I’ve been fortunate to work with and manage some great product managers in my career. Each one had their own style and strengths. They all added dimension to my understanding of good product management.

One thing that was common amongst all of them - they all deeply understood the why and how of their products.

The Why is what motivates customers to use a product. It drives people to take out their phones and open your app, or visit your website. The Why is about understanding people, the environments they are in, and the problems they encounter. Why doesn’t come easy - it often reveals itself in nuance and conversation.

The How is what customers do in a product. It’s the behaviours, the interactions, and how they feel going through your product. The How is about the measurable feedback - for an individual customer or your entire base. How can be easy to start, but difficult to do well. It reveals itself with intention about what to measure.

I’ve met many PM’s who are better at one or the other. In a team, it’s not uncommon where one PM is focused on “Why” and another on “How”.

When a team lacks one of these perspectives, it’s never good. Why without How can lead to big vision without any accountability for success. How without Why leads to short term thinking because no one understands the real problem being solved.

When put together, How and Why provide the perspectives to build great products.