I am late to posting this but the article about the full stack developer got me thinking about the subject again.
From time to time I get questions and even have coffee with folks wanting to be a PM and asking how.
This article has some good info about the thesis behind it, the education some folks acquire and the experience that helps in becoming a PM :: http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2683579 .
There are so many angles to the role of the PM and of course the startup PM differs highly from the established company PM. Take Spuul for example – we don’t have an eng manager nor do we have a proper PM. We are just too small for this kind of headcount. Other places will have a head of PM to manage other mini PM’s – given this the definition of the PM is quite fluid in my opinion.
That being said, picture in your mind – the PM role in startup land to be a simple Venn diagram – the startup PM is that small spot in the intersection of customers, management and engineers. That is usually where I find myself on most days given the day to day duties I normally encounter.
I am sure there are many other ways to portray this but this is the one that keeps me focused on delighting users, trying to make money and keep a team of product people moving forward.
It’s a delicate but useful dance.
More on the full stack conversations later.