The State of Blockchain PM as 2019 Begins

This is the second in the “state of” series. It started last year with this post.

It  feels like appreciation for project and product managers at crypto  projects increased over the past year. We’re still a not at general  acceptance level though.

As teams start focusing on shipping the  need for PM’s becomes clearer. As they struggle with shipping the need  becomes more urgent. Most projects seem to be somewhere between those  two places.

VC-funded projects hire PM’s. They’re also the  projects that often have a Silicon Valley pedigree to some extent. I’ve  spoken to a couple well respected VC’s in the space about this.

Both  recognize PM’s as a critical differentiator between projects that ship  and those that don’t. They see PM’s as critical roles in the teams they  fund and support.

Self-funded projects (I’m hesitating to use the  ICO term here…) seem to be catching-on too. Many still resist any type  of structure whatsoever. They see any centralized coordination as  unnecessary at best. They believe swarms and self-organization are  enough to achieve their goals.

Others are starting to hire PM’s.  These projects are typically the more mature ones, from the perspective  of lifespan or leadership team maturity.

Projects that haven’t  shipped in 9+ months, for example, want and need the help PM’s provide.  Projects that have leadership teams with a win under their belt in  previous lives recognize the need too.

(Tip: Take a look at projects that fit one or both criteria and offer to help them ? )

That  said, PM’s at crypto projects have been laid off this year too. PM’s  get grouped into the non-essential personnel category. This is a broad  category, incorporating almost everyone except core developers.

So  I’d say the general outlook for crypto PM’s is hopeful. We still have a  lot to prove though. The good news is the opportunities for us to prove  them seem to be on the rise.

P.S. - This was first published in my Blockchain PM newsletter here. Subscribe for free to receive posts like this and PM jobs listings about once a week.

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