“I Head Up Product Management”

“And what do you do?”

It’s a question that people wind up asking one another at some point in an initial conversation. I have heard my dear wife Molly (and others in her position) answer, “I’m a stay at home mom” or something to that extent. This never sat well with me. While a true statement, well, it lacks the nuance, heft or breadth her role carries. I think a full-time mom or dad is one of the grander, elusive, frustrating and rewarding assignments one can have. Particularly those that go “whole hog” and home school their child or children. (As for those who juggle a career and raise children, that’s sure looks like yet a different, intricate and at times nutty ballgame.)

Back to the original answer stated up front – it is too simplistic. Perhaps due to my days in advertising, I pondered how to re-craft it in today’s language. If it was an advertising strategy, it would be something like this:

Convince: Friends and acquaintances (particularly those who don’t have children)
That: A “full time” parent’s responsibilities can be more challenging than meets the eye
Because: The role has many facets, similar to their own day job

The response that emerged is much different, “I head up product management at our place. That includes leading up design, development, build, test, pilot, launch, choosing the raw materials, more recalls than I care for, retooling, and re-deploying. Those are our 2 models, and I’m their mom.”

Product Lead, and Her Works-in-Progress
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2008 (click for larger image)

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  1. Anonymous September 10, 2008 at 2:54 am

    That’s another good way of explaining her job title. Excellent answer!


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