How do you describe what you do in one sentence?

We could all get better at describing what we do — what do you say when people ask?

108 Replies

Helping my team find the right problem to solve, and validate we've created a winning solution.

"Validate" is what strikes me as the most important factor as a product manager. A poor PM will execute based on requirements. A great PM will execute based on ideas that need testing.

Right! Validating by talking to your customers to determine what will be useful and usable is such an important factor in the success of the product.

There's also the aspect of taking the solution to market.

A very important aspect at that! What responsibilities should the product manager be tasked with during that process Nils?

@Nils - How do you collaborate with product marketing when taking the solution to market?

I herd cats.

I agree!


I still want to make my title Chief Cat Wrangler, but can't seem to convince anyone. It's not a technical term, but offers insight. PM work can range quite a bit depending on the organization and their structure.

I herd gnats... :P

I've always liked Josh Elman's description of a product manager's job, "help your team (and company) ship the right product to your users."

I make decisions in a world with inadequate evidence, conflicting priorities, and a shifting timeline in service to the team (not in spite of them :)) so we can continue to move fast and solve problems with high business value informed by our customers needs.

Pursue achievement.

What do you do?

@Brian -

Two words... that's going to be hard to beat!

Describing what you do to people who don't work in software can be tricky. With that said, I always find myself describing it this way (and in full disclosure, how I describe it to my parents!): I collaborate with a team of engineers and designers to build software that changes the way people interact with banks.

Following your answer, I may just change it to this: Create positive, lasting impact.

Helping consumers answer the question 'Are You You?' in an organic yet secure way.

I like it. Vague, doesn't actually answer the question. Kinda passive aggressive. Excellent. Could you through a buzz word in there? Like Pursue paradigm-shifting achievement?

Create a platform that provides top-tier training for individuals looking to become the next great Product Leaders.

Help customers do what they do better.

Product management systematically turns ideas into businesses.   

As a Product Manager, I explain to the team what game we are playing (product vision, business goals) and how to keep score (metrics).

Inspire the team to be happy, love the product they are building and why they are building it!

I help people unlock their Product Potential.

Some people say that programmers convert caffeine into code - I like to think of as a PM as someone who can convert a story into a solution, and a possibility into a product.

Understanding the current position of the company, identifying the shortest route from our current position to our next goal and inspiring the team to execute by making sure everyone is driven by their impact on our progress.

Reshaping the way people and homes find each other.

I am the translator between the business managers, users, designers and engineers who all speak four different 'languages' that I am fluent in

Along with my team, I create solutions to problems our customers have in the form of products they love to buy and use.

I tell my team WHAT to do and WHY it will work

Convey to Engineers which problems people will pay money for software to solve.

Conceive and deliver a valuable technology platform that helps our agents stay competitive, improve and grow their existing business, delight existing customers, and attract new ones.

Constant negotiator between what sales/marketing wants and what dev can deliver in the given timeframe!

Of course there are many other aspects too!

I build bridges or tunnels to help people overcome barriers to growth and change.

I typically say something along the lines of:

Effectively the CEO for my products. Providing the vision and strategy to make compelling products whilst influencing internal and external stakeholders.

Build the best product possible with the team.

Facilitate the process of continuously delivering values to users

Progressively develop our understanding of human behaviour and motivation so that my team and I may design experiences greater than the sum of their parts.

Create and maintain a strategic roadmap linking company objectives to sequenced tactical features & capabilities based on user feedback and metrics.  

Transform the company's vision and user requirements into an accessible product.

Find and validate market problems, guide the creation of solutions to those problems, and take the solutions to market.

I find it interesting that many of the answers to this question don't mention anything about actually selling the product. Not that PMs (usually) do that, but we should be enabling our colleagues to do so. Throwing a product over the wall to sales and marketing is as bad as throwing a spec over the wall to developers.

Hi - new to this forum - For the past 7 or 8 years I've had a guest speaker slot on the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow in Scotland) MBA program where I talk about the role of product management, the challenges and some of my "war stories". Here is the definition I give of what a product manager does:

Product Management is:

  • The repeatable process,
  • More precisely, the discipline,
  • Of creating, justifying and communicating value
  • To a defined target customer  base
  • In a profitable manner
  • In order to solve customer problems

Welcome to the community, what a great background! I would love to hear some of your favorite "war stories" that you share with your students. 

As I read your answer, another question on came to mind. You may be uniquely qualified to answer the question John asked here about teaching a product management course.

Invest in people!

I translate business opportunities to exciting design and engineering exercises :)

Translate all those 'castles in the air' to reality.

Constantly pushing the boundaries to be a market leader.

Corral disparate ideas and translate them to features that customers can use.

Organised chaos

I translate sales team & market requirements into technological developments.

Solve a problem to make life easier for an organization or an individual

We (PM) focus on the what and why. Engineering focuses on the how.

I manage value.

Information Flow.

Everything a PM does is to make sure the right information is flowing to the right people. Think about it.

Finding a problem worth solving

Figuring out the right solution

Getting the solution built

Managing stakeholders

Getting it to market

Iterating and making it successful

Bring humanity in technology.

