Product Managers: Should You Build, Buy, or Partner?


Product Management focuses on launching a new product or improving an existing one. It begins with an idea for a product that customers will use and finishes with an assessment of success. Marketing, sales, product development, and business are integrated through product management. Research has shown that good product management can boost profits by 34.2%. 

Developing and defining a product strategy is one of the essential tasks of product management. A Product Manager is in charge of product management, and do not mistake this position for a project manager. A Product Manager is in charge of leading a product from the inception of an idea through launch, concentrating on features, business benefits, and the consumer.  

Business Manager vs. Product Manager? All product managers are business managers, yet not all business managers are product managers. The Product Manager solely works on the product and can be part of an association of many Product Managers. The Business Manager takes care of the overall business comprising multiple products. 

Product Manager vs. Buyer? The Product Manager collaborates closely with other departments and cross-disciplinary teams to identify each group’s needs. They turn them into workable solutions that are applied to the product. As a result, the buyer is given instructions to purchase products that the company needs. 

What Does A Product Manager Ideally do with a Product/Service? 

A Product Manager needs to be proficient in management, technology, and user experience. Knowing company strategies, product information, and interpersonal skills is essential. Basic product knowledge is crucial for those new to this sector because they often spend most of their time obtaining and arranging information on the product, its clients, and its rivals. With practice, project managers begin transitioning to company management and may be needed to work on strategic planning, team building, finance, and marketing. 

  • Opportunity identification: It is one of a Product Manager’s main responsibilities. Their primary goals must be improvement and ongoing progress, and they must keep up with technology developments to adapt company solutions to changing conditions. 
  • Identify and Develop: In addition to focusing on immediate objectives, Product Managers must also define the long-term mission. They must lay up a plan and put strategies into place to achieve the goals. They must take action to either upgrade the current product or create new solutions based on the state of the market. 
  • Team Management: As the team’s leader, a Product Manager ensures that everyone gets along well enough to finish the project on schedule. They act as a link between both the client and the team responsible for product development. After evaluating the assignment with the client, they outline it for the development team to do the task to the specifications. 
  • Marketing Activities: To achieve company objectives, a Product Manager redesigns business models based on research and analysis. They recommend ideas to advance sales while working with the marketing team to promote sales activities. Additionally, Product Managers routinely examine customer input and develop ways to close any gaps. 
  • Monitoring Progress: Monitoring progress is essential for success and ongoing development. Product Managers oversee administrative chores and improve areas where the company lags behind its rivals. They must also figure out how to make company operations more efficient and create a workflow that is smooth from beginning to end. 
  • PM Roles at Various Levels: A Product Manager’s functions and responsibilities differ slightly from those of other employees at the company. With cross-functional leaders that put their customers’ needs first, PMs are expected to provide excellent customer service. Their functions and responsibilities can also be split into ongoing tasks, transient duties, and long-term obligations. 

Importance of Making a “SMART” Decision 

The capacity to see the broad picture and imagine what success will look like in the future is a trait shared by many successful small-business owners. Here are some of the tasks that successful business entrepreneurs carry out to keep their eyes on the future and advance. 

  • Pushing Boundaries Through Goal-Setting 

Setting goals is a terrific method to identify your priorities, gauge your progress, and keep track of your accomplishments. And for those who are most successful, goals also offer a chance to step outside our routine and take risks. Your company can achieve greater levels of success if you develop a plan for this expansion that includes long- and short-term goals, a business plan, or even a single, focused activity. The “SMART” acronym might be useful when setting goals. 

  • Put the Customer First 

The sustained success of a small firm is significantly influenced by its ability to keep loyal customers. Regular customers guarantee consistent income, and pleased customers can provide effective word-of-mouth advertising. Being customer service-oriented will help you promote recurring business and offer superior products or services. This entails soliciting input and responding, taking swift and thorough action, and being accountable. 

  • Be Determined to Learn Continuously 

No matter how much success you have, there is always more to learn and put into practice for even greater success. There are many ways to expand your knowledge and keep learning so your business may continue to develop, even if you do not have the ability or the desire to learn in a typical classroom setting. Online training, self-paced courses, group projects, peer mentoring, and even reading are all examples of continuous learning. 

