Product Management

  • Most Topular Stories

  • How to Find the Right Customers for Your Product Development Interviews

    MindTheProduct
    Suzie Prince
    12 May 2015 | 8:30 am
    Most of us agree that talking to potential customers about your product before you invest in building it is a good idea. And I think we pretty much all agree that asking Mom if she likes our idea doesn’t count as validation, except in the emotional sense. But sadly, people still seem to be fine asking any ol’ random person – who’s most likely not a potential customer – for their opinion. Just today, in an interview, a product management candidate said to me, “…and I talked to random people about what they liked. I tend to meet lots of people and it was good…
  • Product Managers Don’t Own the Problem (And Designers Don’t Own the Solution)

    Product Talk
    Teresa Torres
    8 Apr 2015 | 10:30 am
    Imagine a product team discussing new commenting functionality on their company blog. “We should let people comment anonymously.” “That will only attract trolls. We should require real names.” “We should require unique names, but allow pseudonyms.” You won’t find a shortage of debate on this topic across the Internet. But there is no right answer. Like many product questions, it depends. It depends on your business goals. It depends on your audience. And it depends on the problem you are solving for them. Businesses are good at taking care of their own needs. Some are getting…
  • Use Cases in an Agile World

    Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements
    Robin Peters
    14 May 2015 | 9:50 am
    When I first started to learn about Agile and Scrum, I learned about the User Story and I immediately asked, “Is a User Story the same thing as a Use Case?” I was told that it was not but the people I was talking to could not really tell me … The post Use Cases in an Agile World appeared first on Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements.
  • Picking the right marketing play

    Product Bookshelf
    Olaf Kowalik
    31 Mar 2015 | 5:19 pm
    Find your industry gaps, understand your customers and competitors and objectively assess your own capabilities. Then, combine the five essential marketing plays as your business evolves. The Marketing Playbook: Five Battle-Tested Plays for Capturing and Keeping the Lead in Any Market presents five key marketing strategies and a method for evaluating which is appropriate at any given time. The first part of the book lays out the plays and the second part discusses how to assess your market and move from one play to the next for maximum impact. Once you’ve assessed the current market…
  • Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered - A Teachable Moment from Intuit

    Frank Lio: Practical Product Management, Marketing, Strategy, and Life - Blog
    2 Feb 2015 | 1:29 pm
    The recent marketing moves (I daresay "fiasco")  by Intuit with their TurboTax products will be a business school case study for years.Background:Intuit’s TurboTax products dominate the tax preparation software business with over 60% market share in 2013. For 2014, Intuit removed some functionality (e-file forms for some schedules) from their “TurboTax Deluxe” desktop product. This move would force many “Deluxe” users to upgrade to the more expensive “Premier” or “Home & Small Business” products. The problem was that the…
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    280 Group » Product Management Blog

  • Product Management Rule #33: Let the Customer End the Debate

    matt
    18 May 2015 | 1:53 pm
    Product Management Rule #33 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Noël Adams, President, Clearworks Product managers need a way to stop the debate—a way to provide proof and evidence that the product recommendations they support are the right approach. One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of being a product manager is moderating the internal debate around what the product should “be”. What it should look like, what features should be included, what functionality is...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #33: Let…
  • Product Marketing Rule #32: Protect Your Product’s Rear

    Brian Lawley
    6 May 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #32 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by By Jim Anderson, President, Blue Elephant Consulting If you are successful, you’re going to have competitors trying to find ways to take your product marketing crown from you. Will you be ready? So there you are, your company has launched its fantastic new blue widget product and the reviews are rolling in: you’ve got a hit product on your hands. Life is going to...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #32: Protect Your Product’s Rear appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Challenges In Product Management 2015 Survey

    Brian Lawley
    27 Apr 2015 | 11:44 am
    We need your opinions and experience to help us move the Product Management profession forward! The Challenges in Product Management survey takes less than seven minutes to complete, and all participants will receive the final report as well as an electronic copy of Brian Lawley’s top 50 Amazon business best seller, The Phenomenal Product Manager. Additionally, all respondents will be entered into a drawing. The first place winner will receive an iPad Air 2 and the second place winner will...[continue reading] The post Challenges In Product Management 2015 Survey appeared first on 280…
  • Product Management Rule #32: Determine Your Marketing Approach Early and Wisely

    Brian Lawley
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:35 pm
    Product Management Rule #32 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Barbara Rice, Senior Principal Consultant, 280 Group A brilliant product without the right marketing approach to support it can result in company failure. As product managers, you always have to struggle to meet customer needs in the context of an unrealistic schedule in order for the company to meet its objectives. It’s easy to get caught up and over- whelmed with turning out a perfect...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #32: Determine Your Marketing Approach Early…
  • 5 Ways to Cut to the Chase as a Product Manager

