What does a Product Manager do? Here are the resources that help you become a good one

October 6, 2021

According to Glassdoor, the position of Product Manager has listed the 4th best job in the United States for 2020. As the demands are still there, especially for tech companies, it’s expected that the position could not disappear anytime soon.  

But what does a Product Manager do?

In short, a Product Manager is a person who manages the entire cycle of a product, from product development to marketing and sales. So if you search on job platforms, you can see the Product Manager job descriptions usually contain the similar duties of driving the product process across cross-functional teams, analyzing the market trends and consumer needs, developing and maintaining production planning and timeline, and developing to-market plans.

The product manager is also known as mini-CEO because they are the core of the products. A product manager has to leverage the resources of different departments/teams, manage the product creation process and review user feedback to adjust the products.

 What’s the difference between a Product Manager (PM) and Product Marketing Manager (PMM)?

Ideally, a Product Manager is responsible for the creation of a product, while a Product Marketing Manager is responsible for the go-to-market strategy of the product. However, in some smaller companies, a Product Manager is also responsible for all the marketing strategies since there might be no such a role of Product Marketing Manager in the organization. 


But even if there are marketing teams in the organization, a Product Manager still has to work closely with the marketing team. Because Product Managers are the people who know the products the best and have the knowledge of user needs and market trends, they should understand the pain points of a user more than anyone. 

How much does a Product Manager earn?

As a Product Manager is responsible for the creation of the product to the marketing strategies, it requires comprehensive knowledge and skills of technique, business, research, analytics marketing and communication. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Product Manager is one of the highest paying jobs currently. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of Product Managers in Singapore is $6,000 SGD per month ($4,419 USD), not including additional cash compensation. The average salary of Product Managers in Hong Kong is $40,000 HKD per month ($5,137 USD), according to Glassdoor.

I want to be a Product Manager, what resources can I find?

Though responsibilities of a Product Manager can be different in different industries and companies, the core value and mindset should be the same: creating products the market needs, leveraging companies resources during the creation process and collaborating with different teams. There are some helpful books you can refer to no matter what industry you are in.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Author: Nir Eyal

This book is based on Eyal’s research, consulting and practical experience. He introduces the Hook Model, a 4-step process that some successful companies implement to encourage consumer behavior. According to Amazon, this is a book not just for product managers, but also business owners, marketers, designers, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behaviors.

​​Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology

Author: Gayle Laakmann McDowell

As mentioned, the role of PM varies across companies and industries. Cracking the PM Interview is a comprehensive book about learning PM’s experience, hard skills and soft power. The most asked questions about PM from required technical skills, required degree to product creation are all answered in this 364-page book.

The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback

Author: Dan Olsen

The Lean Product Playbook a practical step-by-step guide of building a successful product. It walks readers through defining the target customer to designing a winning product. The author provides advice with his hands-on experience as a seasoned consultant. To many startup CEOs and product managers, this book is a must-read if you want to successfully build a product customers love.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Author: David Allen

Product Management is a multitasking work and sometimes it could be very stressful with the lengthy to-do list. This bestselling book coaches you how to apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty.