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Large and Small is Product Management

Patrick Wesonga, Head of Product for Lighter Inc., discusses the ins and outs of working in regulated industries, as well as the differences between product management in a large company and product management in a small company.

When Patrick Wesonga started in product, he didn’t have a clear path. He paved his own way by working first in software engineering for a financial services firm. The experience in such a highly regulated environment prepared him well for his current role as head of product for Lighter Inc., a leading health and nutrition technology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“You will never be able to fight against the fact that something is regulated. It either is or it isn't, and you often won't be able to break the rules. If you do break the rules, you will sometimes do so at your own peril,” Patrick says. “Understanding that whatever regulatory guidance there is often empowers you as a product person to think of some better alternatives to bring to the table.”

Having worked in both regulated and unregulated industries, and established and startup companies, Patrick has a unique take on the differences in product management in each type. Particularly, the differences between large and small organizations are numerous, in areas ranging from how processes work — if there even are any processes — to the tools and methodologies employed by product managers.

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Learn more about Patrick’s take on regulations as they relate to product management, as well as how product managers can best navigate different-sized companies, on this episode of This Is Product Management.

Here are the highlights: 

  • The challenges of working as a product manager in a regulated industry: 4:26
  • Product management in a large company vs. product management in a small company: 8:25
  • How to test and validate hypotheses in different-sized companies: 13:00
  • Patrick’s predictions on the future of big industries going through transformation: 17:20

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