There are plenty of great product managers doing amazing work out there. Some of them are at startups trying to create the next big thing. And some of them are already heading great products. My list will be biased towards those who were already involved in creating great products. I’ll classify my list based on products and then the people behind the products.
1. Chris Cox – Facebook News Feed
This is something that more than a billion people see everyday. And purely by the weight of this number Facebook’s Chris Cox is my number one guy.
When Chris joined Facebook (around 2005), it had no news feed. So people had to go to a friend’s profile and check for latest changes. This was a difficult thing to do, and without a news feed there is no way that people would find it worth their time to go the site repeatedly. Watch Chris Talk about this in the video below.
2. Marissa Meyer – All Things Google
Marissa Meyer led products at Google for 10 years. To anyone in the tech industry, that one sentence sums up a dream. Marissa led UX interface teams, web server teams, Maps, Street View, Gmail and ton of other stuff. That’s just freakin impressive!
She is known to have a keen sense of style and spots ‘eye-sore’ designs in a flash. Insiders at Google credit her for shaping the simple yet elegant feel of Google’s products. She switched over to takeover Yahoo a few years ago. The verdict on her job here is still out. She still has a few years before being judged for her show in Yahoo.
(In all fairness, Marissa is not an active product person anymore. But she is still someone who deserves to be in this pantheon of fame)
3. Elon Musk
Musk is the founder of SpaceX, Tesla and PayPal. Although Musk is not the exact product guy (he is much more, just ask his fans), his vision for the future and for creating jaw-dropping products (think PayPal, think battery cars, think reusable space shuttles) makes him a favourite of mine. Musk has the right combination of tech savvy-ness, business acumen and partnering with the right people. Watch this 20 minute TED video of his and be prepared to be swept away by his clarity of vision and belief in technology.
4. Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey, isn’t as popular with the press as the three people above him. But Jack Dorsey is widely respected in the Silicon Valley. He created Twitter that exists in the Facebook era. How did he do that? By defining his product boundaries very clearly. After taking Twitter to its IPO recently, Jack Dorsey is making strides in another direction – through Square. Watch Jack deliver the Key Note at TechCrunch.
Disclaimer: Some of the people in the list may be much more than product guys, but they were involved in creating products that changed our lives for the better. And so they are in my list. These are my preferences. They may or may not reflect your opinions.