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What it takes to be a Product Manager
A Day In The Life Of A Product Manager : Based On A True Story :-)

By: Amit GoelAmit Goel
Co-Founder & CEO at CareerPlot


I had published this post about 1.5 years back on my personal blog and now, reposting it on LinkedIn. This post is not about being inspirational or talk about the pros and cons of being a product manager. It is all about doing what one always wants to do in life. Everyone plays an important role in success of a company. Be it a CEO, COO, sales, marketing, programmers, testers, admins, HR, finance, support or a lesser known mortal called Product Manager, everyone is so integral for a company to be successful. and the measure of success is only one thing called “Customer Happiness Index”.
So, With all the kind of roles mentioned above, most of them are very well defined functions. There is only one function called Product Management which is so ambiguous (in everyone's mind) that even product managers get confused many times why they exist. Sometimes, it is so frustrating for a product manager to figure out whether one is an engineer, support executive , operations person, salesperson, marketing professional or basically, either nothing or everything.
So, Let's visualise a day in the life of a product manager. Feel free to replace the characters in the story with the people around you. For example: you can replace the CEO with other managers, directors or project heads etc..
A Product Manager day entails a minimum of the following.
Daily Stand up meeting ( a catch up with his/her team)
This is the bare minimum and a must have. A product manager definitely starts a day with a daily stand up with his teammates (mostly virtually on telephone to save time in the morning while being in traffic). In this stand up, he blurbs out the issues he is facing to get the feature released on time or if nothing else, at least get it released. Also, he fights out with his team mates (other product managers) about why his thing is important and others need to wait. By the end of this stand up, his blood pressure has already shot up and is boiling with anger.
Stand up with Feature Teams
This is optional if agile is functioning in its best possible format in a company. but in reality, agile is twisted in most companies and a product manager becomes the part of feature team stand up to make sure he observes the progress and issues and resolves if it can be. Now, there are different opinions by everyone on how agile should be. But a product manager should be the last one attending daily stand ups of different teams.
Dealing with Sales teams 
By the time, stand ups are over and a product manager barely manages to finish a cup of coffee and is about to finish his 50% of email replies, he gets the calls from sales executives about clarifications of certain features in the product and if they can be modified with in a day to get the potential customer. Of course, most of the time , the answer is a BIG NO. and he spends crucial minutes explaining that it cannot be done. at the end of the discussion with sales executive, with in few minutes, he starts seeing the mails from almost all corners how a customer is lost because a product is not up to the mark and he missed out on such basic scenario of customer needs. and as a result, company has lost a very significant customer and a huge pile of money.
Dealing with Tech teams
Because of argument with sales teams, he talks to tech team if certain tweaks are possible in the product quickly. Inspite of him being technical and polite, the tech team just ignores him and says a BIG NO without understanding the impact on customers or business or even giving him/her a proper hearing. They just move on to their second cup of coffee and a discussion on how Facebook is handling millions of requests per second. Because for tech teams, their daily dose of technology orgasm happens with hi-tech discussions about how other companies are building cool technology and how their company is full of stupid shit of people who do not know anything. Now, the product manager is left distraught and disarrayed by a bunch of engineers who claim to "know-it-all" gods.
Dealing with Marketing 
As the product manager is recovering from the blows given by tech teams, a mail from marketing arrives asking for suggestions for a new partnership they wish to crack. They want suggestions if they can launch a new product scheme in the market and if the product can support it. This one is fairly easy and a product manager says yes to anything which helps in product growth. but then, comes the hard part. Now, he needs to draft a one pager and get the graphic designer to depict it in exactly what marketing teams wants and the hours go by while that lonely graphic designer sitting in a corner thinking like Leonardo Da Vinci or Salvador Dali tries to open up Photoshop on his 16 GB memory machine for the next two hours.
