At Product People, we're on a mission to help companies discover and deliver great products. Faster. We empower our 12,000+ people Product Management community to share knowledge generously whilst managing all the unglamorous hands-on work of a PM on an interim basis (3+ months). We onboard fast, align teams, and deliver outcomes.
Our clients include Zalando, Tier, Blinkist, and others.
About The Role
- Serve as an Interim Senior Product Manager or Product Lead: Our clients engage us at various stages of their growth (series B to publicly listed) and product life cycle. This role takes you from scaling products or teams to driving complex initiatives. You could go from helping a scale-up set and reach its quarterly KPIs, to steering a pivot, successfully navigating "how the product is done" at a publicly listed company, or shaping Product Management/ Product Operations capabilities at a hyper-growth.
- Solve hard problems. Make high-impact product and business decisions that benefit both the client and our company. This is both exciting and challenging. Manage discovery and/or delivery for several parallel initiatives (internal and external). It may involve other Product, Program, and/or Project Managers depending on the setup.
- Partner with clients and stakeholders. Always come off as friendly, helpful, and accommodating even when pushing back on irrational demands. Handle people and high-pressure situations with timely and candid reactions. Gracefully manage stakeholders that are pushing you to execute initiatives that may hurt them. Align them on building the right things. Tell compelling fact-based stories in a digestible way.
- Make the clients and our team happy. Ideally, the clients renew our contracts and/or get more Product People team members in to support them. Achieve this while communicating openly, being nice, collaborative, and supportive to the Associate Product Managers (L2-L3) or Product Managers (L4-L5) working with you.
- OODA (Observe Orient Decide Act) loops fast. In most cases, we won't have all the context our clients have on internal priorities and politics. Consequently, there are bound to be many occasions where we are caught completely by surprise (especially since clients are not always the most organized themselves). Being able to think quickly, address out of the blue questions, and direction/strategy changes that put you on the spot go a long way, especially in balancing client satisfaction and realistic expectations.
- Train the next generation. Strive to coach, mentor, and delegate to help Associate Product Managers (L2-L3) and/or Product Managers (L4-L5) grow and strengthen their skills. Manage 1-6 people depending on your tenure, performance reviews, and career ambition/appetite for growth. Collaborate with 1-3 colleagues on clients. We use the teaching hospital approach (watch, do it yourself under supervision, teach) and candid feedback in both directions to help you strengthen your mentoring muscle.
- Learn quickly and level up. Report to a Group Product Manager (L8) and benefit from their mentoring. Learn from your peers and their client work. We're growing fast, and you can be eligible for the Group Product Manager (L8) role when hitting internal milestones.
- Network or write. Further Product People's mission is to help companies discover and deliver great products faster by supporting our free weekly community events, writing about product topics, networking, and sharing knowledge with other Product Managers and Product Leaders.
- Help Product People thrive. Propose and take ownership of initiatives that make us better as a team or as a company, help us make an impact on the clients faster, help us level up the team, and optimize for our long-term profitability and growth. Our ambition is to build a category-defining company in the product management consulting space.
- Rinse and repeat. Go on a new mission at a new client or in a new team, new domain, new product, or initiative every 3-6 months. Continue sharpening your edge, and actively helping Product People's internal initiatives.
- You like fixing the mess. Just like Marie Kondo, we are not called up when things are going well. It doesn't come naturally for anyone to bring in externals unless they are in great pain. Just like with illnesses people go to the doctor too late, in Product Management, very few do preventive care. This can be both scary and exciting, people who create structure from chaos find these adventures exciting and have a great time going on client missions with us.
- Highly driven, kind, and supportive. People would leave higher-paying jobs at bigger companies just to work with you again. Anyone you work with recommends you and Product People to their friends and colleagues for the incredible impact you make.
- Thrive in open communication culture. We move fast, don’t play political games, and don’t backchannel. We ask you will be open about your expectations and needs, and we will do the same in return. We exchange kind and direct feedback to help each other grow and expect that you will similarly help your peers grow and will respectfully manage both up and down.
- Show fast progress. Find quick wins that show signs of a fast turnaround to prevent buyer's remorse and make clients happy they brought us in while understanding and building up towards their strategic long-term goals. This might come with a high-pressure environment at clients which you find ways to cope with given the necessary support.