    Brian Lawley
    15 Apr 2015 | 2:26 pm
    This post was written by Pamela Schure, Director of Products and Services for the 280 Group. Pamela recently ran a webinar on this topic which can be viewed here if you are an AIPMM member: Earning Influence And Authority To Be A More Effective Product Manager. The slides are also available on slideshare at the previous link. The wonderful part about being a Product Manager is the passion you feel for your product and the benefits that it brings to your...[continue reading] The post 5 Ways to Cut to the Chase as a Product Manager appeared first on 280 Group.
 
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    Rocket Watcher - Startup Marketing

  • Components of a Startup Marketing Plan

    April Dunford
    20 May 2015 | 10:03 am
    When I ask startup folk if they have a “Marketing Plan” I get a range of reactions from a slightly embarrassed “Yeah we probably should have one but we aren’t doing much marketing so…” through to the more assertive, “Dude we don’t do plans, because we’re like, you know, a startup!” At my first startup we didn’t have a marketing plan. We were a small team working on short-term tactical projects. Those tactics changed every couple of weeks and we didn’t see a need to document anything. My first encounter with a marketing plan came after we were acquired by a global…
  • Marketing Strategy Hacks for Startups

    April Dunford
    23 Apr 2015 | 8:37 am
    I do a lot of coffee meetings with founders looking for marketing advice. Most of the time people have a specific marketing problem but occasionally I meet with frustrated founders complaining that everything they’re doing on the marketing and sales side just simply isn’t working. Let’s put aside the very real possibility that there is a fundamental product or product/market fit problem (a big assumption but work with me on this one) – is it possible your marketing/sales strategy is getting in the way of the success of your company? In my opinion, yes that’s…
  • Startup Market Segmentation: 5 Steps to Selecting a Target Market

    April Dunford
    2 Apr 2015 | 8:06 am
    For startups, breaking your market up into addressable market segments is important. First of all you have limited money and people to execute programs, therefore you have to focus your efforts on the audience that has the highest probability of purchasing. Secondly, focusing on a segment allows you to build early momentum more easily – awareness and word of mouth builds faster across like-minded groups, and success stories resonate well across a segment of similar prospects. A key element of your company’s positioning is “Who are you selling to?”. It sounds like a…
  • An Important Message from April

    April Dunford
    1 Apr 2015 | 5:57 am
  • Startup Marketing in New Vs. Established Markets

    April Dunford
    26 Mar 2015 | 6:33 am
    Established markets and new markets are not the same so the way that you market and sell to them is different. For startups, it’s really important to know the difference. For each type of market are using different marketing tactics, executed in different ways with different expected results. New versus Established Markets – The Problem Gap In an established market, there are prospects out there that understand that they have a problem that needs to be solved. There will also be prospects actively in the process of learning about, shopping for and purchasing solutions. In new…
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    Tyner Blain

  • You Won’t Believe What These Five Lenses Can Show You About Your Product

    Scott Sehlhorst
    29 Apr 2015 | 11:01 pm
    Fundamentally, product management requires you to assess, synthesize, and prioritize the needs which drive the creation of your product in the context of three main objectives: desirability, viability, and feasibility.  While laudable, these objectives are too abstract to be actionable.  That’s where the five lenses come in (I could not resist the Buzzfeed-styled title). The Product Strategy Grid Steven Haines wrote The Product Manager’s Desk Reference, and from (the first edition of) his book I learned about the product strategy grid.  Over the years, I may have tweaked it…
  • Features do not a Product Roadmap Make

    Scott Sehlhorst
    7 Apr 2015 | 2:32 pm
    Last month, Mike Smart of Egress Solutions and I gave a webinar for Pragmatic Marketing on product roadmapping when working in agile environments. We had a great turnout of over 1500 people in the session – with not nearly enough time to answer all of the questions. One attendee asked, “Please explain how a prioritized list of features is not a roadmap?” A fantastic question, which we did not see in time to answer during the call. Why and What and When The shortest answer I can come up with for the question – and probably all we would have had time to address during…
  • You Don’t Know Jack (or Jill)

