Hello there, I’m Mert Alican Bektaş, lead product manager of UserGuiding – a code-free user onboarding software.
I love success stories because they encourage me to work hard on my goals. I learn from other people’s experiences and use their knowledge to get better at what I do.
In this article, I have gathered some of the most successful product managers to follow in 2020. As a product manager myself, I follow each of the individuals on the list and I suggest you do the same.
The experiences and the insights they provide you with on their personal accounts and blogs are priceless.
Interested in becoming a Product Manager? Make sure to check out our article “Product Manager Career Path“.
1- Carlos González de Villaumbrosia – CEO of Product School
He is currently a Product Council Member of Forbes with years of experience in product management.
“I hold a BS in computer science from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a BS in management engineering from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, and a certificate in global business management and marketing from the University of California, Berkeley.”
Also, he has written an article for our blog, “User Onboarding 101 for Product Managers”. Make sure you check it out!
2- Jules Walter – Product at Slack
Previous director of product in Storefront, world’s leading short-term retail marketplace, Jules Walter is currently a product leader at Slack.
Having graduated from Harvard Business School and MIT, he is an experienced startup and growth advisor. He is also the co-founder of BlackPMs.com and president of CodePath.org.
3- Diana Kimball Berlin – Product Manager at Quip
She is also a Harvard Business School graduate, and she has her personal blog, where she shares the secrets of product management. Yes, that is a great chance to know more about her.
She co-founded ROFLCon, which is held at MIT, while she was still a college student back at Harvard.
Upon graduation, she had some real success in companies like Soundcloud and Kickstarter, which allowed her to become famous in product management.
She is also pursuing some other opportunities like co-hosting the ‘Should We’ podcasts.
If you’d like to communicate her, you can write here at [email protected]
4- Paul Jackson – Chief Product and Technology Officer of Level and a Founding Partner of Pivot
With over 15 years of experience in product design and management, Paul Jackson is a great product manager that acquired great success throughout his career.
He currently is the Chief Product and Technology Officer of Level, a financial wellness platform for the enterprise.
He regularly shares articles and valuable content on product management on his Twitter account.
You may also want to follow him on LinkedIn.
5- Lulu Cheng – Product Manager of Discovery Team at Pinterest
What that successful businessperson really cares about is the wellbeing of their team members!
She firmly believes that the happier the people who are working for you, the more successful performances you can get which brings you in the end: The Best Product
She had previously worked as a Product Marketer in Microsoft and Dropbox. Her name was mentioned in the ‘52 Women Making an Impact in Product Management’ in the Product Management Festival.
You can find and follow her on LinkedIn.
6- Ken Norton – Former Product Manager at Google, Current Partner of Google Ventures
Ken Norton is famous for the quote: “I bring the donuts!”
If it sounds bizarre to be known with such a quote, you can read the story behind it here: Leading Cross-functional Teams Always Bring the Donuts. Yay! That is his own website, where you can find his articles.
He has worked in Google as a Product Manager for over ten years, which brought him the fame and experience he has now.
He is very good with tech and start-up business, and he is a perfect example for the ones who want their name to be heard in product management.
He currently manages Google Ventures. A rolling stone gathers no moss. He is totally one of the product managers to follow.
7- Hunter Walk – Partner at Homebrew, Former Product Manager at Google, Head of Product at YouTube
If you happen to come across his CV or LinkedIn profile, you will see that his background tells everything. There are no more words to say.
On the other hand, if you check his website, you can see it says ‘99% Humble, 1%Brag’.
Upon his graduation from Stanford University (MBA), he worked at YouTube leading product management, and then he joined Google in 2003 as a product manager.
He is currently a partner of Homebrew.
8- Alicia Dixon – Senior Product Manager at Hilton Worldwide
She is just another famous one among product managers to follow. She is known for saying “Product is all about continuous learning.”
She is a true expert on mobile product design and management. She shared her knowledge on This Is Product Management with her session titled as Mobile Product Design is Product Management.
If you are looking for a real career inspiration, Alicia, who is now the PM at Hilton Worldwide, is one of the most successful product managers to follow in 2020.
You may check her LinkedIn profile.
9- Julie Zhuo – Author of the Bestseller ‘The Making of a Manager’, Managing Partner at Inspirit, Former Vice President of Product Design at Facebook
She describes herself as a “lover of food, games, and words.”
Julie Zhuo was working for Facebook for 14 years, 11 of which were spent on managing product design and management.
She is one of the most influential people about how we see UX centric products as a professional in the subjects of design and product management.
She is currently managing her own firm named Inspirit. I strongly recommend that you have a look at her success story.
You can check out her LinkedIn profile here.
10- Den Olsen – Author of ‘The Lean Product Playbook’, Interim VP of Product, Co-founder and, CEO of Tech Crunch YourVersion
He is a very famous product manager in Silicon Valley and organizes the ultimate outstanding Lean Product & Lean UX Silicon Valley Meetup.
His book is as popular as himself not only among the product managers but also the entrepreneurs who are searching the ways to be successful in this job.
So far, he has worked for Microsoft, Facebook and Box.
You may want to check his website.
11- Rajiv Srivatsa – Co-founder of Urban Ladder, Former Senior Product Manager at Yahoo
Even though his first focus was initially on IT related fields, working for Yahoo as a product manager has changed Rajiv Srivatsa’s point of view.
He co-founded Urban Ladder, and now it is becoming a very well known destination for those who look for reliable furniture.
Srivatsa says: “The most successful product managers to follow would say 95% NO!” His reason for saying this is that they must think through thoroughly before they agree on something.
His LinkedIn profile is here for those who would like to have inspiration.
12- Gibson Biddle – Speaker, Teacher, and Former Netflix Product Manager
He started his product management career even when there wasn’t much concept of product management in the 90s.
Biddle worked for Mattel and Sega and then as a result of his outstanding success, he was offered a job at Netflix as a product manager.
During his lead in PM, the number of Netflix members grew from 2,5 million to 12,8 million. He now spends his time as a lecturer, giving inspiration to those who want to achieve more in product management.
Frequently Asked Questions
😎 Who is a Product Manager?
A Product Manager is someone who is job is to manage every aspect of the product from development to customer service, ensuring the product’s success.
❓Why is Product Management important?
As Product Managers ensure the internal teams of a company are aligned under the same vision, they maximize the chances of a product’s success.
📝 How can I become a Product Manager?
Online and in-class courses on product management are available throughout the world if you are interested in becoming a PM, you can also follow famous product managers.