Top 10 Frightfully Scary Product Manager Nightmares

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I love watching scary movies this time of year, especially the original Halloween movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis. There are so many scary movies to choose from.

I usually watch one almost every night during October… which always leads to nightmares. This got me thinking… what are the top nightmares product managers have? What keeps you up at night?!?

  1. Having dinner with your extended family and suffering through questions about “what exactly do you do”?
  2. Coming back from a rare lunch with a co-worker only to find someone from your support team has convinced your dev team to squeeze this bug fix into the sprint even though they’re already behind schedule on everything else they thought they would get to.
  3. Interviewing a UX design candidate who insists your app’s onboarding experience is outdated would be the first thing she would fix if hired.
  4. Finding out via a post on Slack that the Sales team promised your biggest client their pet feature will ship in the next release.
  5. Sitting in a quarterly planning session to discuss OKRs while people keep suggesting tasks as KRs.
  6. Finding a typo on your landing page … 12 hours after deploying to production.
  7. Being asked to put together a roadmap presentation for your company’s board meeting … and the CEO needs it in 4 hours.
  8. Getting a rejection notification from the app store 5 days after you submitted it for approval … and your big launch is happening tomorrow.
  9. Writing a strategic plan for the future of your product … while sitting in coach on a 5-hour flight and the person in front of you has reclined their seat ALL.THE.WAY.BACK … and your laptop battery dies before you saved your document.
  10. Someone from Customer Success just created a new Slack channel called “Feature Requests” and invited the entire company to it. AND… your boss thinks it’s a great idea and asks you to keep track of everything that’s requested.

What are some of your scary product manager stories? What spooks you the most? Share in the comments below.

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