When I joined Firebase a month after graduation, I had zero experience with product management. My degree and all my studies were focused exclusively on technical subjects, and I lacked a lot of the business acumen and many of the social skills required to PM effectively.
So, just prior to leaving Google, I sent an email to the head of the CSSE department at Rose-Hulman asking if they’d be interested in having me come teach a once-per-week course on product management as an elective for upper division students. Luckily, they were excited to have me, and I slotted in a class for Fall 2019.
My goals for the course are:
- give students all the skills they need in order to get a PM internship or full-time role
- inspire students to start their own companies
- create a pipeline of good PM hires
- refresh my own PM skills in perparation for what’s next
The primary audience is computer science/software engineering students with no experience in product management, and assuming no economics or business background. For experienced PMs, it may seem pretty basic, because it is!
While it’s hard to fit everything into 30 hours of lecture, here’s my first attempt:
- The what, why, and who of PM; what makes a good product
- TAM, MVP, and product/market fit
- Business models and competitive analysis
- Roadmaps, strategy, and stakeholder management
- Design and user research
- Metrics and growth
- Making and spending money
- Legal risk, contracts, and compliance
- Working with engineering and ops
- Getting a job as a PM and daily life in the role
This course integrates concepts from many books (Note: Amazon Affiliate links), including:
- The Lean Startup
- The Advantage
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Thinking, Fast and Slow
- Dollars and Sense
- Cracking the PM Interview
- Getting to Yes
- Never Split the Difference
YC Startup School also has great content for folks with slightly more experience.