Product Management Interview: Jim Holland

Today, we’re kicking off a series of one-on-one interviews with product management professionals.

Our launch guest is Jim Holland, a 20-year product management veteran and a leader of the product management tribe found on Twitter.

What’s the best career advice Jim received as a young PM? What trends does he see in software product management? If he could be anyone, living or dead, who would he be? Answers to these questions, and more, after the jump…

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Is An MBA Necessary For Product Managers?

I hate paying bills. However, there’s one bill I don’t mind–and that’s the school loan for my masters. Is that because I’m masochistic or because there’s real value in that degree? Is an MBA necessary for Product Managers, or just nice to have?

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Product Management Lessons From The World Of Castlevania

Castlevania is a classic video game I first played in 1986, and instantly fell in love with. It’s a platformer with amazing music, crisp graphics, and monsters. Lots and lots of monsters.

The game is very rewarding–but can also be brutally, frustratingly difficult. Just like being a Product Manager.

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How Do Product Managers Reject Bad Ideas?


They’re coming to you with an idea. Ungallant to reject it, right?

As Product Managers, we’re the Grand Central stations of ideas: We don’t necessarily originate all the ideas for the product, but all ideas should route through us on the way to their final destination. Some ideas go to production, some to the backlog, some back to the drawing board, and others to shallow graves.

Unfortunately, killing off bad ideas isn’t always an easy thing…

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