Software is a solution to a problem. Or rather, it is a part of a solution to a problem.
A product is more than just the software, and it’s more than the solution. A complete product encompasses an entire product business: a consumer value proposition, a profit model, resources, processes and tools. Marketing and channels. Suppliers and customers.
If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
If a product is designed, built and released, but no-body can find it and no-body uses it, does it exist at all?
Building products is a responsibility. Not just to create a great experience (great software, great hardware, great whatever), but to get that experience to your customers. Maybe also to their customers.
And most of all, to generate value for your business.
If you put on the hat of Product Manager, you’d better be ready to think bigger than just your software, because a product is much, much more.
So what are you in love with?
(If you’re not in love with either, then a career in software product management is maybe not for you.)