On Domain Expertise

Inspired by Marty Cagan’s, The Role of Domain Expertise

In a product management role, knowing the industry, market, and customer leads to informed product strategy and decisions. Having experience in that domain puts you at an advantage.

Working as a product manager at a construction technology company without construction experience was a source of imposter syndrome for me. Many of my colleagues, including my manager, worked in the industry before. I felt like they had invaluable experience and I had no hope of catching up.

Yet, many of the innovators in an industry are those who are new. Those who aren’t bogged down by the dogma of domain knowledge. The Wright Brothers lacked any formal education in engineering, yet they invented the first airplane. Elon Musk had no experience in rocket science, yet he built a rocket company valued in the billions. As I’m learning about the construction industry, I’m constantly questioning the norms. The deeper I go, the more opportunity I see.

October 20, 2022

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