Some state that a great career is formed by the people you collect and the skills you develop. That is very true and great Product managers add to that a toolbox of experience with many processes, organizational structures and reporting configurations.
Product teams need to evolve with their products lifecycle cross tabbed with the companies lifecycle. Mastering the latest business book or process is not enough. The clear delineators are new products vs. mainstream, this is clear in similar company profiles. Start-ups are an all hands moment in time where process is face time and stand-ups, a just get it done attitude.
Mainstream adds cross functionality, compliance and analytics, recreating that start-up feeling with a tiger team, or evaluating features with ROI models and sales relationships in the market.
Start-ups can be like the first dates, easy to enter or walk away from. Just you and her until you introduce each other to friends or worse family! You can get just a little wet! Then you get investors and customers that are not strong allies, you get investors and some of those are friends.
Mature companies seem safer, spending others money or market equity, errors buffered by scale. BTW this is not true, when things go wrong somebody has to go to the corner. But this is also a challenge because your market thinks you are the expert, they expect you to remember anniversaries, birthdays and take the initiative. These customers expect hardened code, pressure tested products and for you to stand by them in the market, that is why they choose the big guy.
As a PM understanding where you are and which program of process has a bigger chance of success is key. The real fun comes when you are the platform integrating solutions from many partners. I am clearly biased but I challenge CEOs and investors all the time about structure and why organization structure is not built around your products and customers. If you call you company an Agile or Innovative company what does that mean?
Figure out a shared value or your value not your internal skills. Your company, team and R&D value is all parts of the puzzle but the value ultimately is what the market gains from you. It can me Innovation, it can be quality, it can be hardened bullet proof tech, whatever it is be sure it is what your customer want and experience. Embrace your reality and find customers who value the value you have or change your value to what the customers need.