Looking for a product expert to follow and learn from as they share their experiences in product management?
The world of product management as we know it has become more competitive than it has ever been. With more companies scrambling to innovate in order to succeed in their respective industries, a product manager’s margin for error has become smaller.
According to data from UX Cam, optimized product managers have the potential to increase a company’s earnings by close to 35%.
With the pressure to keep product assets afloat and thriving in their competitive markets, product managers look to product experts to help them level their skills and establish themselves as industry leaders.
This article presents seven top product experts to follow. We expound on their achievements in the field and discuss why you must keep abreast with their latest developments if you want to succeed in product management.
Let’s dive in.
What Does a Product Expert Do?
A product expert is someone who is knowledgeable about, experienced in, and familiar with effective product management processes as well as the elements that make up successful products. Being specialists in the field of product management means that product experts are authorities on the subject and contribute to its development and progress.
Since being a product expert involves being knowledgeable about product management, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact responsibilities that they carry out on a day-to-day basis. Instead, here is a list of general traits that characterize these professionals:
- Has a wealth of experience managing different types of products
- Understands the typical challenges that product managers face on the job and is knowledgeable enough to provide solutions to these problems
- Has significant experience in product leadership and consultancy roles
- Has enough experience trying different product management approaches and frameworks to evaluate each one’s effectiveness
- Is knowledgeable about product-led growth practices and how they are critical to a business’s growth in today’s competitive market
- Knows how to foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement within product teams and their respective companies
- Provides strategic guidance and technical support for product teams who require assistance during product development
- Remains up-to-date with the latest developments and trends in business, product development, and key industries that have an impact on product success
- Knows the most effective frameworks and approaches to communicate with customers and end-users
- Uses their position as product leaders to influence other professionals in the field on methods of product management
It’s important to note that a product expert does not need to embody all of these traits. After all, since being a product expert does not equate to a job title, there is no obligation on their end to showcase these characteristics at any given time. However, these traits do help you identify a real product expert whenever you come across one.
The Benefits of Following a Product Expert
Since product experts are specialists in the domain of product management, there is much to gain from following their careers and keeping abreast with their latest developments. Here are some of these benefits:
- Hone your product management skills by gaining insight into their preferred methodologies and management approaches
- Gain clarity on areas within the field of product management that you are unfamiliar with or unsure about
- Learn tips, tactics, and strategies that help to advance your career as a product professional and move up the ladder
- Deepen your understanding of product management on a granular level by finding out how specialists approach this field
- Implement their people-management and team-boosting skills in your own product teams to improve productivity on the job
Whether you are a seasoned product manager or just getting started, following a product expert fits in with the age-old belief that learning is a continuous cycle that you must embrace to stay ahead in your field.
7 Product Experts to Follow
Becoming a rockstar product manager is a lifelong journey.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. As you build experience in your career, give a listening ear to those who have proven themselves as leaders in the product field and learn from their experiences.
In no particular order, here are 7 product experts to look to as you move on with your career:
Ronke Majekodunmi is an award-winning product leader who has been the Director of Product Management at Promevo since June 2022. Prior to that, Ronke held the position of Senior Product Manager at PayPal. With an MBA from DeVry University and over ten years of experience in Software as a Service (SaaS) product development, Ronke has earned recognition from platforms such as Product School, Localized World, and Women in Product for her contribution toward product development.
Through her articles and podcast dubbed ‘Product Magic’, Ronke shares insight into her career and success as a product leader to inspire others to become leaders themselves and be the best versions of themselves as specialists in product management.
Stephanie J Neill
Stephanie is a San-Francisco-based product leader with over 15 years of experience managing, growing, and bettering products across several industries. During the course of her career, Stephanie has used her platform as a people-first product expert to maximize business value, drive innovation, and develop robust, user-focused product strategies with the product teams at the companies she’s worked at.