    Scott Sehlhorst
    11 Feb 2015 | 5:25 am
    You’ve got some shiny new segmentation data about prospective customers; how much they earn, where they are located, how old they are. How does that help you make decisions about your product? You know this information, but you don’t really know your audience, or why they might become your customers. Customer Needs Are A Function of Intent Last month we looked at a single example of a customer expressing their wants instead of their needs – as most customers do.  The main point is to keep in mind, that what a customer “wants” is really the satisfaction of a…
  • Why Not What – An Example

    Scott Sehlhorst
    5 Jan 2015 | 5:02 am
    Forbes quoted Steve Jobs as saying “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”  This is a really enlightened perspective – and a way to enforce focus from the top down.  Before you can drive a “this goal is more important than that goal” focus, you have to make sure you’re actually focusing on the goals. The Customer Does NOT Know Best The top review of a mobile phone app caught my attention over the weekend.  I highlighted a section which really provided clarity for me about the difference between building what the customer…
  • Good Enough

    Scott Sehlhorst
    10 Dec 2014 | 11:01 am
    We hear a lot about building products which are “good enough” or “just barely good enough.” How do we know what “good enough” means for our customers?  No one really tells us. Different Perspectives of Good Enough There are several important ways to think about a product being good enough – for this article, we will limit the context for discussion to “good enough to ship to customers” or “good enough to stop making it better (for now).”  Determining good enough informs the decision to ship or not.  Otherwise this is all…
 
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    Brainmates - Boosting People and Product Performance

  • Product Roadmaps, What Are They Good For?

    Adrienne
    11 May 2015 | 7:54 pm
    This is a guest post by Erietta Sapounakis who writes at Eriontheweb. Erietta attended one of our Product Talks recently and this is a summary of a roadmap panel discussion. The panelists during the event included: Michael Pearson, Director Product & e-commerce at Expedia Michael Bromley, Head of Digital Strategy and Chief Innovation Officer at SMS Management & Technology; and Chrissie Zenonos, Head of Product at Mi9 (Channel 9) While the panelists weren’t in perfect alignment they generally agreed on the following. What is a product roadmap? A communication tool A list of…
  • What is your Most Dangerous Assumption?

    Nick Coster
    23 Apr 2015 | 5:38 am
    Any time you have a new product idea everything is an unknown. Who is your target customer? Why will they like your product idea? What will the product do? Will the market buy the product? What will the product be competing against? How much will it cost the business to make and offer the product? How will the business make money and will it be enough to make a profit? There can be hundreds more. Some of these questions we may think we know the answers to, others you may have no clue about. It is possible and quite common to become overwhelmed by all the things that you don’t know. Fear…
  • Product Manager @ iSelect Melbourne

    Adrienne
    12 Apr 2015 | 8:30 pm
    Our mates at iSelect are looking for a Product Manager. Take a look at the job description. This role primarily focuses on the continued improvement of the iSelect online consumer experience, identifying areas of opportunity and performance improvement to ensure an engaging, effective and optimised user experience. You will work closely with stakeholders across the iSelect business to facilitate ongoing growth in Health Insurance, and hyper-growth in its newer business units including Energy, Personal Finance and Broadband. HOW YOU DO IT Success is based on: • Creating a plan for the…
  • Digital Product Director Role @ a Not For Profit

    Adrienne
    12 Apr 2015 | 8:18 pm
    Exciting times for this organisation as they build a whole new service offering, which will include mobile responsive site, games, mobile apps and many online service related products for the health and well being sector. Based in Sydney Inner West, the Product Director is a newly created role reporting to the CEO and will manage a team that’s responsible for product design, development and implementation, working very closely with the Service, Research and Marketing Teams as well as external stakeholders. We’re on the search for a Digital Product Specialist, a Creative…
  • Is UX Part of Product Management?

    Adrienne
    10 Mar 2015 | 4:43 pm
    The topic of where User Experience (UX) belongs in an organisation’s structure is one that sparks many different opinions—much like that of Product Management. I recently asked Matthew Magain from UX Mastery the question: “Is UX a part of Product Management?” His cheeky response was “Is Product Management a part of UX ?” I guess that’s a great question—is it? Matt explained that the answer to the question really depends on the type of company.  “In design-led companies, UX designers will have a seat in the board room; in more technology-centric companies, UX…
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    The Accidental Product Manager

  • It’s Memorial Day – Take The Week Off!

    drjim
    25 May 2015 | 2:00 am
    If There’s A Parade, Then It Must Be Labor Day! In the U.S. it’s the week of the Memorial Day holiday (on Monday). Since a lot of you will be making the most of this 3-day weekend, I’m going to join you and take the week off. Enjoy your holiday and we’ll pick our discussions up again next week, same place, same time! – Dr. Jim Anderson
  • Product Managers Want To Know: Can A Product Be Too Popular?

