SaaS founders in India predominantly belong to engineering or design backgrounds. But if there is a third essential pillar that holds the organization together and helps the product to scale, it is the product manager. We asked founders about the value product managers have brought to their organizations and the right time to hire one.
The role of the product manager is that of a customer expert, someone who knows the customer’s problem extremely well. And that person has to have a say in the product and its design thereof. They don’t have to know all the solutions, but they should represent the customer problem accurately by talking to these people, and I think that part plays a huge role in influencing what gets prioritized. It is very important to understand what resonates in the selling process, what excites the customer, and to pay attention to that while building your product.
If I were to start all over again, I would get the product manager to write down customer feedback, just to crystallize it, so that what we said and what we heard are all on the same page. We all hear what we like to hear in the excitement. You confirm your own bias through whatever you hear, and you ignore the rest. The problem is that none of us is actually on the same page, even while starting to build the product.
And this is one mistake I would definitely like to rectify; I would try to be the chief note-taker and then make sure we are all on the same page because that would capture and clarify a lot of thoughts in the long run and will ensure accountability too. So the first steps of product management needn’t be anything fancy. Just take diligent notes.