As a Staff-level Software Engineer, this post by Joel Spolsky best describes my standard of excellence for Product Managers – mostly in terms of the degree of attention to detail and technical aptitude that I would expect from a self-respecting, ambitious Product Manager.
Even though Joel is talking about his experience as a Program Manager at Microsoft, most product managers I have worked with at Google and elsewhere function at least partly in the space of a Microsoft Program Manager as described here.
I was reminded today of a quote by Bill Gates I had read 6 years ago in then-Sun Microsystem’s just-ex-CEO, Jonathan Schwartz. Here it is:
The software business [is] all about building variable revenue streams from a fixed engineering cost base
This is from Schwartz’s Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal post, which is also very informative about how Software Patents are used in practice.
The above is an important definition for everyone involved in building software to keep in mind and never lose sight of.