More than a decade of grousing about product management

Where it all went wrong…

Photo by Fabian Wiktor on

Product is a grueling role, and it is often an entry into a brighter, better future and role.
But, upon reflection, I missed an opportunity that might have greatly altered my trajectory. For the better? Who knows, but the “what if” factor still makes me wonder

Last week, I was chatting with a colleague, and I made an off the cuff comment that the day my life began to fall apart was the first day that I took a Product Management job.  I was only half joking, and this week has given evidence to support the conjecture.

Yes, that was sorta tongue-in-cheek, but there’s a reason that Product Management is usually a way-station on a career. People often spend 2, 3 or even 5 years before moving into senior management. Either Product leadership, or marketing, or even a VP/GM sort of role. Truth is, the skills you gain in product often are a springboard for better things.

However, about 30 years ago, a golden opportunity arose, and I foolishly didn’t take advantage of it.  A little known fact is that I worked my way through college as a chef.  At that time, I was a sous chef at a country club, and I rather enjoyed my work.  Challenging, rewarding, exciting, and a great outlet for creative impulses.

Somehow, I caught the eye of a member who owned a few resorts, and lo and behold, I was granted an offer to move to Hawaii for 6 months (under contract) to work at one of his resorts.  Room and board taken care of (I would have a room provided during my stay), spending money, and 6 months to prove myself (which would have been a breeze).  Alas, I was in a (bad) relationship, and I turned down the opportunity.

To this day, I wonder what might have been.  Would I still be there?  Would I have stayed in Hawaii?

Ah, introspective at its finest, as I slog through another round of OEM licensing agreements.

Written by

A crusty veteran from the product management trenches. Plenty of salty language, references to cannabis, and a connoisseur of White Russian cocktails

View all articles
Leave a reply

Written by pmdude