- Influence without authority. Effectively manage various groups consisting of stakeholders with strong personalities. Adapt to their communication preferences. Integrate quickly and feel part of any team in days, not weeks. People like working with you and would work with you again despite you saying “no” to them a lot.
- Make an incredible impact. Own key goals and effectively prioritize outcomes and fast learning cycles. Communicate a compelling narrative about the product (and each existing or potential feature/capability): "what problem/job does it solve?", "for whom?", "How big is the problem/market?", "How will we measure success?", and why solving this matters in the first place.
- Zoom in and out. Dive deep into the details, or switch to a bird's-eye view. You are good at the unglamorous hands-on work and strategy. You understand how deep or wide you need to go, when that’s the case and when it’s not. Break down complex initiatives into manageable, quantifiable work for the team.
- Jack/Jill of all trades, master of some. You’ve built great user experiences and processes. You’ve simplified complexity and shipped impactful digital products in a highly dynamic environment. 2+ Years of Product Management experience in digital-first companies or equivalent.
- CET Timezone: CET +/- 2 hours is optimal. Our internal team meetings start at 08:30 CET times, many of our clients start at 09:00 so this is a rare window where we can all get together.
What Makes Us Special
- Accelerate your personal and career growth. 10x your learning and networking opportunities by being exposed to multiple companies and teams each year. We give timely, candid, and direct feedback and expect you to do the same. We run 3-month performance reviews for each person internally and at our clients (with the key people you'll interact with). This helps us improve the team, maintain quality of service and proactively promote people who show sustained performance at the next level. Your career path with us can be :
- Become a line manager for 5-20 people (up to 8 direct reports).
- Level up inside the company and become Group Product Manager and later a Partner which gives you revenue participation.
- Should you decide to move on in a few years, you will be a product leader at a top company. And bring Product People in to support you.
- Work on many products. See behind the curtain of Europe’s top product companies and leading players. Get exposure to a wide range of B2C and B2B products in many industries, and company sizes from series A+ to publicly listed. See them through hyper-growth, downturns, and all of life’s challenges.
- Structured onboarding and support network. Who says small companies need to be chaotic? Our onboarding guide contains everything you need, and if you need more, there’s our #help channel! We proactively share our learnings with each other through Sharing Sessions and help each other resolve complex situations through Rubber-Ducky peer-mentoring.
- Aligned Incentives. Uncapped quarterly bonuses (e.g. client renewal, client expansion, employee referral, and others) paid for people still with the company at the end of the quarter, plus equity.
- Levels tied to compensation. Your compensation changes when your title and level change. This is not the case with other companies (e.g. someone promotes, but they don’t earn more money after). For fairness, we also practice the same compensation per level (L1-L10) and employment market. Bonuses are the same globally and public across the company (everyone can see who is getting which bonus at the end of the quarter and why).
- Paid sabbatical accrued every 3 years. You get a paid month off every 3 years, on top of your regular holiday allowance. You can optionally also take a 1-month unpaid sabbatical every 12 months. Must be approved 3+ months in advance to minimize the impact on client engagements and team workload.
- [optional] 4-day workweek. Free up space and time to pursue an MBA, travel for a longer time, or just do nothing. Our default is a 5-day workweek, you can opt in and out of a 4-day workweek with at least one month's notice to minimize the impact on the team’s workload. The compensation impact is 80% of the salary in years 1-2, 85% of the salary in years 3, and 90% of the salary in years 4+.
- All expense paid team retreats. We meet in person every 6 months for a weeklong team retreat in a great location. We also encourage team members who are in the same cities or traveling to cities other team members are in to meet and expense the coffee/lunch/dinner.
- [optional] Paid retreats/workshops at clients. Once in a while, we may be invited to a client’s team retreat in Hamburg or Mallorca, or elsewhere. You’re welcome to say no, but we’ve noticed that meeting in person for socializing has made our remote work way easier. And some of these are great fun.
- Remote working. We work distributed first. We recommend setting up a dedicated workspace for which you can choose to expense a MacBook, external monitor, ring light, room divider, and plants. As it can sometimes get lonely, consider that you’ll need to proactively schedule in-person meetings, sports, or other activities that provide a good cutoff and help you recharge after work.
Note: Your application will only be considered for one position, so please do not apply to multiple positions.