How is this community thinking about what Brian Ch...
# product-management
a
How is this community thinking about what Brian Cheskey at AirBnB is doing w/ the PM role given how much this community has been pushing for PM in the Platform orgs?
Specifically this is about having the role vs the mindset needed to build
a
Can you share the article where Brian Cheskey has mentioned about same. Would be interested in reading that furthur
a
He dropped it at Figma’s Design Conference, google can lead you to a bunch of places where its talked about.
He’s moving the PM role more into PMM more like how Apple does it
This somewhat makes sense - more junior PMs can’t drive business outcomes at the right scale (looks more like a TPM) and at more senior levels design and engineering need to perform the PM role as well. Its easier to give a clear outcome for PMM than a PM mid-career. I suspect at AirBnB this will speed up decision making and increase alignment/quality.
c
Do you see any downsides to it, @Andrew Fong? Genuinely curious about how you see it (and a marketer/lurker here).
a
my pov is it’s a good change, it’s all context dependent
c
As a marketer, this strikes me as a strange move but I'm intrigued in a good way. I also worry about losing that glue that PMs offer in a structure of engineering-PM-marketing but maybe this won't lead to that in good hands, just bad hands. Going more strategically, I also think this will lead to confusion about roles and terms to some degree in weaker orgs. What I mean is, naming something or creating more roles with a particular title doesn't necessarily create a connected shift in thinking. So you may end up with a rebranding, rather than a real shift, which always leads to a backlash against the original idea. Even if the idea was great and it was the execution that was lacking.
a
Isn’t this just saying “leadership matters?” - I’ve helped design level maps and roles for everything from SWE, SRE, TPM, Hardware Eng etc at Dropbox and seen this occur internally at Google when SRE-SA was changed to SRE->SE. Really it comes down to who you’re willing to hire, fire and promote. Reading btwn the lines it seems like they are valuing tangible “creation” vs “direction setting/process creation” and want to be able to tie directly back to impact.
c
I think at organizations like that it could pan out well and they will probably have clarity about what they're trying to do with the role change. It's easy to imagine communication is better in those businesses, so people inside the org will know what it's about. I think in other organizations there won't be that clarity, it will get muddled, and then it will be status quo with a new label on it and get poisoned. In those sort of companies, it will likely be rolled out as a way to show the company is hip or whatever and will just be a mess. Anyway, I wouldn't characterise my view as it's leadership matters. I think it's clarity/communication matters. Even now, people on twitter don't seem clear on what he's trying to achieve with it. Anyway, it's an interesting idea that this is their way of shifting from one approach to another. It makes me wonder why would they have to dump a whole role to do it though. How does that solve anything? If it's about bringing in more marketing knowledge (e.g. positioning), just do... that? All just kind of interesting. Guess I'll wait for more info to come out about it.
a
I think it’s good to be informed, but it’s irrelevant for lots of folks in Product because what works for AirBnB isn’t necessarily working for lots of organisations. I think Platform PMs should definitely work closely with Growth and Marketing team to understand pricing, positioning and market trends. This will ultimately have an impact on the business. It’s also worth noting thay Brian C owned the fact that he is heavily involved in the Peoduct Development process and his approach is very much top down because he leads Product and Engineering. Again, an approach that it’s not working well for lots of organisations or PMs for that matter. I am not saying that it’s good or bad, just that is contextual.