Are there things a PM should never do?

What are some of the things that could lead to a severe impact on my career as a PM?

In other words, what are the things that would lead to career suicide?


Honestly, getting personally indebted and beholden to whatever current company you are committed to is the biggest risk of this profession as far as I have seen.

The following are pitfalls that are both avoidable and recoverable:

Getting caught up and too committed with an over-leveraged company, and being answerable for the failures of that company.

Getting deeply involved with specific customer projects without employment exits, and effectively-being sequestered from product work.

Willingness to carry water for orgs that don’t change until you’re burnt out.

Retreating from the ability to change the path or find work elsewhere.

The last is the real answer. There’s always something else, and you didn’t get into product if you weren’t scrappy and willing to keep looking until you find a fit.


I love the last point… my boss is VP of product and he said he likes the way I work because I am scrappy and find a way.

I came to PM from frontline presales and my role is a hybrid of inbound and outbound… which is hard to balance. I know it affects my ability to be the perfect PM in isolation… or by the definition of that PM role…I have done the Pragmatic Marketing PM certs…however, I think talking and being in front of a customer suffering with an issue and being able to explain what you can and also what you cannot do is something every PM should master. I see so many PMs unable to have difficult conversations with customers where we just cannot deliver what they ‘want’ and are unable to say that with some certainty. They get cornered by the customer to do ‘something’ which stops the customer trying to solve the perceived problem themselves (probably via business process) rather than ‘the software’

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  1. Commit to a date without Dev alignment. Or in general, be tactless with the development team. You need engineering on your side.
  2. Going into an executive meeting to get buy in for your roadmap or idea and not bring data to back you up. Saw it happen a few times to colleagues and it did not go over well
  3. Telling people to do things and not providing any reasoning behind that decision.
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In my experience, it is more often than not that it is not wanted that we tell customers that we won’t be solving their problem or that their problem is not our top priority at the moment.

A thing that a lot of salespeople like to forget is that we are building a product that can be used by many as is. We are not trying to build a product that can be customized to fit every single need.

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Bingo… agree with that… most of the times sales teams want to make customer happy to close a deal to get comp… It’s not that way in product.

You know what I much prefer being in product to the sales side of things.

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