Success, in bott the music and the cloud industry, is not merely about having the best product, delivered by the most capable performers.
Even the best product (be it a service or a song) will only make it to the top of the charts if it has been put together with just enough magic to make it stand out from the crowd. In music this has been the realm of the producer. Although producers typically operate behind the scenes, many of us are familiar with icons like Quincy Jones, Phil Spector and Nile Rodgers, who – with “Pressure Off” – enabled Duran Duran to have an album in the top 100 for four consecutive decades. Some producers even have such a recognisable sound that they define a whole category of music. For those interest, here a longer list, but reader beware, not all producers ended well.
In the cloud the role most closely resembling that of a producer is the product manager (or PM for short). With limited direct reports and often no own budget their role is to make the whole sound better than the parts. Similar to their music producing peers many live their lives in relative anonymity, but some can be found in the wild, mostly on twitter, but also here and here (also see the Gartner PM framework and our upcoming growth event).
Personally I expect 2019 to be the year where the pressure is ON for more PMs to step into the limelight.
The video that accompanied Duran Duran’s “Pressure Off” went on to win the 2015 MTV EMA Video Visionary Award, no less then 12 years after the band received MTVs life time achievement award, demonstrating that the art of producing is not just important to newbies and start-up’s