Mark Suster (who has founded and built two successful software startups) recently blogged about hiring at a startup. It’s an excellent post and got me thinking about hiring product managers at a startup.
From my experience of having built Product Management teams at two different successful startups, and having been an early member of the PM team at a third successful startup – I believe all of Mark’s points apply well to hiring product managers at a startup too.
Read on for my comments on how some of Mark’s points apply to hiring product managers at startups…
3 Tips for Hiring Product Managers at Startups
Mark makes 7 excellent points in his post – here are 3 of them, along with my comments on how they apply to hiring PMs at startups:
- Only hire “A” players:
- At a startup, the product manager will very likely impact the work done by all of the engineers and sales reps.
- So it’s even more important (than other individual contributor hires) that the PM hired is an “A” player.
- Don’t worry about exact “roles”:
- Even if you hire someone with the title of “Product Manager”, he/she must be willing and able to play multiple roles at the startup. For example: PM, UI designer, QA tester, Technical writer, etc.
- PMs who are specialists and do only one thing are not as valuable at startups as they are at mid-to-large companies.
- Attitude over Aptitude:
- At a startup, a PM’s attitude is as important as (often more important than) his/her Aptitude.
- As HP Jin, Founder/CEO at TeleNav used to tell us “At a startup, you are set up to fail. You must be able to succeed in spite of it”. This requires the right attitude – especially for a product manager, who has no “formal authority” yet is expected to make a major impact across the company.
For the full list of 7 points, including details and valuable tips, be sure to check out Mark Suster’s post…