Five Timeless Product Management Lessons

Five Timeless Product Management Lessons

For those of you who don’t know him, Michael Scott was an effervescent fictional character played by Steve Carell on a mockumentary sitcom called “The Office.”

For those of you who don’t know him, Michael Scott was an effervescent fictional character played by Steve Carell on a mockumentary sitcom called “The Office.”

With 42 Emmy nominations, it consistently ranked high on the viewership board of Netflix and is a Top 5 contender in almost every “Best Sitcom” list published. 15 years since its inception, viewers keep coming back to it. According to Nielsen research, The Office ranked as the most-watched show on Netflix in 2018, with 52 million minutes streamed — more than 20 million more than Friends.

An example of User Retention if nothing else.

But we don’t talk about the show in terms of actual business lessons. But if we look closer at Michael Scott-ness, we can draw Product Management pearls of wisdom from it. Here, five PM lessons from the world’s best boss.

1. Be a people person

Number one on our list is People. Throughout the show, Michael Scott cares for people around him in his very own unique way. Whether it is visiting Pam at her Art exhibition or subtle things like opening the door for the cameraman when he drives himself into the lake.

Michael makes an effort to connect with people, so much so he sometimes cares about their well being more than their performance at the job. This empathy extends to his co-workers, friends (not always a mutually exclusive group), and to his clients.

📢 “The most important thing for a company is the people. The people. People” — Michael Scott

This is the cornerstone of Product Management and cannot be stressed enough.PMs can only achieve things with others.

You know how to code an ML algorithm? Linear regression maybe? Great. You understand design heuristics principles by Jakob Nielsen? Brilliant. You’ve cracked the perfect sales pitch for the product? Way to go.

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