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Oversimplified History of Product Management

My notes from this article on the expansion of the PM role:

  • 1931: Neil H. McElroy of Procter & Gamble: β€œBrand Man” (PDF)
    • Not involved in product development
    • Studied the needs of customers and tailored products to their needs
      • Research, positioning, packaging, pricing, promotion, brand building
  • 1940s: HP
    • More comprehensive role than the role at P&G
    • Leverage newer tools to study user needs and influence their experience
    • More quantitative research methods
  • Evolution beyond traditional hardware and software to fully-integrated products
    • Netflix started by aggregating access to movies and shows. Now it produces original content
    • Tech companies used to sell software to hotel chains. Airbnb acts like a hotel chain but has no involvement in real estate
    • Tech has penetrated traditional industries like banking (Revolut), insurance (Lemonade), and cars (Tesla)