Generalist vs. Specialist Product Managers: Which One is the Right Fit for Your Company?

Product management is a crucial role in the success of a business, responsible for ensuring the development, launch, and ongoing success of a product. In today’s competitive market, companies need experienced product managers who can lead and manage a team, while understanding and delivering on the needs of the customer. However, there are two primary types of product managers: generalists and specialists. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between these two types of product managers and help you understand which one is better for your company.

Generalist Product Managers

Generalist product managers have a broad range of skills and experience in various areas, such as marketing, design, engineering, and customer service. They possess an overall understanding of the product development process and are responsible for driving the product vision, strategy, and roadmap. They can be seen as a jack of all trades, capable of managing many areas and often end up working in smaller startups where a broad range of skills is needed.

Specialist Product Managers

Specialist product managers, on the other hand, are experts in a particular area, such as design, engineering, or analytics. They have deep knowledge and expertise in one specific area of the product development process and work in large companies with a well-defined product development process. They work closely with cross-functional teams, such as designers, engineers, and analysts, to ensure that the product meets the specific requirements of that particular area of expertise.

Which is Better?

The answer to this question depends on the company and the product being developed. In smaller companies, generalist product managers are often the preferred choice because they have a broad range of skills and experience. They can manage multiple areas of the product development process and have a better understanding of the product as a whole. Moreover, they can adapt to changes in the company and market.

On the other hand, larger companies require specialist product managers who have deep expertise in a particular area. They can provide specific insights and recommendations to the company and their team, ensuring the product meets the specific needs of the customer. Furthermore, their expertise allows them to make informed decisions, reducing the likelihood of errors and delays in the product development process.


To sum up, there is no “better” type of product manager. The type of product manager that is best for your company depends on the size of the company, the complexity of the product, and the needs of the customers. A generalist product manager may be more appropriate for smaller companies, while specialist product managers may be better suited for larger companies with more complex products.

In any case, it is essential to find a product manager with a solid understanding of the product development process and the needs of the customer. They should be able to effectively communicate with cross-functional teams and provide guidance and leadership to ensure the product’s success. Whether you choose a generalist or specialist product manager, the most important thing is to find the right fit for your company and product.