Dream Product Management Jobs

Dream jobs and Product Management? Given free reign, where would the Dude like to work ... The sky is the limit

The Dude here. One question that I have revisited throughout my career is “What would it be like to be a product manager for a company that makes {insert something awesome}?” An example: The Dude plays guitar. He has played for over 30 years. He owns several (including a really kick-ass Tom Anderson). When the Dude is waxing poetically, he wonders what it would be like working for Gibson or Fender. Would he relish it? Would they even consider hiring him, a hack, since his time for practice is approaching nil?

The Dude suspects that like many companies, Guitar Manufacturers would hire people with industry experience first and foremost. Would being able to pull of a blistering 32nd note run across three octaves fluidly be part of the interview process? How ‘bout a soulful blues solo, key of Am?  Perhaps. But then they would probably have someone who is really ill suited to be a product manager. Familiarity with the products is important, as is domain knowledge. But those two traits are very teachable. The rest of the skills, marketing, market analysis, competitive analysis (oh, how I would LOVE to get to buy Fender custom-shop guitars to “test” ), and effective requirement gathering/dissemination. Nothing as a professional musician prepares you for those parts of the job.

Of course you can replace {insert something awesome} with just about anything. Like to snowboard? Working for Burton would kick ass. Ride motocross? Working at Yamaha in product development would be killer. The possibilities are endless, and there are jobs in these industries that correlate to Product Management, but alas, they are hard to get.

And if you do get one of these kick ass jobs, please keep it to yourself. I just don’t want to know about it!

(For the record, the Dude would love to work in product management at:

  • Apple
  • Taylor Guitars
  • Gibson (he would even move to Tennessee on his own dime for this)
  • Line 6 (makers of the Variax, and the Pod effects)
  • Marshall Amplifiers
  • Peavey
  • Yamaha motorsports

Good luck with that, eh?)

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