What the F is product management?

Got pulled into a quick interview with a large business magazine last night. The interviewer and I had one of those classic “what exactly is product management” discussions when she was clarifying my role at YouTube. [see Ken Norton’s blog for one of the best overviews of being a PM]

Reporter: What’s your role at the company?
Me: I’m a Group Product Manager
Reporter: What does that mean?
Me: My team builds the cool stuff you see on YouTube
Reporter: You’re an engineer?
Me: No
Reporter: So what is product management?
Me: Well, we come up with the features. But uh, we’re a flat organization, so lots of good ideas come from engineering, marketing, everyone. [now we’re both confused as to what i actually do]
YouTube CorpComm: He’s being modest, he leads product development
Me: [trying to figure out the easiest way to sum it up] Um, I work for Chad and make sure YouTube keeps getting better.

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