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Product Leadership by Martin Eriksson, Nate Walkingshaw, Richard Banfield

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Chapter 2. Why Is Product Leadership So Relevant?

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The Product Leader’s Impact

A product leader is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a product and, by extension, the company itself. The impact of that cannot be underestimated. According to Ken Norton, product leaders are “the implementers of the company vision,” always pushing the company forward by “focusing on what is most important to the company—what do we want to accomplish as a business and what do we need to do to get there?” Norton’s time at GV (previously Google Ventures) convinced him of the importance of product leadership. He believes that product leaders should have a vision for the product and where it should be in a year, in 5 years, and in 10 years—and then articulate this vision to the rest of the leadership team and to the wider organization. Creating a product vision and crafting a plan to get there is as relevant as you can get to the organization’s success.

As Ben Horowitz of the successful venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz put it 15 years ago while he was a Product Manager at Netscape: “A good product manager acts like and is viewed as CEO of the product. Good product managers have a realistic vision of what success of their product means, and they ensure that this vision becomes reality—whatever it takes. Good product managers are viewed by the entire product team as the leader ...

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