    drjim
    18 May 2015 | 2:00 am
    Michael Kors is a very popular brand – perhaps just a bit too popular?Image Credit: Mike Mozart As product managers we all dream of the day that our customers become truly excited about our product and its product development definition. We’d love it if our product’s logo was highly coveted by our customers and was almost seen as a sort of status symbol. The more customers who felt this way, the bigger our product’s bottom line would be, right? Well over at the luxury goods merchant Michael Kors they are dealing with a slightly different issue: is it possible that they…
  • 4 Tips For Creating Repeat Customers From App Product Managers

    drjim
    11 May 2015 | 2:00 am
    Product managers can learn a lot from product managers who manage appsImage Credit: Jason Howie So do you have a mobile phone? I’m willing to bet that yes, you do. No matter if you have decided to go down the iPhone route or if you’ve taken the Android path, once you get past the pretty screen that your phone came with, what probably attracted you the most were all of the applications (“apps”) that you could run on your new phone. I wonder if the Product managers who are responsible for those apps would be willing to share any of their secrets with us that would help…
  • How Do Cell Phone Product Managers Get Us To Upgrade?

    drjim
    4 May 2015 | 2:00 am
    Is it possible that we are being motivated to upgrade our cell phones?Image Credit: Stefan Klauke Hey look, the new iPhone x has just come out. Or maybe it’s the new Samsung Galaxy y. Yea! Umm, I sure do like that shiny new thing, but I think that I’ll wait awhile or maybe I’ll skip this generation and go for the next one. Oh wait, my current phone all of sudden sure seems slow. I guess that I’ll go ahead and buy the latest phone because it will probably be faster than this slow one that I’m all of sudden using. Is it possible that cell phone product managers are…
  • Just Exactly How Much Intellectual Property Protection Does A Product Manager Need?

    drjim
    27 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
    What is the difference between a copyright and a trademark? Image Credit: BusinessSarah What makes your product special? I mean if I put your product on a table (assuming that it would fit there) and put your biggest competitor right next to it, without looking at your product development definition could you tell me what makes your product better? I’m willing to bet that the answer to this question is “yes”, after all that’s a big part of what we do as product managers. However, how good of a job of clearly communicating what makes your product special are you doing…
 
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    Lead on Purpose

  • Getting the Results You Want – 7 Things to Consider

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    9 May 2015 | 5:28 pm
    Guest post by Paul Axtell One of the toughest jobs in the universe is to be a product or project leader with people who do not work directly or exclusively for you. Every team leader has faced these two questions … Continue reading →
  • Are You Building ‘Best’ Teams?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    18 Apr 2015 | 7:22 am
    Guest post by Bernie Bulkin, author of Crash Course The central competency of any corporate (or charity or political or sports) leader is the ability to build a great team. But how? What are the key elements? And while sometimes … Continue reading →
  • How to turn your small idea into a big success

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    28 Mar 2015 | 11:47 am
    “Creators build toward where they are going, not where they are.” What if you had a key that could unlock tremendous growth and success in your life and business? How would you change your goals and desires with this knowledge? … Continue reading →
  • Do you expect to win?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    28 Feb 2015 | 10:35 am
    The people I consider successful all have at least one thing in common…they expect to win. They see themselves as winners and whatever they put their minds to they accomplish. Their ‘win’ does not always happen in the way they … Continue reading →
  • 6 Ways to Choose the Best Employees

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    28 Feb 2015 | 10:10 am
    Guest post by Jon Spivey The best employees help your company to thrive and achieve its greatest potential. So to reach your potential, you must put effort into finding and choosing the best employees for your company. Consider these six … Continue reading →
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    Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements

  • Scrumism: “Scrum is Infectious”

    David Gardner
    21 May 2015 | 8:00 am
    So one of the cool things about Scrum is that it is fun to do.  If you are an engineer, you got into the field because you like to build shiny things and see them work.  Scrum lets you concentrate on a small increment, get it done and working, and … The post Scrumism: “Scrum is Infectious” appeared first on Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements.
  • Taking the Kobayashi Maru

    Will Elliott
    19 May 2015 | 8:00 am
    Have you ever been on a project that seemed impossible? Have you ever felt that the outcome of a project, no matter what you did, would result in failure?   I found myself thinking like this a few months back. The project had completely unrealistic deadlines set by executives. The … The post Taking the Kobayashi Maru appeared first on Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements.
  • Use Cases in an Agile World

