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How can I explain product management to my mom?

One of the better analogies we've found to describe product management to an audience that knows nothing about product development is the celebrity chef. Many of these chefs own restaurants. However, if you visit one of these eateries, it would be silly to expect to find that the celebrity owner in the kitchen boiling water and cutting carrots. Likewise, the chef is unlikely to bring you the wine list. Rather, the chef defines a menu in the context of an overall experience (service, ambiance) and then works with a team of technicians to realize that vision. If you are unhappy at the end of your meal at one of these restaurants, it's not the person who cooked the food you will complain about to your friends; you will blame the celebrity chef because she is ultimately accountable for delivering a great dining experience (although many other people make an important contribution).

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