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A review of Blackblot for product managers

Hi, I’m Sam! I have been a product manager for yearsNow I work as an industry mentor for the product, strategy, and operations track at Pathrise. I help people land their dream job through technical training and 1-on-1 mentorship. Check out my review of Blackblot.

What does Blackblot do?

Blackblot develops product management methodologies. The online resource offers product management courses, publications, templates, certification tests, coaching, and job support to help people launch their product management careers. Currently, 5 product management courses are available. Blackblot’s onsite and virtual/remote courses have students participate in hands-on exercises, group discussions, and case studies. Class sizes are small with only about 12-15 students. Grads can go on to take Blackblot’s certification tests free as well as participate in career services to help them become a product manager.

Strategic Product Manager (SPMR) course

Their Strategic Product Manager (SPMR) course covers the Blackblot PMTK Methdology™ over 3 days. It’s split into 3 daily seminars focusing on different product management skill sets. Day one of the course covers product management foundations. Students learn Blackblot’s trademarked models to create market-driven products with the help of templates. Day two is an advanced practical seminar in product planning that teaches students to clearly identify market and product requirements. The curriculum covers the product delivery process, crafting market requirements documents (MRDs), and how to navigate users and personas. The final day’s class is on product marketing and shows students how to partake in business and market planning activities. Students work with real business cases and market plans. Day three’s curriculum also covers market segmentation, business advantages, barriers to entry, impact assessments, risk assessments, financial outlook, and critical market planning skills.

Strategic Product Director (SPLD) course

Students in the Strategic Product Director (SPLD) course learn to effectively lead product organizations and build effective product management processes. The course lasts 1 day and is designed for current or rising product leaders.

Strategic Product Marketer (SPMK) course

The Strategic Product Marketer (SPMK) course is a 1-day seminar. The course features a practical and interactive curriculum that gives students the tools they need to manage strategic marketing activities for tech companies.

Market-Value Pricing (MVP) course

Blackblot’s Market-Value Pricing (MVP) course also runs for 1 day and focuses on pricing activities. In addition to pricing definitions, the curriculum covers value concepting, price psychology, market equilibrium, and the product life cycle. Students also learn practical pricing skills including price mixes, objectives, tactics, and formulas.

Training courses include free professional support during the job search and their careers. Grads get free registration for a certification test so they can earn the Blackblot Product Management Professional (BPMP) Master and Certified Product Coach accreditations. In addition to getting a free digital copy of the “The Product Manager’s Toolkit” book, grads leave the training course with a professional template collection, a booklet of seminar slides, action plans, and a membership to the alumni career networking group.

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Who is Blackblot for?

Current or aspiring product managers who want to launch their careers or prep for a new role could benefit from Blackblot’s product management training. The program is especially helpful for people seeking an intensive course with a practical curriculum. People seeking a formal certification to add to their resume could also be a good fit for the program.

What does Blackblot cost? How much work is involved?

Blackblot course prices are unpublished as they specialize in customized private training. Their template collection and certification tests come free to grads but can also be purchased online by anyone for $79.

There is no formal admissions process. Although some training courses are designed for current product management, anyone can register for any course. 

Ratings and reviews

While Blackblot does not have many online reviews, they were listed among Hubspot’s 16 best product management courses as well as Built In’s top 21 product management courses. Students on Quora described the courses as “very useful for beginners.”  One grad raved that the “tool kits which they give are also quite exhaustive” in the best possible way. Others were convinced that the certificate helps aspiring product managers stand out in the job search.

Alternatives to Blackblot 

If you choose not to enroll in a Blackblot course, there are a number of alternative resources and courses that can help you launch your career in product management.

  • The product management associations Product Gym and Product Talk Academy offer training, extensive job support, and networking opportunities to aspiring product managers. Classes are flexible with remote options.
  • Another popular product management community is Mind the Product. Their 150,000+ members participate in workshops, self-paced training, and networking events.
  • People seeking a more advanced curriculum can check out Product Faculty, a part-time online product management bootcamp. Their program is designed as a career accelerator for product managers with 1-3 years of experience. Students get access to their Slack community, 1-on-1 career mentorship, and an advanced product management (APM)(R) certificate upon graduation.
  • Aspiring product managers can also check out Product Academia, a bootcamp focused on helping women launch new careers as product managers. They offer full-time and part-time PM courses with remote options with official product management certificates for grads.
  • Women, GNC people, and trans people can check out CodeOp, which has courses in web dev, data, and product management.
  • Product School and Product Innovation Educators also offers both full-time and part-time courses with weekly mentoring, career support, and official certificates for grads.
  • You can also consider Linky Product, which has self-paced courses and a bootcamp. Beginners can also check out Dorm, which helps people get into startups.
  • The popular bootcamp General Assembly teaches full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like product management. Students in the PM track learn the fundamentals of product management and the product life cycle, working hands-on with real tools they’ll use on the job. Learn more about General Assembly in our review.
More alternatives
  • Similarly, BrainStation and allWomen Academy are tech bootcamps that offer product management courses, among other topics.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.
  • The online bootcamp GrowthX Academy offers courses in product management, business development, and growth marketing. Their program is self-paced with 1-on-1 mentoring opportunities. Likewise, School16 teaches marketing, sales, and product management.
  • The Menon Labs fellowship helps people learn the skills to become web developers, data scientists, and product managers.
  • Students seeking low-cost learning can check out Udemy. Their platform hosts over 100,000 self-paced courses in tech product management, digital marketing, and more. Their courses consist mostly of recorded video lectures and only cost about $10 each.
  • People who want to take university courses on a budget can check out edX. Their online platform hosts courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Similarly, Coursera offers over 5,000 free and paid courses taught by professors at accredited universities. They teach a wide variety of product management topics with formal certificates for grads.
  • The online learning platform Udacity offers both free and paid courses on a wide variety of tech topics. Students in “nanodegree” programs work closely with both a technical mentor and a career coach as they build portfolio projects. Learn more about Udacity in our program review.

How does Blackblot compare to Pathrise?

Blackblot offers training courses, certification, and career services to help aspiring product managers get their careers off the ground. While they prepare students for the job search, add certificates to their resumes, and even offer networking opportunities, they do not help navigate the job search itself. Pathrise is a full service organization that helps people with each step of their job search. Fellows in our program work 1-on-1 with experienced mentors to optimize their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, build their portfolios, find recruiters, send cold emails, prepare for technical and behavioral interviews, negotiate salaries, and much more. Our mentors have already helped 1,000+ people land great tech jobs, usually in just 3-5 months.

The Pathrise program is flexible, with only 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1s that can be scheduled as needed. The Pathrise income share agreement (ISA) means that fellows don’t pay anything until they land a job they love and start working. We never require any upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps students and professionals land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, fellows in our program have seen their application responses triple. If you are interested in working with any one of our mentors to optimize your job search, join Pathrise. 

Apply today.

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