How to Be a Bad Product Manager: A Guide to Failure

Arush Sharma
2 min readApr 20, 2024


So you want to be a product manager? But not a good product manager, of course. Those guys are all about taking responsibility, building successful products, and leading their teams. Boring!

No, you want to be the kind of product manager who inspires fear and loathing in everyone around them. The kind of product manager who leaves a trail of failed launches and disgruntled colleagues in their wake.

Here's a handy guide to help you achieve your dream of product management mediocrity:

  1. Embrace the Blame Game:

Things going wrong? It's not your fault! It's the engineers' fault, it's marketing's fault, it's even the dog's fault for chewing on the power cord. Nobody expects you to take ownership of problems.

2. Communication is Key (Not Really):

Forget clear, concise communication. Why write things down when you can just ramble on in endless meetings? Verbal pronouncements are the hallmark of a bad product manager.

3. Information Overload:

Drown your team in a sea of questions. Make them spend all their time answering your inquiries instead of actually getting work done. Remember, a good product manager is basically a glorified gopher.

4. Reactive Roy:

Why plan ahead when you can just react to every crisis as it explodes in your face? Proactive problem solving is for the birds. Embrace the thrill of putting out fires all day long.

5. The Feature Factory:

Who cares about user needs or market fit? Just keep adding features! The more complex and convoluted your product, the better. After all, who doesn’t love a good user interface nightmare?

6. Lost in the Fog:

Focus on everything except your customers and revenue. Let the competition dictate your every move. Remember, good products are for suckers!

7. Confusing Conversations:

Value proposition? Market share? Pricing strategy? Sounds like gibberish to a bad product manager. Keep everyone guessing with your nonsensical ramblings.

8. The Passive Product Manager:

Leadership is for chumps. Wait around for someone else to tell you what to do. After all, why take initiative when you can point fingers later?

9. The Punctuality Police (Not):

Show some disrespect for your team's time! Regularly miss deadlines and blow off status reports. Who needs discipline when you can be delightfully chaotic?

By following these simple steps, you'll be well on your way to becoming a truly terrible product manager.

Remember, the key is to avoid responsibility, clarity, and anything resembling a successful product launch. Now get out there and fail spectacularly!