Julia B. Austin - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Julia B. Austin

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Entrepreneurial Management

Julia is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. She teaches Product Management 101 and Product Management 102 in the second-year MBA program.

Julia is a board member, advisor and angel investor to several early stage companies and is often called upon as a leadership coach with a focus on the engineering process, staffing and functional operations.

Most recently, Julia was the CTO at DigitalOcean. Prior to DigitalOcean, Julia was the VP of Innovation and the Cambridge Site Director for VMware, Inc., the Vice President of Engineering at Akamai Technologies and has held technical management and consulting positions at several other startups and mature companies. She also serves as a Trustee for the Becket Chimney Corners YMCA and is a volunteer for both BUILD and Year Up in Boston. Julia received her BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a graduate of Boston University's School of Business where she received her Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems. 

Journal Articles
  1. What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager

    Julia Austin

    As an aspiring product manager (PM), there are three primary considerations when evaluating the role: Core Competencies, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and Company Fit. The best PMs have mastered the core competencies, have a high EQ, and work for the right company for them. The latter requires thinking about the level of technical skill the company requires, its philosophy of the PM role, the stage of the company, and the relationship you’ll have with senior management.

    Keywords: Management; Product Development; Personal Development and Career;


    Austin, Julia. "What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager." Harvard Business Review (website) (December 13, 2017).  View Details
Cases and Teaching Materials