A Day From The Life of a Product Manager
Posted on October 26, 2012
Oct 26. A gloomy morning of October. Meeting with the company’s shareholders. CEO invited the whole group of Experts meeting and the number of invitees have reached to ten.
-I am little worried… said one of shareholders.
-Don’t worry, everything is planned! tried to reassure him CEO.
No one understands exactly what he meant by “planned” since there is no plan…
-Where is the marketing plan?… I would like to see road map on three years from now on! Guys, I want to see where the hell are we? asks the main shareholder.
-Okay, you will have the plan! assures CEO.
-What is the status of web applications? What is the status of mobile applications?
-The mobile applications were settled to be very low priority, so was put on hold, I reply.
-Please make it high priority. We want a mobile application as soon as possible!
-Let him say what he wants, anyway we do as we want… Put it low priority! whispers me the COO.
-What? I hear you right?
-Guys, I have the feeling we are not moving fast enough… What partners do we have in this moment? asks another shareholder.
-Its fucking hard to sell a product when is not finished… complain on of the Marketing Experts.
-Well, well I understand… continue ironically the shareholder, however, where are our strategic partners?
In meeting room there was silence. Outside is raining. The windows are steamed of sweating. Meeting room became suddenly too crowded.
-I am still worried… continue shareholder. Have we or not the competencies to bring partners in our loyalty program?
-I can assure you we have the best people in industry, answer CEO showing towards the group of Experts.
-Gentlemen, said annoyed principal shareholder, if we don’t sell something in two months, we close up the shop and work from home… the shareholder banged firmly his fist on the table .
That’s what made us freeze the blood in our veins. Recent meetings with shareholders have become particularly tense. CEO’s decision to bring in meetings a group of so-called “Experts” was a desperate act to calm down shareholders.
The meeting lasted much overtime, ending after more than seven hours.
I get up exhausted from the chair. Hungry, quietly, I am leaving for home. I am moving slowly through the drizzle, among cars and miserable swamps, to the subway. I read horoscopes that I predicts: “This year a catastrophic event will strike me by surprise“. What kind of catastrophe could be more than my job? I can imagine this stupid scenarios: the company closes (which actually happened few months later), we are all fired, I get sick… What else could happen? I could have problems in my family, my children could get sick, a loved one could die or a meteorite will fall as “doomsday followers of 2012” predicted. Oh, my God! I am thinking about a backup plan, in the case of natural disaster: I will disband bank deposits, I will make supplies and I go with my family into the mountains… (I will stop here, because it’s too ridiculous to continue)
Thinking at the meeting today, I never thought I will ever be in this situation: desperate, afraid, confused. It’s a risk I have taken when I accepted this job in a start-up. Why have I left the corporation?
I browse the job sites. Nothing so far found using my criteria! Keep looking … still nothing. Today I should have received a job offer from Germany, but in the meantime the position was dissolved. I am thinking at plan B: to open my my own business.
I get home rained, gloomy. My wife embraces me. Rares, one of my twin boys, chastises me, as only a child can do it in his innocence:
-Why don’t we go to our grandmother?
-Well, Rares we don’t have any money right now… I tell myself, thinking that I should put money aside for the “catastrophe” that has to follow…
My son doesn’t understand. How can I explain to a 4 year old child we can’t go right now to grandmother, just in the middle of the week, when I am about to lose my job?
-Of course! We are going to grandmother! And you should go with us, said me Rares.
-Okay, I reply. Do you want us to go at Grandma? But do you know she leaves 400 km away? We can’t go instantly.
-Yes, we can. You don’t have to go at work anymore, he explain me with his words.
How right is… I mean. Why didn’t I thought myself? I am listening carefully to the words of my son as he has a prophet: I could work from home and stay at my Grandma…
That’s it! I said to myself. I will open my start-up in another town. Everything makes sense. But, Michael, my other boy, starts crying:
-I wanted to Grandma…
Oh not again… we are starting from the beginning!
Michael, tries to explain me how to make a hole in my iPhone and then, he and his brother will pass though it, reaching instantly to the other side of the phone (travel fast like a phone call).
Indeed, how wonderful it would be if it were possible! Too bad Steve Jobs didn’t think about this feature…
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