    Robin Peters
    14 May 2015 | 9:50 am
    When I first started to learn about Agile and Scrum, I learned about the User Story and I immediately asked, “Is a User Story the same thing as a Use Case?” I was told that it was not but the people I was talking to could not really tell me … The post Use Cases in an Agile World appeared first on Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements.
  • Customer Onboarding: The Solution to User Engagement Crisis

    Kell Condon
    12 May 2015 | 8:13 am
    Reading the NYT review of the new Apple Watch, I’m reminded of what it was like to first use an iPhone.  Having cracked all the shrink-wrap and pulled apart each of the black and white paper boxes that include instructions no human would ever read, and there it was, a … The post Customer Onboarding: The Solution to User Engagement Crisis appeared first on Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements.
  • From Requirements Management to Business Value

    Kevin Brennan
    7 May 2015 | 10:23 am
    I’ve been involved in business analysis for almost twenty years—working as a consultant at a number of different IT firms in Toronto, and then as a member of IIBA’s executive leadership—and I think we’re now in a period of transformation for the business analysis and product management community. Back when … The post From Requirements Management to Business Value appeared first on Seilevel Blog - Software Requirements.
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    Product Management News

  • 8 Processes Define A Business Rather Than A Hobby

    23 May 2015 | 5:01 pm
    I am the Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, a company that provides services to startup founders around the world. My background includes a 30-year track record as an executive in general management, computer software development, product management, and marketing.
  • NetApp to Participate in D. A. Davidson Technology Conference

    23 May 2015 | 9:41 am
    NetApp today announced that Tim Russell, VP, Product Management, will participate in a fireside chat at the D. A. Davidson Conference at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time on May 27, 2015. About NetApp Leading organizations worldwide count on NetApp for software, systems and services to manage and store their data.
  • An in-depth interview with Sprint Nextel and the future of GPS telephony

    23 May 2015 | 5:34 am
    Nextel's a very interesting firm, especially now that it's merged with Sprint. I recently had the opportunity to interview Rob Consolazio, a senior executive at the firm, about business applications of mobile GPS telephony.
  • Ali Tore

    23 May 2015 | 1:29 am
    As Chief Product Officer, Mr. Tore will lead execution of ClearStory Data's near-term product roadmaps and run all product management and product marketing.
  • Seco Tools Makes Organizational Changes

    22 May 2015 | 9:27 pm
    Seco Tools LLC of Troy, Michigan, the North American subsidiary of Sweden-based Seco Tools AB, is making a series of organizational changes and employee promotions within its sales and marketing departments. According to the company, these moves are intended to better capitalize on strategic growth opportunities and sharpen its customer support initiatives.
 
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    David Meerman Scott - Web Ink Now

  • Still More Top Ten Tips for Incredibly Successful Public Speaking

    David Meerman Scott
    21 May 2015 | 12:24 pm
    One of my most popular posts was in 2009 when I gave my top ten tips for incredibly successful public speaking. So many people liked that and referred to it over time, that I ran a follow-up titled more top ten tips for incredibly successful public speaking a few years later. It’s time for ten more!
  • Deflategate Newsjacking Real-Time Strategy

    David Meerman Scott
    13 May 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Yesterday afternoon I presented at the Leadership Summit sponsored by Fortune Magazine. In the room were 650 entrepreneurs eager to learn ways to grow their business. Since it was less than 24 hours after Super Bowl MVP New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was handed a 4 game suspension for his assumed role in the Deflategate scandal, I chose to use that as an important component of my talk. 
  • The Underwriting: A VC-Backed Novel Shows an Alternative Way to Launch a Product

    David Meerman Scott
    6 May 2015 | 7:32 am
    When you’re new to an industry, you don’t have to play by the rules. You can make up your own or apply ideas from your past experiences. That’s exactly what Michelle Miller did to publish The Underwriting, her first novel releasing later this month.
  • Safe is Too Risky

    David Meerman Scott
    29 Apr 2015 | 10:41 am
    After nearly every talk I deliver I get questions and pushback about the idea of real-time communications. Sometimes it’s in the post-speech Q&A and other times people approach me privately. What they say is very similar and more or less goes like this: “It’s very risky to communicate in real-time because in your haste you might say the wrong thing so I’m not comfortable with your ideas.”
  • How Content Marketing Contributed to a Math Education Program’s Success

    David Meerman Scott
    22 Apr 2015 | 6:55 am
    Imagine you're an educator charged with developing a brand new graduate level program in math. You’ve got to attract men and women to the program. How about doing this within a school that has been an undergraduate only, all female, liberal arts college since 1837! The graduate program is brand new. The co-educational aspect is brand new. You’re venturing into uncharted territory on multiple fronts.
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    Product Management Meets Pop Culture