And an irritated customer calls 
While the lunch time is gone and the product manager is hungry, here comes the patience test. A customer calls directly to product manager as he got the phone number figured out by fooling the customer support executives or through the connections on LinkedIn and complains that he is not able to perform a transaction or may be there is some issue he is facing. Remember that every customer feels that the issue he is facing is life threatening. A product manager rushes to the QA team to verify it who, in turn, asks for “steps to reproduce”. A few hours with the QA team with the last hour full of hot debates and then, a few expletives and abusive exchanges gets the problem identified and now, an unacceptable timeline is communicated to customer about the fix of the issue. This angers the customer and he disconnects the phone.
Phone call from COO (chief operations officer)
The Product Manager is just about to begin his lunch when people are having snacks or playing ping pong in the evening, when the COO calls. The angry customer has reached out to top management and has threatened to part ways with the company if the issue is not resolved in an hour. Forgetting the so called lunch in between, the product manager rushes to tech team and pleads (read: begs ) to them to fix it urgently. Finally, one of the tech guys agree as he feels that he should help the needy (like sometimes, PETA feels to help the humans instead of animals). He fixes the issue but by that time, QA team is already preparing to leave for the day. Now, the product manager pleads (read: begs again) to the QA guy and he agrees to help (like Trump agreeing to help an immigrant who belongs to Slovenia). Then, the Dev Ops, Sys Admin and release teams finally listen to the pleas of a poor guy and make the release happen.
Roadmap Disagreement with CTO
By that time, CTO figures out that they have many more important things in technology to be taken care of as product needs to be scalable and reliable. and a huge discussion with CTO happens to align the roadmap again. Note that, roadmap discussions are a daily affair and a dream of one year roadmap is just a “DREAM”. CTO wants the system to be scalable to handle million customers at any given time when in reality, the company is still yet to breach the 5000 customer mark. and this is top priority because his team has figured out that Facebook and Google have built and used this super cool piece of technology and now, they have open sourced it too. Also, all other engineers in the world are talking about it so they need to implement it too.
Finally, Status update with CEO
The office is empty. People have gone home. It’s the security guards having dinner in office. The product manager is winding off for the day as he is just about to miss a celebration at home. But then the CEO calls, he has heard about the customer complaint, last minute bug fix done by tech guys, problems identified in product by COO and team, sales team complaining about product not having that feature which can bring revenue, marketing team just cribbing about zero support from product management, a screwed up roadmap as told by CTO and of course, not adhering to the instructions given by the CEO himself. So, CEO agains tells the product manager to spend another quick one hour to find a solution to all the problems and send him a proposal which needs to be reviewed first thing in the morning....
While the product manager is working on the proposal, the birds are chirping outside. The cleaning staff has started coming in... The sun is getting to 30 degrees in the horizon...
By the way, the celebration at home which he was supposed to attend at any cost got over yesterday.
FYI, This is not my story. I am one happy product manager who loves every aspect of product management and building products.Check my profile to know more about me :-)
PS 1 : If you are an aspiring product manager based in India ( Bangalore or Hyderabad ) and want to meet me in person, I can definitely catch up with you for a cup of coffee on any weekend. Just connect with me on LinkedIn and then, send me a message ...
If you want to have a telephonic discussion with me on anything about product management or startups etc, or would like to have my advice on these topics again... just connect with me on linkedIn and send me a message...
PS 2 : If you want , you can read my previous articles on LinkedIn to get my thoughts on product management. check the section "Don't miss more articles by Amit Goel" below.
Disclaimer : Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them. All events described herein actually happened, though on occasion the author has taken certain liberties with the event definition and chronology, because that is his right to freedom of exaggeration like every other human being on this planet and especially, because he belongs to India.