Throughout her career, Stephanie has held several leadership positions within the field of product management. As of August 2022, she is the VP of Product at Twitch, a position that she has held since June 2019. Stephanie is active on her LinkedIn page, where she shares important insights on product management and the lessons she has learned thus far in her career.
Fabio is a product leader with a wealth of experience in product management at startups. Based in Tennessee, as of August 2022, Fabio is a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, where he specializes in transportation technology.
Apart from holding a senior position in product management, Fabio has gone on to launch PM Circles, a product management community startup that offers small group development activities to empower its members to succeed at their jobs. Similar to Stephanie, Fabio is an active user on LinkedIn, where he shares important lessons he’s learned along his career to teach his fellow product managers about his triumphs and failures as a product leader.
Jiaona is a product leader who, as of August 2022, holds the post of VP of Product at Webflow. At Webflow, Jiaona is the person responsible for all product teams, including the design, development, research, and partnership teams, among others. Jiaona is a seasoned product expert whose experience in building multi-million revenue-generating consumer platforms and products has earned her recognition as a top product leader by brands such as Product School.
Similar to most product experts, Jiaona makes use of her LinkedIn profile to contribute to the development and refining of product management processes and principles.
Ebi Atawodi is an experienced product expert whose drive for building sustainable, impactful products has amassed her an extensive catalog of insightful experience in the field. As of April 2022, Ebi is the Director of Product Management at Youtube Studio. However, she has held other senior product management positions. For example, she held the position of Director of Product (Payments EMEA) at Netflix from March 2021 to March 2022. She was also the Head of Product for Payments and Financial Products at Uber from February 2017 to February 2021.
With her vast experience in product management across several past and present Fortune 500 companies, product managers who follow Ebi’s progress, insights, and lessons stand a chance of boosting their own capabilities as product leaders.
Aggelos is a Greece-based product-led growth and pricing consultant who specializes in B2B SaaS companies. Apart from that, Aggelos also has experience building churn-reduction programs and customer research processes for companies to help them acquire better customers and reduce their likelihood of churning.
Aggelos is also the founder of Growth Sandwich, a product-led transformation service agency where he also shares unique insights on product development and management processes.
Rita McGrath is an author, professor, speaker, and product leader who specializes in exploring unforeseen change and innovation within corporate entities. As a professor, Rita works at Columbia Business School where she is responsible for courses such as ‘Leading Strategic Growth and Change,’ among others.
Rita is a prolific speaker who has received numerous accolades from established brands for her powerful delivery on topics related to innovation, product development, and business growth. Aspiring and seasoned product managers alike study her work and listen to her talks to gain insight into the experiences and lessons she’s acquired thus far in her career.
Is Following a Product Expert Worth It?
Regardless of whether you’re new to the field of product management or amassed years’ worth of experience already, you always stand to gain from following the advances of your fellow peers.
Feel free to follow the product experts featured above on LinkedIn or via their personal websites to gain continuous insight into their professional lives and the advances they’ve made or key lessons they have to share.
Paying attention to their progress and taking note of their most valuable lessons equips you with the knowledge to refine your own product management processes and stand a better chance of succeeding as a product leader.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Where do I find out about other product experts?
Subscribe to our newsletter. Every week, we release a broadcast that contains some of our top product management reads, podcasts, videos, or lessons shared by product leaders all around the world. Keep an eye out for the leaders we reference and check out their material.
2. What skills must you look for in a product expert to know that they’re legit?
There is no hard and fast rule to knowing how to discern true product experts from fakes. When you come across someone who you think is worth following, do your own background checks. Find out more about their experience in product management. If you need to, visit their LinkedIn profile, go through their resume, and take note of their achievements, or lack thereof. Knowing who they are and their professional experience allows you to judge for yourself whether they are authorities in the field or not.
3. Does it make sense to follow more than one product expert at once?
There is no harm in following the career paths and learning from more than one product manager at the same time. These experts are learning resources, not mentors or coaches. Use them to inform your understanding of product management and the challenges they face. Doing so helps to inspire you along your journey to becoming a product expert in your own right.