I've spent the whole day yesterday on a 19th floor of a mid-town highrise with a gorgeous view on Flatiron, Empire State building and other famous Manhattan skyscrapers. I've shared the room with some 25 product managers as this was the meetup of product managers of USV portfolio companies. SoundCloud, StackOverflow, Meetup, Shapeways, Wattpad, and Etsy are just some of the more prominent companies whose product managers shared their experience yesterday. The main takeaway that I got from the meetup was that we're doing just fine at Zemanta and that our product development processes, techniques, approaches, and tools are on par with those of some of the best start-ups on the planet. While we certainly have plenty of room for improvement, it's not only us who struggle with empowerment of product people, specifics of sales people, and whims of engineers.
On the other hand the most surprising thing that I learned yesterday is how many product organizations use Atlassian Jira to track their progress. I smell bureaucracy creeping in as companies grow, but on the other hand it might very well be that Trello is no longer sufficient once you grow past 80 people.