Meet JJ Rorie. As a true New Yorker she loves to, “travel, attend Broadway shows, nap, read, play golf, and wander around Central Park.”
But, much like many of the Product folks out there, JJ did not begin her career in Product. When the opportunity to join the industry popped up at random, her Product love story began,
“I started my career in sales and marketing roles. I was working in marketing at a law firm, and the managing partner had an idea for a legal software product. He asked me to help him build it, and I jumped at the opportunity. Neither of us had any idea what we were doing! Looking back, we did a lot of things wrong but a lot right as well. We got the product built, and I fell in love with Product Management in the process. There are so many skills that great product folks need, so it’s a role in which you are always learning and always improving your professional repertoire, which I find rewarding.”
Now, after 18 years in the industry JJ still loves to spend her time surrounded by Product Managers.
“I do a lot of coaching, training, and advising. I host a podcast called Masters of Product Management, where I speak with folks who work in product management to get their insights and experiences on various PM topics. And I routinely speak at and participate in product events, webinars, panels, and other product discussions in the community.”
But no love story lasts 18 years without some mishaps along the way and JJ easily recalled her first unfortunate (now hilarious) tale with payments early in her career,
“I was a new Product Manager at a company and did not know that for any new product, I had to add a billing code – the mechanism by which my company actually billed and got paid by customers! It was several weeks after launch before my boss asked me what the new billing code was. I said, “What’s a billing code?” My boss was like, “Umm we haven’t gotten paid for any of this product usage!?” Oops.”
Now, JJ says she’s lucky to be in a position where billing codes are a thing of the past and instead she helps companies all over the world optimise their product management teams and processes.
But most importantly, after all these years, she is still firmly in love with Product Management,
“Product Management is such an important function within any organisation. It’s highly visible and can make a real impact. Product Managers are experts on customer problems and get to work with internal partners to solve those problems. That’s such a cool job!”