  • Discover How to Delegate 

Finding out how to delegate effectively might mean the difference between achieving greater levels and becoming burnt out, whether you have staff, subcontractors, or family helping you. Many small-business owners are used to doing a variety of tasks by themselves rather than hiring outside assistance. Therefore, deciding which tasks you can delegate to others rather than take on yourself might be difficult. But after you get beyond the obstacle, you’ll have more time to focus on developing your company, which is what you do best. 

  • Gain More Productivity 

As a small business owner, you will have to complete several everyday chores to keep your operation going well. Some of these duties will be routine. Your small business has a greater chance of success the more efficiently you handle the day-to-day management chores. By creating systems to automate these activities, you can increase productivity. 

  • Maintain Your Technology 

Every firm uses technology; therefore, small business owners may gain from knowing how it affects their particular industry as well as keeping up with its developments. Small-business owners can make better judgments and save money, time, and other resources by staying current with new technology. 

  • Alter Your Marketing Strategies 

It can be beneficial to modify continuously, test, and mix your marketing efforts to determine what is effective and what is not and the outcome it generates. Many small-business owners are aware of the new dynamics that social media and online marketing may bring to the promotion of their products and services. The most prosperous small firms are open to experimenting with new online marketing channels in addition to existing offline marketing initiatives to see which ones generate the most attention. Even though you don’t have to complete all these tasks at once, most prosperous small-business entrepreneurs find a way to fit them in gradually. 

Due to the fragmented and dynamic nature of the IoT ecosystem today, many businesses will need to “create, purchase, collaborate” concurrently. For instance, because cybersecurity is such a specialist area, many suppliers must purchase or obtain a license to provide their products. Each seller performs a different amount of “build, purchase, partner,” depending on their unique circumstances. 

  • The Build Solution: Utilizing the resources you own, manage, or have a contract with, develop the solution on your own. 
  1. Highest level of functionality and development control 
  2. IP attribution and defense 
  • The Buy Option: Procure all or any of the components from an outside source. Includes purchasing a company (in whole or part) for its technology or licensing technology. 
  1. More rapid time to market 
  2. Efficient utilization of resources 
  3. Executed with less risk. 
  • The Partner Option: Join forces with a comparable solution or service provider to integrate and market a joint solution. 
  1. Go after a chance that neither of you could do by yourselves. 
  2. More rapid time to market 
  3. Availability of particular knowledge and abilities 

What Should You Choose? 

A third party’s pre-existing off-the-shelf solution may be purchased or licensed by your business as a result of your review. This strategy has many benefits, including quick market time and having a tested solution with a track record of satisfied customers. There are also a lot of difficulties, such as the inability to customize a product to meet your specific needs and the potential unsustained ableness of the total ownership cost throughout the product’s lifespan. 

You can decide that it makes sense to align with a complementary product on the market. This strategy has many of the same benefits, drawbacks, and trade-offs as the “purchase” option. 

A solution specifically tailored to your needs may be the best alternative for you if going the buy or partner route doesn’t seem like the best course of action for your company. One benefit of this strategy is that the solution may be adequately developed and constructed to meet your objectives and evolve naturally as your business requires. However, for this strategy to be effective, there must be a certain amount of the firm’s internal maturity and discipline and a strong commitment throughout the business. Whether to build, purchase, or collaborate is one strategy. Each business is unique, and its specific circumstances will dictate how it approaches the process and chooses a final answer. 


Product Managers and product owners share strategic and tactical tasks. The graphic demonstrates that they have a shared strategic duty to comprehend the product strategy, vision, and roadmap objectives. The product owner has tactical responsibilities on the development team’s side, such as ensuring that user stories and acceptance criteria are truly “ready.” The Product Manager has additional tactical responsibilities on the business side, including monitoring product finances and assisting marketing with product messaging.  

UNext Jigsaw, a top provider of training in emerging technologies, offers upskilling programs in Product Management to assist students and aspirants in developing successful careers in the aforementioned expanding industry.

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