The other day, I was having a conversation with a few coworkers about a product. In addition, someone mentioned that you should treat a product as if it was your baby or your child. I actually very much disagree with this concept and I have good reasons to feel this way. A product manager should have respect and pride in developing the best product experience possible, but to treat it as his or her baby is to blind one to many of the areas that potential are trouble areas for a product.
When I manage a product, I have to remain objective. A parent is never objective, you cannot be, you have such joy and excitement for your child that you don’t want to admit they may not be the best. That is a natural parent reaction, to think our child is the best. Nobody wants to hear or accept they might have an ugly baby. As a product manager, you really cannot afford to be so subjective in your view of your product. After all, you are not the primary group that interacts with your product, the consuming demographics are. So you have to design your products in a way that gets them to treat it as their baby.
If you get too close to your product emotionally, you’ll never see that, the consumers don’t find it so great anymore. You start to lose the ability to make the changes needed to meet the changing tastes of consumers. Instead you believe it is so great that you shouldn’t have to change it at all, that it is great as is. That is how great products start to fail.
A product manager or brand manager, needs to remain objective.