I was watching the slightly oddball Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock tonight watching my wife roll her eyes at the intense thinking faces and very British action when it struck me that Sherlock Holmes would have been a great product manager.
He is inquisitive and perceptive, which is the very essence of a great product manager.
He thinks big, which all product managers need to do to get anything done and release great products that transform and make people happy.
He is strong, “Few men were capable of greater muscular effort.” This is important for a product manager, they need to be able to fight or be charming when required.
Sherlock Holmes is an expert in science, medicine, forensic science. Holmes gets technology and the technical stuff. Product managers need to be technical, not experts, but technical. They need to be able to talk with developers and architects and know hen they are being bullshitted or stonewalled.
Holmes is also an expert at the feely-type stuff, history, Latin, music, geology. This informs his amazing powers of deduction and his creativity. Just as a product manager needs to be technical, they also need to be able to grapple with the creative side, with what colour a button should be, with the right UX to help customers get stuff done, with what makes people tick.
Want to be a better product manager? Be like Sherlock Holmes.