  • With Great Politeness Comes Effective Follow Up

    Christopher Cummings
    30 Apr 2015 | 1:34 pm
    Being a Product Manager entails a lot more than just managing your inbox. But, email is an unavoidable part of getting work done through others and delivering great products and experiences. What emails do you find the hardest to write, and why? For me, it’s the follow-up communication with someone who said they would deliver something by a certain date, and didn’t. Someone outside of our daily routine, whom I don’t know well, and is only reachable via email because they rarely answer the phone. After much trial and error, I have a format that appears to work: Hi [insert…
  • Product Management Interview With Paul Young, Godfather Of ProductCamp

    Christopher Cummings
    28 Mar 2015 | 7:42 am
    “When faced with a constraint like this, we have to get creative…” – Paul Young Continuing our series of candid, one-on-one interviews with product management professionals. In the spotlight today is Paul Young, an instructor for Pragmatic Marketing and the founder of ProductCamp Austin. How did a degree in Radio-Television-Film lead to product management? And what practical advice does he have for harried Product Managers? Read on… Paul, can you describe your career path for us? Did you always want to be in product management? I never thought I would end up in…
  • Today’s Product Management Pop Song: ‘The Product Manager Is A Dog’

    Christopher Cummings
    13 Feb 2015 | 11:54 am
    I was listening to a Minecraft parody of a Katy Perry song the other day, and that got me thinking about songs about product management. While I work on my own product management parody song (and, yes, I am working on one) I wanted to share a product management-related song from China, forwarded to me by zoranrilak. Be warned: “The Product Manager Is A Dog” features a catchy melody, an odd music video, and lyrics that are comically desperate. Watch the music video on youku.com. If you’ve ever been frustrated as a PM, you may find yourself singing along like the…
  • Product Management Lesson From Ralph Baer, Father Of Console Video Games

    Christopher Cummings
    13 Dec 2014 | 11:17 am
    Decades before the first PlayStations or Xboxes took over our living rooms, there was the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s very first home video game console. The Odyssey’s inventor, Ralph Baer, passed away earlier this week at age 92. PBS interviewed Baer at age 89 and he talked candidly about outliving his wife and his friends, and the thrill he still gets from inventing things. He said something really profound to me in that interview. As he’s talking about potential retirement, this lifelong engineer and creator and thinker says: “I’m basically an artist, no…
  • The Thankful Product Manager

    Christopher Cummings
    27 Nov 2014 | 7:40 am
    Thanksgiving Day in the United States is primarily about two key activities: Giving thanks, and eating. Before I start chowing down, I wanted to say three things: As a Product Manager, I want to say “thank you”… To everyone involved in turning our ideas into products. Many different departments and people are involved in strategy, concepts, marketing, testing, development, analytics, and commercialization — so many that it can sometimes feel overwhelming! But no PM is an island, and without your help, we aren’t going anywhere. So thank you! If you’re a…
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    spatially relevant

  • Product Marketing: Inbound Marketing, Content and Launch Approaches

    Jon Gatrell
    2 May 2015 | 7:27 am
    An Inbound Marketer's Guide to Product Marketing from rickburnes
  • Work Moments: Productivity and the Workplace

    Jon Gatrell
    26 Jan 2014 | 11:49 am
    This presentation provides insight into why it is so difficult to get REAL work done in the office. The Benefits of Remote Working from CrownPublishing I spent a good deal of time working at home. At one point when I worked at home for nearly 2 years in Michigan. While I was technically more productive, I had to make an effort to travel to Atlanta at least one a month, as possible, to connect with people for real.
  • Collaboration requires the sharing of knowledge

    Jon Gatrell
    22 Nov 2013 | 9:41 am
    Starting a Collaboration Revolution from Sven
  • Storytelling: The mechanics to a data driven approach

    Jon Gatrell
    13 Sep 2013 | 10:41 am
    I know we have all seen presentations and marketing efforts, like infographics, which are confusing, cluttered and just not compelling. Leslie Bradshaw’s approach to integrating data and design for storytelling in a digital world provides clear guidelines for how to balance – data, design and messaging.
  • Quotes to Think About as Marketers

    Jon Gatrell
    15 May 2013 | 3:10 pm
    While the presentation is focused on M&A considerations, I think it is a good set of quotes for Marketers and Product Managers to embrace strategically, even if some of the personalities quoted might not be a traditional source for marketers to reference. Top 10 M&A Quotes from Firmex
 
