Being a Product Manager at an Established Company vs a Startup

Being a Product Manager means that you are planning the strategies for the product that you’re responsible for, and with such responsibility usually involves a group of people under you who you work alongside in order to complete your vision for the product. So, the basics of being a Product Manager is the same...

Being a Product Manager means that you are planning the strategies for the product that you’re responsible for, and with such responsibility usually involves a group of people under you who you work alongside in order to complete your vision for the product. So, the basics of being a Product Manager is the same, whether you are working in a large company or a startup. However, the variety of skills that the group has differs drastically between an established company its’ counterpart – the startup company.

Within the locales of a large and established company:

  • There are people working to take care of specific tasks so that you won’t have to. You will have a wide range of people with different talents and specialized fields that will help finish tasks that are assigned.
  • A lot of communication needs to be had when deciding on changes to the product due to the large amounts of people with ideas and suggestions. It will be extremely time-consuming due to having to compile results from a multitude of teams.
    • E.g. The Marketing team, the Legal team, and the UX team to name a few, all the while taking in new ideas and organizing them.
  • Since most of your time will be spent in meetings and communicating either in person, or through email, most of the actual work you do would be organizing the workload in a way that your team can work the most efficiently.

At a start-up company:

  • The amount of people working with you on your product will be more limited. Most of the time, you will have to do tasks that you have no prior experience with doing due to the fact that there is no one else available to do it. In a way, this is a good methodology to broadening your skill sets.
  • Decisions can be made quickly at a startup since there will be less people that need to be consulted. It features a flatter hierarchy so people can easily share their ideas and thus act accordingly upon it.
  • Although communications between the various departments and persons still needs to be prioritized, since there is a fewer amount of persons, there will be more time for you to do work that is not entirely distributing the workload.

While working at a startup company and an established company both have their pros and cons when it comes to successfully delivering the intended product(s), it is  your decisions that will be the main deciding factor on how work goes for both working environments.

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