Thinking about switching from PM to Product Growth, would this be a mistake?

Sometimes I don’t want to deal with as many people anymore. I find the idea of growth somewhat addicting but have never been in a growth only role. My limited experience with growth is when I’m trying to improve my product.

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I don’t think so. You could argue that these specialization PMs (growth, monetization, data) will see more career growth in the coming years than regular PMs. Plus, I’d doubt you have problems switching back if you want.

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@MarioRomero, Thank you for your take. Why do you think specializations will grow more?

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Maybe not grow, per se, but I do think specializing can help you find a nice sustainable groove in the increasingly muddy field. Like as a growth PM I think it will be easier for you to hop around to other high quality places if you find success in the role and move up.

This is just my personal view, btw. There are plenty of director level people that can chime in :slight_smile:

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The contrarian view I have heard is that quite a few Growth Hackers have transitioned or tried to transition into PM.

What I have heard is that they feel like PMs get more of a seat at the table and have more runway to experiment. Whereas growth hackers are on the chopping board to drive short term growth.

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I’m a Principal Growth PM and I would 100% recommend :slight_smile:

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@AnaRodriguez, This has been asked many times, so apologies…what are the key differences between a growth PM and a regular PM (in the same sector)?

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I think you should go through this.

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@AmyWalker, I gotta be honest, I just read this article and I think it is sooooo wrong lol…

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Ha, please provide context. I only know 1 other growth PM and they said it was spot on (Lyft)

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I was a growth PM and now I’m a (regular) PM and that article is spot on IMO

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Like others have said, it’ll depend on what your career goals are. As a Product manager, you’re focused on the short and longer term vision of the product and building out features to support that. As a Product Growth Manager, you’ll be focusing on a specific metric (i.e. - converting customers at a specific step) and you’ll do a/b testing and other features to maximize that. You’ll have to work back with the product manager usually and engineering teams to make it happen. The goals of the two roles are likely very different at a given point. Both experiences are valuable to experience, but it ultimately depends on what you like to work on more.

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Before you make the move:

  • Talk to Growth PMs at your company, ideally shadow them and see what their day-to-day looks like; dealing with a lot of people may still be required
  • Growth is fun if you’re analytical and enjoy digging into experiments, but not for everyone
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It depends on your career goals and what you like to do. If you’re looking for leadership path, then I won’t recommend going product growth route. Lot of PMing is persuading teams to align on vision and hiring the right people (including PM growth) to execute on the vision.

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I have been a growth PM for a while now, if you want ownership of products then growth would not be the path you would want to take.

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While growth product management is a subcategory of product management, the roles require different skill sets. As prioritizing growth becomes standard practice, the gap between the roles may narrow, but for now they are markedly distinct.

While a PM usually works on a single product and is driven by providing long-term value to the customer, a GPM may work across multiple products and is guided by the commercial goals of the company. Whereas a PM owns the product strategy and roadmap, leads their team, and manages stakeholder relationships, the primary focus of a GPM is on shortening the time to value: They prioritize goals and outcomes on a shorter timeline than PMs.

GPMs are most valuable when they work on existing products that already solve user pain points but are not yet optimized. Essentially, they enable customers to get what they need from the product faster. Organizations should first recruit PMs to build and launch products, then they should hire GPMs to help improve them.

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@NaomiNwosu, Well, that was really very helpful and accurate description and difference between the two. Thank you for sharing your insight.