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Content Distribution Tools #Notes
When you’re creating useful, actionable, epic content, everyone deserves to see it. So how do you get your hard work and effort seen by the largest audience possible?



The 3 Types of Content Distribution Channels
Before we dive into the tools, let’s start with an overview of content distribution. Essentially, when you distribute your content, you do so in three basic channels.
OwnedEarnedPaidOwned media includes the channels that belong to you, where you control the content. This can be your blog, website, email newsletter, and social media profiles.
Earned media involves others sharing your content. This can take the form of social media shares, guest posts, media coverage, and product reviews.
Paid media is the exposure you pay for, be it pay-per-click ads, display ads, social ads, or otherwise.

When viewed in a Venn diagram, you can see that these channels provide a bit of overlap with one another as content distribution can touch on many different channels for the same piece of content.


With this idea framework in mind, let’s look at some tools that help accomplish content distribution in each of the three major distribution channels: owned, earned, and paid.
The 17 Best Tools for Widespread Content Distribution

1. Buffer

We’ve found Buffer to be the simplest way to share your content to your social media channels on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can schedule your posts to publish at ideal times (or let Buffer decide when is best), and you can reshare older content by re-buffering straight from the app dashboard.


2. Edgar

A new tool for reposting content from your archives, Edgar helps with evergreen promotion by linking to your social channels and sharing old content at a regular drip.

3. WiseStamp

A complete, beautiful email signature that can contain the typical contact information plus a host of other social media, RSS, and content distribution tidbits. You can show your latest tweet or hook up your RSS feed to show your latest blogpost.


4. Goodbits

Create an email newsletter full of amazing links (including the content of yours you want to distribute). Goodbits lets you drag-and-drop content from a queue made up of any RSS feed you connect as well as any articles you add via the bookmarklet or browser extension. You can then customize, edit, and send to your contacts, including your MailChimp list and segments.


5. MailChimp

Speaking of email newsletters, MailChimp is one of the biggest and best (and free) ways to send email to your list of contacts. You can set up automated campaigns that deliver each new post that you write, or you can create campaigns from scratch. MailChimp offers free accounts for those with fewer than 2,000 contacts in their list.

6. SumoMe

The suite of tools offered by the SumoMe WordPress plugin helps considerably with owned media and earned media. For owned media, SumoMe offers list building tools that include a subscription scroll box, a signup bar, list popup, and incentives/giveaways widget.

In terms of earned media, SumoMe makes it easy for others to share images on your blogposts as well as the posts themselves.

7. OnePress Social Locker

This WordPress plugin allows you to lock a portion of your content behind a social share button so that the content can only be accessed once a user shares to Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.


8. Help a Reporter (HARO)

HARO lets you connect with journalists looking for a source. If you’ve got an expertise or experience in a certain area, you can sign up at HARO and a reporter could get in touch!

9. PR Newswire

Got something newsworthy to share? Consider going the press route. PR Newswire can help with distribution of news, announcements, and events to a variety of sources. If you sign up, a rep from PR Newswire will get in touch directly to authorize your account and help with any press release promotion you need.

10. List.ly

Build a list about anything—resources for your niche, articles you love, helpful tools, recommended books, etc. Grab links from around the web (including yours), and publish and share—and even embed—your list so that others can see.


11. Buzzstream

Buzzstream provides a host of services that assist with link building. You can find influencers in your niche who may want to share your content, and you can organize outreach efforts all the way from list building to measuring responses.

12. Boomerang for Gmail

Outreach to fellow bloggers and influencers may require a bit of followup. With Boomerang, you can schedule your emails and automate follow-ups.


13. Contently

Writers, authors, and journalists can create a portfolio at Contently, which can then be viewed and shared by just about anyone—readers, social media users, and even potential employers. The Contently platform helps connect content producers with those in need of content, and the service acts as a great way to distribute your own writing in one consistent place.


14. Storify

Collect content from across the web—blogposts, tweets, and more—and place it into a Storify page. We use Storify for recaps of our Bufferchats on Twitter. The service integrates all types of media from videos to articles and everything in between.

15. Outbrain

Have you ever come across a series of links at the end of an article? Would it be cool to see your content there? You can sign up for this kind of service at Outbrain, which feeds related/interesting content to pages all over the Internet.

Similar services include Disqus, Taboola, Skyword, and SimpleReach. Contently did a great breakdown of the pros and cons (and costs) of these paid channels, and Powered By Search has a list of great options, too.

16. Facebook sponsored posts

In a similar way to Facebook ads, you can pay to have your page’s posts seen by more users on the network. You can boost any post from your page and target the boost to reach a particular demographic of location, age, gender, or interest.

17. Promoted tweets

Like Facebook sponsored posts, you can get more views on your tweets by paying to promote a tweet to a larger audience. This occurs through the Twitter ads dashboard where you can compose an original tweet to promote or grab one from your stream that you’d like more people to see.

