Product Café: Where did Product Management come from?
Product Management, UX, Startups, and more — freshly curated by Zeda.io.
Hello, all you product-loving folks! 🥰
Welcome to this week’s edition of Product cafe, your weekend cup of coffee for everything product management, start-ups, and more.
Just a little bit of revelation about myself, I am a big fan of history. A curious cat, always finding out what led to the very existence of something and everything. And then share the tales of the same!
So this week, I did some digging to find out about THE HISTORY OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT. But unfortunately, there is shockingly little known broadly about how Product Management came to be. So let’s go down that rabbit hole with me!
Let's turn the clock back about 90 years. In 1931, a young ad executive named Neil McElroy drafted an 800-word memo that sought two additional team members for a new role of "brand man"
Fun fact: Neil McElroy, who never worked as a PM, is called the father of the profession
McElroy had an ulterior motive: he wanted approval to hire more people. In his 800-word letter, he clearly explained "Brand Men" and their whole responsibility for a brand, from sales tracking to product management, advertising, and promotions.
It began as an excuse to hire more people and ended up becoming a cornerstone in current brand management and, eventually, product management.
Bill Hewlett and David Packard
There were two intelligent classmates in a Stanford engineering program who pondered finding a company if they could not find a job. That's Bill Hewlett and David Packard.
They formed Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's largest computer company, but not before absorbing McElroy's notion of the brand guy and pushing it to the next level. The HP take on the brand guy approach was to create an internal customer advocate who would serve as the customer's voice throughout product development.
Toyota and the Kanban board
Around the same time, in 1953, Toyota wanted a mechanism to arrange incoming and leaving shipments around the same time, so they designed a visual board to keep track of everything. Kanban boards became a clever technique to track work streams by restricting work-in-progress as a result of this.
The Agile Manifesto
On February 11-13, 2001, seventeen individuals gathered at The Lodge at Snowbird ski resort in Utah's Wasatch Mountains to chat, ski, relax, and try to find common ground—The Agile 'Software Development' Manifesto was born.
The Agile Manifesto was born as a result of this effort to identify a set of four values and twelve principles that would simplify software development from beginning to end.
I think this is enough information for one time to absorb. My tales must come to an end.
If you would like to know more in-depth about the topic, I am more than happy to tell you that a blog was just published. So you can go, read and find out more in detail.
Books you can devour in a single weekend
One should never underestimate the power of a good book on a weekend. So, I want to end this week’s newsletter by throwing in some suggestions, Happy reading!
Product: Ship It
Marketing: The Growth Handbook
Sales: The Sales Handbook
Product Launch (Growth): Product Phases
Design: UX Design for Startups
That’s all folks! Have something you want to share? Put them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you soon.
See you again next week! 🥂
It’s hard to explain what a Product Manager does, we get it. But you know what’s not that hard? Sharing this newsletter with your friends and colleagues!💌