Startups have big dreams and limited resources to achieve them. Even with great talent and dedicated developers, the development process can be a difficult and trying mess. This is why every company needs a product manager.

By Ellie Martin


They can use their interpersonal and technical skills to outline the project scope and contain any disasters. Startups, however, do not typically have the resources to traditionally hire a product manager.

Most importantly, freelance product managers bring unique perspectives that are colored by a career filled with a myriad of experiences.

Below we have elucidated exactly why product managers are so valuable to startups.

Startups need leadership

Every startup has big aspirations. One of the most admirable qualities of a new company is its unrelenting optimism. However, optimism has to be measured with pragmatism.

Startups need strong leadership from experienced team members. They can help layout a pragmatic plan that leverages the resources available.

Product managers can act as superb leaders to talented teams. Product managers can bring their experience to get real results for a startup’s inspirational goals.

Startups need flexible options

Startups are (for the most part) strapped for cash. All the fundraising money may seem like it will last forever, but the truth is: operations alone can burn through thousands of dollars a day.

Since startups are often limited in what they can afford, flexible working arrangements are preferable. Freelance product managers are incredibly flexible.

Startups can choose to bring on world-class product managers at a fraction of the cost by utilizing freelance marketplaces. Top product managers can be hired in a part-time capacity, for example, and hours can easily be appended when the company scales.

Instead of abandoning the project, startups can turn to the freelance marketplace to find incredible talent with flexible contracts.

Freelance product managers can mean fewer expenses

In addition to having flexible work hours, hiring freelance product managers can also save companies money on administrative and operational costs.

Office space, computer equipment, and parking costs can add up. By hiring top product managers that work remotely, you save on all of these expenses.

Freelance product managers work from a home office or a coworking space and do not require a per diem for the commute. Also, they often provide their own internet connection and up-to-date computer.

Decreasing risk is of utmost importance

Startups are risky. They are young, unestablished, and highly volatile. In fact, the majority of startups close their doors within five years.

As such, startups must do everything in their power to reduce risk. One way to significantly reduce risk is by adding experienced leadership with many years invested in the industry.

Timing and assigning resources is a delicate balance between cutting and growing. To alleviate some of the burdens, freelance product managers can come in and work within the startup’s limits to deliver a product without depleting the reserves.

Many talented development teams produce failing products. Why? Simply because of undermanagement or mismanagement. Startups can circumvent this calamity by hiring top freelance product managers.

Freelance product managers are the answer to the financial and development woes of startups everywhere. They find the right angle at the right time and can defuse a situation just before detonation.


Freelance product managers, typically, have been around the bend a few times and know what to do whenever a surprise arises. This can be helpful to young and inexperienced teams who may feel overwhelmed by the development process.

Product managers are there to steady the hand and lead the team to a functional working enrichment. Their experience and flexibility make them manifold employees capable of delivering a product on time and on budget.

They also defuse the risk that can be found during the development cycle for startups. Keeping the risk at a minimum is of the utmost importance and freelance product managers do it for a living. The road maps and forecasts they provide help to quell the fears of the executive staff while providing assurance to the investors.

Calm decision makers make calm decisions. Freelance product managers keep everyone level headed and on target so that their products reach completion without disasters or meltdowns. This makes freelance product management the ideal match for startups around the world.

Ellie Martin is co-founder of Startup Change group. Her works have been featured on Yahoo! , Wisebread, AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel. You may connect with her on Twitter. 

Startup stock photo by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock