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> Product managers have a lot of sway

Can you elaborate on what you mean to say here? Is it that PMs have a lot of influence compared to engineers?

In many companies, Product Managers act almost entirely towards their own self interests (launching innovative products, stamping their name on major initiatives, and generally one-upping each other along the way). Any leaders who push an agenda which would jeopardize their aspirations (like re-architecting cross-product infrastructure, addressing long standing technical issues, or improving customer experience) are quickly squashed by the cabal.

With the right top level executive strategy, Product Management can be leveraged for the greater good and keep the company's products fresh and exciting. However, when left to their own devices, they often shift focus towards their own self-interests to the detriment of their company's overall success.

Microsoft is often the most cited example, largely because of how the culture changed after Bill Gates stepped down from the CEO role.

PMs who have no technical, design or marketing skills have used their free time time monopolize the time of executives with process loops in order to arbitrage credit and "responsibility".

it's actually a funny statement given the definition of a product manager... it's like saying the CEO has a lot of sway over company policy. well, yeah.

Yes, it is funny but tsunamifury explained what I meant: at many companies, especially but hardly restricted to Microsoft and Google, the PMs are internally rather than externally focused and rarely have technical experience.

Despite Apple's propaganda otherwise, I get the feeling from some of the things my friends say that the engineers have more sway over product development than Google's do.

foobarqux I hope this answer's your question too.

PMs of old were supposed to be the smartest or most experienced people in the room. Now, mostly due to microsofts export of thousands of poorly trained politically savvy, they are infecting other companies.

IIRC, when Simonyi invented the term "product manager", he was referring to what is now called tech lead or architect.

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