The role of product manager is viewed as a business function to maximize ROI in the product, maximize market share, revenue, etc. for business success. Product managers work with engineering and across the business to make sure the software product is well built and defined.
I personal think an entrepreneur should be a product manager in his soul with product manager skills.
What does a product manager do?
Finding and executing product market fit.
It is the product manager’s responsibility to run the entire product and project roadmap, if possible without relying on a project manager. These are what he/she does:
Some people views Product Management as the embodiment of the business (requirements), the user/customer (needs), and the technical (knowledge) side of the company. The best products are driven by business and user needs first, not by the technology.
I like how Saeed Khan views 6 important characteristics of a Product Manager:
The above characteristics are also applicable to all C level executives.
Job Description Example
Here's a product manager job description Google put out around late 2013:
"Our Product Management team is responsible for defining and launching Google's products across a variety of countries and markets we do business in. Product Managers follow a multi-disciplinary approach to making sure the right product is built, to delight the customer and to provide better solutions than the competition. While Google PMs work extensively with engineering to define and develop core functionality and feature sets, leading matrix teams through the end to end of a product's lifecycle (eg marketing, legal, sales) is equally essential."
Google Product Manager Interview Questions
The followings are questions that I was asked about during a phone interview for the above Google product manager position:
Product Manager vs. Business Analyst
Product Manager vs. Product Owner
As company gets bigger, the product role may split. Product Manager is more externally focused and works on long-term vision while Product Owner is to support the engineering team for software development details.