About Tim Herbig
As a Product Management Coach and Consultant, I am on a Mission to help Product Teams find their path to focus on Outcomes by connecting the dots of Strategy, Goals, and Discovery. I want to create a future where as many Product Teams as possible make real progress towards meaningful goals through self-determined and evidence-based decision-making. That’s what my content, consulting, and courses are all about.
The Fundamentals of my Work
I don't believe that the number of written user stories or shipped products can tell you anything about your team’s success. Furthermore, I want to equip product teams with the necessary skills to focus on changing customers’ behavior and meaningful contributions to strategic priorities.
Another fundamental belief informs my work: Effective product teams understand the consequences of their choices and act accordingly instead of chasing best practices. Let me explain.
I have seen more messaging around what’s “right” or “wrong” in the domain of product management. For example, “You’re only a real product team if you’re only working on Outcomes!”, “You have to talk to customers every week!”, “You have to complete this statement to have a product vision!”
So, while it’s easy to compare your team’s chosen strategies and tactics with said “best practices,” I believe that something else is more important for product teams: Understand the consequences of their choices.
If you’re an organization with the same culture, traffic, team structures, business model, and decision-making processes like the one you spotted a best practice from, give copying it 1:1 a try. If not, have the ambition to make it your way by looking at the consequences of a best practice and deciding if it’s worth it, or if you can find and use an alternative that leads to the same results for your team. And I will help you all the way.
Where my Experience stems from
For more than ten years, I worked in various in-house and consulting roles as a Product Manager and Head of Product. I constantly challenged myself to make an evidence-informed way of working in industries like publishing, professional networking, and building Enterprise-level SaaS applications. I know what it takes to balance large-scale product iterations with the scrappiness of a pre-Product-Market-Fit state.
At the beginning of my career, I quickly became responsible for the direction of an in-house AdTech tool of an agency. As this way of working was mainly driven by false assumptions about the benefits of using Scrum, I started to get curious about what else might be out there.
In my next job, I was responsible for the mobile products of one of Germany’s largest news brands. While this company wasn’t necessarily product-led, I learned a lot about the stakeholder management between opinionated editors in chief, advertising sales, and business executives.
With an inherent itch to just “do stuff,” I joined an early-stage startup trying to disrupt the dog sitting industry. While it was a lot of fun to work on a scrappy app with a tight bunch, our efforts were heavily misdirected. That was the biggest lesson about how irrelevant aspects like the quality of your user stories are if you haven’t understood the core problem worth solving (leaving alone developing a solution worth building).
From there, I joined the professional network XING as a Product Manager for the Premium Membership–First on the web and then leading the platform’s efforts to transform its biggest b2c business model to mobile devices.
After a brief stint in consulting, I wanted to get my hands on building scalable b2b products. So, I took on the leadership role of creating an enterprise-level experimentation platform, including setting up a fully remote organization and leading an effort from self-service SaaS to tailor-made solutions. The biggest lesson about this last period as an employee was the number of things I had to unlearn from all my years of experience in b2c to build a successful b2b product.
Values I live and work by
I believe in the power of values to inform my behavior and priorities.
Integrity: I will do what I said I’ll do when I said I’ll do it. What sounds obvious is often not a given, but I will always hold myself accountable for it.
Enthusiasm: The things I’m passionate about are what’s getting me out of bed in the morning and are often the last thing I think about in the evening. I will infuse my work and interactions with other people with an infectious enthusiasm for what I genuinely care about.
Curiosity: One of the biggest drivers in work and private life is my curious mind. This invisible force is what makes me go down a rabbit hole whenever I dive deeper into a topic, whether it’s a new set of gravel cycling tires, a specific coffee roast and preparation method, or a new recipe I’d love to adapt. Oh, and Outcome-focused Product Management, of course.
Sincerity: Living by these values is not always easy. And while I tend to be a bit hard on myself when it comes to sticking to them, I believe that they bring out the best in me, whether during interactions with clients, friends, or my family.