product manager CEO start-up entrepreneur

I’ve read many discussions about the Product Manager being (or not being) the CEO of the product.
But what about the CEO?

Can the CEO be the Product Manager?

In many companies, mainly start-ups, there is no product manager or VP product.
Recently, I met a CEO who told me

“ok, so we don’t have a product manager; I’m the product manager and the CEO; what’s wrong with that?”

Well, it’s not always wrong. I have worked with several CEOs that were also amazing product managers. It happens.
But in most cases, Having the CEO fill-in the Product Manager role, introduces two major risks:

Risk #1: No Product Manager

Most CEOs are not professional product managers. And when the CEO tries to be a product manager, it is very likely for things to go wrong:
Requirements may not be clear enough, solution might be missing, prioritization may be lacking, understanding of the problem is partial, etc
And the overall product resulting from this is simply not good enough.

Risk #2: No CEO

Being a professional product manager takes time:
Time to speak with customers, research the market, time to plan good solutions, to articulate requirements properly, answer questions, etc.
And when the product management work is done right, it takes 110% of your time. Oops, no time left to manage your business and act as CEO.

My recommendation to CEOs:
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Add a professional product manager to the team, and work together to build awesome products, based on your vision and goals.

What was your experience?

Can you name a CEO, you’ve worked with, who is also a great product manager?