What do roles focused on revenue require?
Roles focused on revenue need a keen understanding of how to grow and scale a business. The needs of a product vary drastically from the early stage of its lifecycle (inception) to its latter stages (end-of-life). In a revenue-focused role, you will be driving revenue increases by either expanding the usage of existing customers or getting net new customers to adopt the product. This goal requires you to clearly understand the work of sales and marketing teams and engage closely with them. You must prioritize launching features that help reduce metrics such as customer churn rates, deal closure times, and abandoned cart rates.
What do roles focused on cost require?
Roles focused on cost need a keen understanding of how to optimize the business and reduce waste using tools. As a business grows, processes that worked in the early phases start breaking down and result in an enormous waste of resources. To address this problem, businesses need products that help drive scalable mechanisms for increasing productivity. The primary driver for such products is not the revenue that they bring in, but the costs that they help drive down. Even if revenue is steady, driving down costs can be incredibly valuable to businesses to boost their profit margins.
Are roles focused on revenue or cost better?
Several process-oriented people love working on cost-focused roles as it channels their inner penchant for driving continuous improvement through fine-tuning of well-built mechanisms. However, the unfortunate truth is that people tend to gravitate toward revenue and growth rather than cost and optimization. Cost-focused roles are unfortunately considered less glamourous and leaders tend to ignore the cost side of their business unless they are working through a recessionary environment or on a negative/razor-thin profit margin. That does not mean you should not try cost-focused roles; you should just go into those roles with your eyes wide open and know what you want to get out of them. For example, it may be perfectly fine to take up a cost-focused role to build up certain product management skills or set yourself up for a promotion.