On the other hand, the best product managers work at small startups that you haven’t heard of yet. They have the enormous personal scope and responsibility to drive the creation of fantastic products/services because their small teams (mostly devs, plus a couple of sales/marketing people and a founder or two) adore them and have given them the keys.
WHY SMALL COMPANIES?
Small companies live and die by finding a market fit, shipping real solutions, and bringing in revenue, so the politics and hierarchy at (great) small companies are 30x slower than the (excellent) huge companies listed below by Lewis.
Because there’s nowhere to hide, experience, good judgment, and the ability to bring the team together shine through. When they have a good one, the rest of the company knows.
Of course, there is high risk because no safety net or product management is mentoring at small startups. On the other hand, the rest of us see the results much later when Slack or Wealthfront make the front pages, and everyone wants to join.