Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz is not only the author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things and highly successful venture capitalist but also one of the most influential product managers of our times. His treatise Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager has defined the role of a product manager first at Netscape and later throughout the startup community as Horowitz's disciples founded startups and spread the good practices of successful product managers. One of the more important evangelists of good product management practices that originated at Netscape is Marty Cagan who together with Ben Horowitz and David Weiden defined the roles and responsibilities of a product manager at Netscape, then set up product development organization at Ebay (which eventually become a model of product organization at Facebook) and for the past decade helped startups put in place a process to create products that customers would love.

Among the companies that Marty Cagan helped is also Zemanta and the fact that I learned my trade from Marty and therefore I can trace my product manager lineage directly to Ben Horowitz has been one of the greatest sources of my confidence as a product manager. Additionally, the fact that both Horowitz and Cagan are originally software engineers gives me confirmation that engineers can make for some of the best product managers if only we manage to augment our engineering expertize with an understanding of how businesses are run, how markets operate, and how customers feel.