I help end users complete their “to-do’s” by providing a simplified digital experience in place of multiple complex and overly complicated systems.

End to end management of product lifecycle.

Startup founder

Invest in startups, and help them succeed.

I think I'd say something like this: "I create a shared vision across my company of what our product can mean to us and to our clients." I tend not to think of what I do in terms of my day-to-day tasks, but in terms of the function of what my role offers that no other role offers. I believe that my function as a product manager is to build and share a common vision through lots of communication with my product team, management, and (most importantly) our clients.

I'm an interpreter and I speak the languages of both business and technology in order to allow us all to create value together.

Convince fellow employees to build and reubuild things that people want to buy.

I solve business problems with technology

Currently, I'm the PM for a legacy product, keeping my customers happy by trying to understand what they want, how they are impacted from a feature or a lack of it and ensuring that the new releases continuously delights customers.

Innovating, creating, solving , and executing.

Ensure business continuity for our existing customers whilst at the same time trying to plan new, innovative developments!

I work with clients with existing product issuses and upsell new products that work in their Tech Stack

I am the CTO and also the head of product management in a software company that creates different software in the archive information system area.

direct and coach product managers to create products that customers want and love.

Solve problems.

Or more specifically: I deliver software tools and products that enable our customers to integrate our HVAC products into their building projects.

I help brands and reputations manage their online social media portfolios to reach a broader audience.

Identify the big important problems to solve for real customers and then work with the teams to create the best solution.

An Entrepreneur who's running a company (your product).

Vagabond. Junkie. Dog lover.

Product Ambassador - connecting clients to our development team.

Building the right things and bulding things right :)

Define "what" our customers want in their software product, "why" they want those features, support the delivery team throughout the software build process, manage project scope, and provide product strategy guidance to our clients.

I am responsible for validating the vision of a product by speaking with users and customers, identifying needs in the market, planning a roadmap, analysing key metrics, running experiments, communicating the strategy with key stakeholders and collaborating with design and product development to build new features.

Bridge innovation with execution.

Innovation on the fly... transforming customer and industry needs into viable product solutions...from both a tree and forest point of point of view.  Is that more than one sentence?

Help your company find and validate the best problem to solve. And help your team build the best solution.

I consult to solve important problems so company execs can deal with the urgent ones.

I study, make assumptions, design, test, iterate, test, iterate, and do it all over again for a variety of ux challenges.

Improve profits -- focus attention on what makes the product more interesting and valuable to prospective and current customers.

Facilitate problem solving.

Help team build the right product or feature at the right time

EdTech (K12 and Higher Ed) product and business strategy. (basically building edtech products that drive value AND revenue)

Insure product success

Serve as Star Trek's universal translator between leadership, development, customers, and other affected stakeholder while maintaining the integrity of the product.

End to end Product/Program Management all the way from defining the Product to Program Managing the Launch.

I am a versatile forward-thinking hands-on technical management professional with extensive domestic and international experience in product management, business development, product marketing, strategic planning, and product line performance management. I am an energetic and passionate person. Recognized for leadership in defining and executing successful business plan strategy’s in high technology industries; multiple successful NPI initiatives from idea to go to market execution. I enjoy being part of organizations that require ability to create a vision, evangelize, inspire, and lead teams in rapidly changing environments. Adept at assimilating into new organizations, have high tolerance for technology comprehension and can quickly establish myself as a credible trustworthy contributor. 

Productize value.

Define the word "customer" in any given situation, define the word "value" in any given situation, pick the right situation(s) and do something at the intersection of those two definitions.


The business defines what to solve, I help define how to solve them

I get to talk to really amazing, intelligent, and remarkable people all day about the super exciting work they do and help them find a new home with NetBrain Technologies. #lovemyjob #workatNetBrain

At a fundamental level, the responsibilities of the Product team are to identify opportunities, financially justify, prioritize, develop, launch and manage products / services.

I help create products to address customer needs.

Use Quantitative & Qualitative analysis to better understand customer need and address with technology and validate with winning variation.

I am simplifying Hotel Management

I discover digital products that are valuable, usable and feasible to secondary teachers and students in Australia.

Sneaky extra sentences:

In my world, the term "product" represents both educational content and the digital platform that delivers it to the user. This differs largely from subject to subject and has to perform within the real and perceived restraints of the Australian education system.

Expert in finding PAIN Points NOT yet occurred and turning it into a generic solutions... IT never ends there.. Listen to your customers first.

I help facilitate technology solutions to business problems.

As a Product Launch Manager, I bring products and programs together at customer, integrate VOC and elevate customer experience.

I translate back and forth between architects and software developers.

I help organizations turn ideas into sustainable product and solution businesses.

"I use software as a medium to change the game in a big way for customers."

If they ask for more detail:

"It is a collaborative team activity that combines art, science, culture, data, emotional intelligence, and economics to create a path to their goal.

I find it fascinating, challenging, and rewarding.

I'm addicted!"

I create and/or enhance products.