The ‘Superheroes’ of the Chip Sector: The Rise of Product Managers

When you think of product managers, you might envision young, fashion-forward individuals, Starbucks in hand, with a keen glint in their eye. Indeed, these are the magicians transforming startups from wandering lambs into guiding lions. This holds true even in the semiconductor industry.

Product Managers

Reflecting on the evolution of China’s chip sector, we’ve transitioned from Huawei Hisilicon’s “dynasty phase” to Unisoc’s “tech phase,” and now, we’re navigating the “product-focused” new era. Here, product managers serve as the team’s strategists, marrying technical know-how with market acumen – they’re practically walking encyclopedias.

Imagine the old chip companies like Mr. Wang lost on the street, glancing around aimlessly, unsure of which way to go. Enter the product manager, and suddenly Mr. Wang has GPS – not only does he know his direction, but he also knows where to find the best street food along the way, delightful!

But here’s the dilemma: where does one find such versatile product managers? Indeed, they are as rare as pandas in the wild. Especially in startup chip companies, you might be hoping for Iron Man but end up with a cockroach in armor.

In reality, often founders themselves have to step into the role of super product managers. They’re not just running the market but are deeply diving into customer needs, to the point where even their dreams are filled with product positioning. There’s a founder who recently turned “watching TV” into “market research,” claiming to decipher chip development trends from a debate show – talk about unique!

However, the truth remains: a successful chip company cannot flourish without a stellar product manager. Looking at our domestic chip design firms, those that are thriving invariably have that one pivotal figure, guiding the company with their wisdom and sweat.

So, while the journey of product managers in startups is fraught with challenges, perseverance pays off. As the company grows and resources increase, today’s “cockroaches” can transform into genuine “superheroes,” soaring freely.

Spring is coming to the chip sector, but for the flowers to bloom beautifully, it takes the silent, relentless efforts of our product managers. So, the next time you encounter a product manager, don’t forget to give them a thumbs up, because you might be looking at a future industry pioneer!


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