Four types of product managers and me

In my role as Product Scout for a news lab, I travelled to Scotland to attend the Design It Build It conference.

While there, Stephanie Szabó, Airbnb Head of Design Learning, talked about 4 types of product managers that she has come to know through her work.

The 4 Types of Product Manager

These types would be:

  1. The Tangible Prototyper
  2. The Hypothetical Explainer
  3. The Extreme Considerer
  4. The Learns by Doing

Out of interest for such an approach of classification, I compared myself to these types to see where I was leaning more. I visualized the assessment using a radar chart and a 6 point scale.

Taking my personal assessment as a basis, I have asked colleagues I have worked for about 10 years on various research and software projects to assess me. My goal was to figure out how my self-perception differs from what others see and notice while working side-by-side.

You can see the results of my personal assessment and that of my colleagues below. By the way, I would like to point out that apart from the more or less self-explanatory category titles, there was no further explanation of the types provided by me. Therefore, the categories may have been defined differently by the persons asked.

Self-assessment versus perception by others


As it seems, there are some shared opinions but also a clear blind-spot on my side which needs further investigation. It is interesting for me to note that the colleague I tend to work on research topics considers me much more deliberate (see dimension Extreme Considerer) than the colleague I develop software hands-on (see dimension Tangible Prototyper).

In this respect, I think all three assessments put together nicely indicate that I can use my different strengths, depending on my environment, quite flexible.