Day in the Life of a Google Product Manager

December 11th, 2009 by lewis

Media Bistro has an interview with Brandon Badger, Product Manager for Google Books. This is an excellent article for aspiring Google product managers. I’ve excerpted the most relevant sections below.
On a related note, check out our list of 140 Google interview questions. You can also contact us for a free 15 minute interview analysis before your Google interview. Many of our clients have interviewed and received Google job offers.
What’s your role as product manager in the whole thing?
That’s a good question. Google is very loosely structured; there’s not a whole lot of top-down management. As a product manager, your role is to inspire the team, to really define what the product goals are, work closely with the tech lead and the engineers on the project management itself — so breaking down the project into manageable chunks and then following through on the schedule to make sure we’re meeting our goals. You’re the outward face for the product as well, so there’s a lot of interacting with partners. We have publishing partners, but also library partners, device makers and reading application partners. And then also interfacing with the various other entities within Google to make sure that our products work well together. So working with the search team so that Google Books is able to blend well into the Google search results product.
What’s your role as product manager in the whole thing?
That’s a good question. Google is very loosely structured; there’s not a whole lot of top-down management. As a product manager, your role is to inspire the team, to really define what the product goals are, work closely with the tech lead and the engineers on the project management itself — so breaking down the project into manageable chunks and then following through on the schedule to make sure we’re meeting our goals. You’re the outward face for the product as well, so there’s a lot of interacting with partners. We have publishing partners, but also library partners, device makers and reading application partners. And then also interfacing with the various other entities within Google to make sure that our products work well together. So working with the search team so that Google Books is able to blend well into the Google search results product.

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