Press release

Pendo Publishes Inaugural State of Product Leadership Survey Results

A seminal study of 300 product leaders creates baseline of understanding around the evolving role of product management within technology organizations.

RALEIGH, NC—FEB. 22, 2018—, creator of the leading SaaS-based Product Experience Platform, today released the results of the inaugural State of Product Leadership Survey. The survey is a unique body of research on the role of product management in technology organizations, and sets a baseline for future study of this critically important role in today’s companies. The study culminates with a series of recommendations product leaders can implement to become more effective in their craft.

Pendo partnered with Cleveland, Ohio-based Product Collective, a product management community and producer of INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, a leading product management event. The mission was to gain insight into the backgrounds of product leaders, their functions, responsibilities, orientation, and influence within modern technology organizations, as well as the tools and techniques they use to do their work, and their overall job satisfaction.

Pendo and Product Collective worked with a third-party market research firm to field and administer the survey following established best practices. Conducted in November and December 2017, the respondent base included 300 technology product management executives and managers, the vast majority of whom oversee business-to-business technology products. The survey was limited to North American companies.

Key survey findings include:

  • Contrary to popular belief, most software product leaders aren’t particularly technical. The survey found that 57% of product leaders have a business background rather than a software development or design background.
  • Also contrary to popular belief, the majority of product managers report into marketing organizations and few organizations have a dedicated product organization reporting into a chief product officer or equivalent.
  • Product management responsibilities are broad, particularly in smaller organizations. Many product leaders report responsibility for go-to-market strategy and execution, customer success, and even revenue marketing.
  • Most product leaders see themselves as more tactical than visionary, and report that their decisions are driven by competition more than customers.

“While some of the findings validate what we imagined but didn’t know for sure, others were surprising or even alarming,” said Jake Sorofman, CMO at Pendo. “Our goal was to put some definition around this often misunderstood role, dispelling myths and shining light on how product leaders think and act.”

Pendo’s Sorofman and Product Collective co-founder Mike Belsito will host a free public webinar on March 14, 2018 at 2:00PM ET, including a complete read out of the findings,  an interactive discussion, and Q&A. Register for the webinar here:

“Product management is an increasingly important discipline for high-growth technology companies, yet there has been so little research conducted to allow us to learn how the field is evolving,” Belsito said. “We’re excited to be a part of this research with Pendo and know that the product management community can benefit from this.”

Download the complete survey here and read more about the findings at

Über Pendo

Pendo is a product experience platform that helps product teams deliver software users love. With Pendo, product teams can understand product usage, collect feedback, measure NPS, onboard users, and announce new features in app—all without requiring engineering resources. Founded in 2013 in the heart of Raleigh and backed by Battery Ventures, Spark Capital and Meritech Capital, Pendo has raised $56 million and counts over 500 customers, including Zendesk, Salesforce, Coupa, Gainsight, BMC, and Sprinklr. In 2017, it was named a Top 50 Startup by LinkedIn. Pendo tracks 27 billion user actions, and improves the product experience for 56 million users every month. Pendo is also the producer of ProductCraft, a destination editorial site with insights by and for product leaders; and Pendomonium, a premier product conference. For more information, visit:

About Product Collective

Product Collective is a 15,000+ person community serving technology product management professionals. With a mission to inform, inspire those who build, launch, and scale technology products, Product Collective offers a variety of resources for product management professionals, including a weekly newsletter, a semi-monthly webinar series, an active Slack community, and one of the most-downloaded product management podcasts. Product Collective is the organizer of INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, which is one of the fastest growing product management conferences in the world taking place each spring in Dublin, Ireland and each fall in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information about Product Collective, visit For more information on INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, visit