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How #Dangal Girls trained themselves for the Movie 
 Actresses Fatima Sana Shaikh (who plays wrestler Geeta Phogat) and Sanya Malhotra (who plays wrestler Babita Phogat) also went through a tough schedule of 7-8 months to prepare for their roles.Child actor Zaira Wasim (who plays young Geeta) also had to go through a grueling schedule so she could perfect her moves for Dangal.These girls' preparation will give you all the #motivation you need to hit the gym.

How #Dangal Girls trained themselves for the Movie
Actresses Fatima Sana Shaikh (who plays wrestler Geeta Phogat) and Sanya Malhotra (who plays wrestler Babita Phogat) also went through a tough schedule of 7-8 months to prepare for their roles.Child actor Zaira Wasim (who plays young Geeta) also had to go through a grueling schedule so she could perfect her moves for Dangal.These girls' preparation will give you all the #motivation you need to hit the gym.

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What are the good advice and tips for traveling alone?



Learn to be independent.

Learn to be an efficient packer.

Develop social skills.

Try new things.

Learn and Experience culture that cannot be taught through an Anthony Bourdaine video.

Learn to be self-reliant.

Learn to manage your finances.

Learn how many days of not bathing it takes to know YOU SMELL.

See the world.

Eat new things.

Drink new things.

You are the king of your own schedule, you can do what you want, when you want.

Zero Drama.

Build Confidence.

It could alleviate depression.

You can sleep the whole way through the trip and no one will nag to you about missing out on the Louvre.

Save money.

Learn about yourself. It's like having alone time, a self-reflecting period.

n to be independent.

Learn to be an efficient packer.

Develop social skills.

Try new things.

Learn and Experience culture that cannot be taught through an Anthony Bourdaine video.

Learn to be self-reliant.

Learn to manage your finances.

Learn how many days of not bathing it takes to know YOU SMELL.

See the world.

Eat new things.

Drink new things.

You are the king of your own schedule, you can do what you want, when you want.

Zero Drama.

Build Confidence.

It could alleviate depression.

You can sleep the whole way through the trip and no one will nag to you about missing out on the Louvre.

Save money.

Learn about yourself. It's like having alone time, a self-reflecting period.




A few tips?

Keep a photocopy of your passport and other important documents in a bag somewhere for emergencies.

It is usually cheaper to exchange currency at a local bank at your destination rather than your home bank. (Big local banks will only charge you an ATM fee, and uses interbank rates, rather than adding a huge spread on exchange rates)

Apply for a Charles Schwab Debit Card, they will return you any ATM fees you incur abroad. (Relating to the above)

Pre-travel, sign up for a reward mile credit cards so you can rack up miles for your next travel experience.

If you are a one-bagger like myself, put in a few dryer sheets in your bag to keep it from reeking of old laundry.

I usually wear quick drying clothing, like Under Armor, Nike, or Ex-Officio and wash my clothes in the bathroom with Shampoo (not bar soap).

Do wear a cheap watch.

I always have a portable battery pack with me for just in case my phone dies moments. (Currently: Anker 16000 MAH)

Turn off all phone notifications and enjoy the trip.

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5 WTF snaps from the Comedy Animal Photo Awards
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (yes, that's a thing) are back once again, showcasing candid shots of the funniest critters on the World Wild Web.
So good are some of these snaps, it's almost as if the animals knew the brief. From peekaboo eagles to ballet-dancing ants, and friendly polar bears to snowball-flinging monkeys, the most comedic scenes from the animal kingdom are all here.
Kick-started last year to help raise cash and awareness for conservation efforts in a lighthearted way, you can enjoy a handful of 2016's funniest shots below before heading over to the CWPA website to LOL at the rest of the entries


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a 'peli-can't catch a fish to save his life'


*Plays 'The Great Escape' theme tune* © Nicolas De Vaulx/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016


That feeling when you forgot something important

"Shit. Did I leave the iron on?" © Barb D'Arpino/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016


Oh yeah. Laugh it up

"You want a funny photo? Owl handle it." © Edward Kopeschny/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016


Who needs hand-eye coordination anyway?

"Oh yeah, this is awkward for you, huh?" - fish © Rob Kroenert/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016


That's a bad day in the office

"Hey, Dave, I'm taking the rest of the day off." © Tom Stables/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016


Check out the rest of the entries to this year's competition right here.

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