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    A Girl's Guide to Project Management

  • Why Projects Need Stories

    Elizabeth Harrin
    25 May 2015 | 12:36 am
    “I am a bird, as green as can be. Is there room on the broom* for a bird like me?” “Yes,” says Jack. And, “Yes, says the witch,” I read, “and the bird flutters on. The witch taps the broomstick and…” “Whoosh,” says Jack. “They were gone,” I finish, and he reaches to turn the page. He remembers the story. He remembers the pattern to the words, the cadence and the repetition. Because that’s what stories do. The good ones stay with you. They help you to remember. This is what Dr Joseph (Jo) Griffin talked about at the PMI EMEA Global Congress in London earlier this…
  • Managing the Urgent and Unexpected [Book Review]

    Elizabeth Harrin
    22 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    Urgent and unexpected projects have to be rare to be tolerable. You couldn’t sustain a business that lurched from one unexpected initiative to another, but we all know they happen. Managing the Urgent and Unexpected*, by Stephen Wearne and Keith White-Hunt, is a book of case studies and commentary aimed at preparing organisations for these problem projects. The lessons learned aren’t applicable to the majority of projects at individual levels. Rather, they are designed to help PMO and business leaders put plans in place for those unexpected issues where projects are started quickly and…
  • The 6 Things Every Stakeholder Wants

    Elizabeth Harrin
    20 May 2015 | 12:45 am
    You think you know what your stakeholders want. Emad Aziz has a model that will make sure you do. He shared it with delegates at the PMI Global Congress EMEA earlier this month and it will give you a huge degree of clarity when starting to work with a new group of project stakeholders or a new sponsor. And it’s easy. Emad said in his presentation that there are 6 things that every stakeholder wants. Let’s take a look at the list. 1. To know what’s in it for them Many, many people are motivated by knowing what the benefit is for them. Depending on your project this could be one (or more)…
  • Free Template: Project Risk Log

    Elizabeth Harrin
    18 May 2015 | 12:49 am
    This month’s free template (have you noticed how this has become a monthly thing?) is a project risk log. It’s an easy-to-use spreadsheet with sortable columns. It isn’t going to help you calculate the probability of risk with any greater degree of accuracy than a 1 to 5 scale, so you’ll have to do your detailed calculations outside of it, if that’s your thing. For the majority of projects that need to simply record the risks and the action plan devised in order to handle them, this template will be fine. Download the risk log template below (this will also…
  • Win a Project Management Fast Track Training Course!

    Elizabeth Harrin
    15 May 2015 | 1:31 am
    Whoop! It’s giveaway time again and this month I have one of my best competition prizes ever: FOUR places on Activia Training’s Project Management Fast Track course. The course is specifically designed for people with little or no project management experience, so it’s perfect if you are looking to break into your first project management job or want a helping hand at the start of your career. This one-day course runs at five city locations across England (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol). Class sizes are really low for this sort of training: normally around six…
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    svpg blog

  • Autonomy vs. Initiatives

    8 May 2015 | 8:24 am
    To continue on the series on team autonomy (see autonomy vs. leverage, autonomy vs. mission and autonomy vs. ownership), I wanted to add one more important dimension to this discussion which concerns the practical implications of working on large, multi-team initiatives.   First, when I say “initiative” I’m referring to those product efforts that necessarily span many teams.  Common examples of this include: a site usability redesign, or a move to responsive design, or an internationalization and localization effort for a significant new geography such as…
  • Autonomy vs. Ownership

    14 Apr 2015 | 5:25 pm
    In my recent articles I have been exploring the critically important but complex topic of autonomy of product teams.  First we discussed the trade-offs between autonomy and leverage, and then we discussed the trade-offs between autonomy and mission.  From your feedback I know this is a subject that is important to many of you, and I realized there was one more dimension to this discussion that I should also put out there, and that has to do with the trade-offs between autonomy and the concept of ownership, especially code ownership. What most companies do when…
  • Autonomy vs. Mission

    6 Apr 2015 | 4:51 pm
    In my last article I discussed the trade-offs between the sometimes conflicting goals of team autonomy versus leverage.  Quite a few of you wrote to me and said this was a hot topic at your company, and several asked about the same basic topic, but less from an engineering perspective and more from a product and design perspective.  This issue comes up enough in different forms that I thought it was worth elaborating on. Here’s some examples of the trade-off I’m referring to: - What if one of the teams decides that they see a better opportunity pivoting their effort…
  • Autonomy vs. Leverage

