocell” over Internet. Currently I am a test engineer working on home networking gadgets like xDSL home gateway, etc. My current job is way too far from customers. We do not have to talk with our customers in person. Instead, we just hold the PRD (Product Requirement Document) and make sure if all of the requested features are working fine. Therefore, it’s not easy to get a deep understanding of the industry and marketplace. Actually I feel that I am kind of losing the big picture. That’s why I am always thinking to be a product manager. But I just have no idea where to start.

Now I think maybe I can learn something from you. How did you become a product manager? Transitioned from developer? And what is important to be a successful product manager (of course I have read the articles like “10 tips to be a good product manager”, I just want to know what you think from your own experience).

It will be great if you can take some time to read and reply this mail :-).

Thank you.

It is very interesting that I can see two major problems:

  • First, it is very normal for the author, as a R&D engineer, to have a feeling that “losing the big picture”, but the problem should be blamed on the management side. I do not think his or her manager is a good motivator.
  • Second, the author raised a very common question: How to move to Product Manager position?

In this blog entry, I tried to comment on the first problem:

Why to motivate team by big picture is important?

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