All You Need To Know About Being A Product Manager Post-MBA

What is it like to be a product manager, you ask? I would imagine Ravan with his 10 heads, an equal number of arms, each of which are looking at different departments in a cohesive workspace.

“A PM is the CEO of the product” – it sounds like a cool role, but what exactly does it entail?

We’ve shared insights of what is it like to be a Product Manager – right from their career progression, to the skills one needs, different courses you can take and blogs you can follow. To make it easier, we’ve also put on the shoes of a Product Manager at Instagram to experience his/her role while creating their latest product, IGTV.

Now here’s an example to make this simpler.

Instagram recently launched IGTV, a standalone vertical video application for smartphones. It allows its users to upload videos of up to 10 minutes in length (unlike Instagram which lets you upload videos to a maximum length of 60 seconds) and even 60 minutes for verified and popular accounts.

IGTV is Instagram’s latest product. IGTV’s product manager Ashley Yuki was keen on turning Instagram into a money-making machine. She has played a major role in making Instagram’s interface more advertisement friendly and is constantly working on innovating ads on the app’s feed and stories.

The most recent product that she launched was IGTV, which is available on the Instagram app and as a standalone. She envisioned the need for consuming longer video formats on the mobile phone since the current generation has reduced watching television 40% lesser that they did 5 years ago.

So what would have Yuki’s journey been like?
First comes the idea. During the launch of IGTV, Ashley Yuki suggested her motivation for launching the product to be that people now consume most of their content on their mobile phones, videos included. She wanted to create a space, not only for personal sharing but also for various brands, influencers, and advertisers to reach the consumers through easy-to-watch vertical videos.

What comes after the idea? Design & Engineering
Ashley Yuki’s decision to design the product as an extension of Instagram let her tap an already engaged pool of users. However, IGTV is not made into the regular story format but has its own space for viewers to easily distinguish it from Instagram stories. IGTV’s videos appear as rectangular thumbnails at the bottom of the creator’s page, and the viewer can react, comment and share on the same. She has even taken the decision to launch it as a standalone app, and many view this as a decision similar to Facebook’s Messenger story.

Once the product prototype is ready, Yuki and her team would have tested the product amongst them and may have also tested it on a sample user-base. After fixing any bugs and adding more tools to make the application more user-friendly, it is time to come up with the Go2Market strategy and marketing solution.

Yuki’s IGTV marketing solution
With billions of engaged users already on Instagram, IGTV had a smooth Go2Market solution. They partnered with brands who were already popular on Instagram like the former Vine star Lele Pons (25 million Instagram followers), National Geographic (88 million followers) and Benefit Cosmetics to launch videos on IGTV.

What next?
Over the past couple of months since the launch, IGTV has seen a slow growth, even with influencer and brand activities. Yuki and her team will be constantly working on more features on the channel, multiplying user engagement and attracting more brands to collaborate with IGTV exclusive content.

If you see yourself as a product manager then be ready to take on an adventurous challenge. From giving wings to ideas, working on its design and Go2Market strategies, fixing any user problems and even taking major decisions, you’ll be the person.