Pete LePage

Thoughts on web development, life, and photography.

Week 4 as a Product Manager

One of the people I report to this week asked me what the difference between a Product Manager and a GREAT Product Manager.  It turns out the difference is in how you answer a question.  Instead of saying how difficult something is going to be to do, you just say, “consider it done!”  It is kind of the culture of Microsoft, don’t say no, ask how high.  In order to do a great job here, you have to realize that you’re going to be asked to do the difficult.  Notice I didn’t say you’ll be asked to do the impossible, there is a difference.  I haven’t been asked to do the impossible, I’ve been asked to do the difficult.  And so far, I’ve kept my head above water. 😃

I’ve learned a few valuable lessons so far.  We have an alias for all the people who report to my lead’s boss.  Generally the email alias is used to gather info, or share info, but just as importantly, it’s used to make fun of those people who don’t lock their computers.  In my old product group, nothing like that ever took place, they were a tonne of fun, but there weren’t too many pranks going on.  It seems to be that the group up stairs likes to play pranks.  One woman came back a from a few days away to find her office tinfoiled.  The WHOLE thing.  Pens included.

A lot of things have crossed my plate in the last few weeks, and I’m not able to blog as often as I’d like.  It’s not that there isn’t stuff to blog about, it’s more that there isn’t time to do it.  I’m currently working on getting two events together, An Ajax Experience in Boston October 23-26 and Web Design World again in Boston, December 11-13.  I’m also REALLY excited to hear they announced a Web Directions - North in Vancouver, February 6-10 2007.  If you’ve not been to Vancouver, I’d highly recommend it, it’s a beautiful city!  I’ve found a great web page on that lists all kinds of upcoming web conferences that I’m using to help keep track of what’s going on in the web conference world.

One of the other topics that I’m trying to work on is creating a IE Resource Kit CD/DVD.  I’m not sure what it’s going to entail yet, or what will be on it, but it’s something that I think would be fantastic for developers!  I want to try to have it done for WDW, but I’m not 100% sure I’m going to be able to get that done.  If there is anything you can think of, let me know!  I’d love to add it.

I’ve also moved to the 4th floor of my building.  In my five years at Microsoft, I’ve lost track of the number of offices I’ve had, but I think this is the 9th office I’ve been in.  Yes, 9 office moves.  Hopefully I’ll get to keep this one for a while, but I’m not holding my breath!  The crazy thing about the 9 office moves is that they’ve all be in one building. I’ve never left building 42. Most of my friends have been in 3 or 4 buildings in their time here at Microsoft, and think it’s crazy that I’ve never left this building.  I just keep telling them it’s because I’m in the building that is the answer.

And I gotta say, I’ve been an iPod guy for YEARS.  But this Zune thing, it excites me.  A LOT.  A few friends have them already for testing, and as much as I love my iPod, it’s going up for sale in the near future.  The next question is how to diverge myself from all the songs I’ve bought on the iTunes Music Store.  (BTW: Check out the Scissor Sisters new CD!!!)