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About me

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Picture of Michael Hirsch and his dog

I’ve been a Product Manager and Product Management Leader for over 20 years.  In that time, I’ve experienced all shapes and sizes of companies, a wide variety of industries, and a myriad of product management roles and teams.  

 

Let’s start with company experience. Throughout my career, I have worked for a wide variety of companies, from medium to enterprise size.  I have experience in public companies and private companies; in US-based companies and international companies; being based in HQ and being remote from HQ; and more.  

 

My industry experience is even more widely varied and includes Internal Platform Technologies (Sony), Entertainment (Sony, Qualcomm), Consumer Electronics (Sony, Qualcomm, Universal Electronics, T-Mobile), Telecommunications (Qualcomm, T-Mobile), Education (ProQuest), Automotive (Qualcomm, HERE Technologies), Big Data and Machine Learning (HERE Technologies), and Developer Tools (Qualcomm, HERE Technologies).

 

And finally, when it comes to Product Managers and Product Management Teams, I’ve experienced many different sizes and stages.  I’ve inherited teams and built teams - both local and international.  I’ve been an individual contributor Product Manager, a “player/coach” Product Manager, and a dedicated Product Management Leader.  And, as Product Management has evolved to work much more closely Engineering and Design, I have managed Designers and Engineers as well.   

 

Personally, I live in the Pacific Northwest (just outside of Seattle) with my wife of over 20 years, our two daughters, and our Aussiedoodle.  I am an Adjunct Professor at the Albers Business School at Seattle University and I love the Seattle Sounders, hiking (always with our dog), traveling, and board games.  

2016 - 2023

2013 - 2016

2011 - 2013

2007 - 2011

2004 - 2007

2001 - 2004

HERE Technologies logo

HERE Technologies

Director, Product Management

ProQuest logo

ProQuest

Vice President, Product Management

T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile

Director, Product Management

Qualcomm logo

Qualcomm

Director, Product Management

universal electronics logo

Universal Electronics

Director, Product Management

sony logo

Sony Corporation of America

Senior Product Manager

Licenses and Certifications

What does Break a Pencil mean?

"Break a Pencil" was my dad's way of wishing someone good luck on any written or intellectual activity; it was his variation on the "break a leg" idiom used in theater.  He most often used it to wish me good luck on exams.  Years later, I say the same "break a pencil" to my kids before any test in school.  

 

My Dad was my first boss and the person who most influenced who I am today.  Break a Pencil Consulting is my way of honoring his memory while also supporting and rooting for the Product Managers who I have the opportunity of coaching.

picture of a broken pencil
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