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Transitioning from startup founder to product manager

Lenny Rachitsky
Lenny's Newsletter
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Each week, Lenny tackles reader questions. In the article, the reader had sold his company to another startup and needed some tips on how to transition from Startup Founder to Product Manager of the new company.

Transitioning from Startup Founder to Product Manager

  1. Being a PM is very different from being a founder – As a founder, you are rewarded if your company succeeds. Even if you create constant chaos, repeatedly change course, and piss people off. As a PM, your job is to avoid chaos, changing course, and pissing people off. As a PM focus on teamwork, collaboration, execution, buy-in, and communication.
  2. Don’t lose your entrepreneurial spirit — Be the change you want to see in the world. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on what the company should change in order to move faster and work better.
  3. Find a PM buddy (or two) — Ask them what it takes to be successful. If you’re the first PM in the org, then find a peer in a different function.
  4. Be humble, ask questions.
  5. Listen to your boss. 
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