    10 Mar 2015 | 4:13 pm
    Virtually every leading tech company has jumped on the empowered, dedicated/durable, cross-functional, collaborative product team bandwagon, and I think things are much better for it.  I don’t see very many companies that are still using the old models (primarily the pool model). The results speak for themselves, but I attribute most of the benefits to the increased level of motivation, and true sense of ownership, when teams feel more in control of their own destiny. However, while most leaders tell me they have empowered, autonomous teams, some of the people on those teams…
  • The Power of Customer Misbehavior

    20 Jan 2015 | 4:18 pm
    There are of course many ways to come up with significant new product ideas.  Historically, the two main approaches have been: 1) to try to assess the market opportunities and pick potentially lucrative areas where significant pain exists; and 2) to look at what the technology or data enables – what’s just now possible – and match that up with the significant pain.   You can think of the first as following the market, and the second as following the technology.  Either way can get you to product market fit. However, some of the most successful companies today…
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    Product Focus » Blog

  • Are you in a dog fight with the other product managers in your company?

    admin
    19 May 2015 | 11:17 am
    I bet you thought that other companies were your main source of competition. Or perhaps other products in your business that overlap with yours. But is it the other product managers at your company that are your biggest threat? Are you really in a dog fight with them? In some large companies I’ve seen it’s a dog-eat-dog world and you’ve got to fight your corner. You’re scrapping for attention from the Sales team. Scrabbling around for Development resource. Desperate to secure senior-level support. The competition is your fellow product managers who are trying to do the same.
  • What’s most important – great product managers or great organisation?

    admin
    14 May 2015 | 3:36 am
    Does great product management come from great product managers or great organisation? On a recent course one of our delegates (who understandably wanted to remain nameless) said “In our company product management is a mess. The job seems to vary from product to product – no one seems quite sure who does what. Agile was introduced but now we’re back to a messy compromise between Scrum and Stage-Gate. And our senior management expect us to deliver no matter what. So the job is about working round the systems to get things done and fire-fighting.” ‘Hero’ product managers cut-through…
  • It’s not you it’s the system

    admin
    22 Apr 2015 | 6:45 am
    Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in mud? It takes much more time and effort to do things than it should. Decisions take forever. Other parts of the business seem to be hindering rather than helping. People don’t seem aligned on priorities. It’s just not clear how to make progress. Or maybe it’s worse than that… Senior management become frustrated with the slow progress and unleash fast track ‘strategic projects’ that torpedo your carefully laid plans. No one has faith in the standard processes and so everything happens through escalations, top-level priority calls and…
  • What vs How

    admin
    6 Mar 2015 | 1:11 am
    Do you ever struggle to explain to colleagues what product management does? If so, here’s a simple model that can help. Essentially product management is about “the what”. What product should we build? What is the proposition? What market segments are we targeting? Development, Marketing and Sales are the key teams product management works with. If product management is about “the what”, they are about “the how”. Product management knows what needs to be built (the requirements) but Development are the experts on how best to build the product. Product management knows the…
  • 7 ways to persuade your boss to approve training

    admin
    9 Jan 2015 | 4:49 am
    So here they are … 7 ways to persuade your boss to give you some product management training. 1. Just ask Let’s face it, your boss is busy. They have lots of important things competing for their attention. Asking about training may seem a pretty low priority and not something you’d want to trouble them with. Well, guess what, your career is pretty important as well. Why wouldn’t your boss be pleased if you want to improve yourself and do a better job? It makes you look good by asking and it can’t hurt to get the subject on the agenda. You may just get an easy ‘yes’. 2.
 
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    280 Group

  • Product Management Rule #33: Let the Customer End the Debate

    matt
    18 May 2015 | 1:53 pm
    Product Management Rule #33 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Noël Adams, President, Clearworks Product managers need a way to stop the debate—a way to provide proof and evidence that the product recommendations they support are the right approach. One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of being a product manager is moderating the internal debate around what the product should “be”. What it should look like, what features should be included, what functionality is...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #33: Let…
  • Product Marketing Rule #32: Protect Your Product’s Rear

    Brian Lawley
    6 May 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #32 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by By Jim Anderson, President, Blue Elephant Consulting If you are successful, you’re going to have competitors trying to find ways to take your product marketing crown from you. Will you be ready? So there you are, your company has launched its fantastic new blue widget product and the reviews are rolling in: you’ve got a hit product on your hands. Life is going to...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #32: Protect Your Product’s Rear appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Challenges In Product Management 2015 Survey

    Brian Lawley
    27 Apr 2015 | 11:44 am
    We need your opinions and experience to help us move the Product Management profession forward! The Challenges in Product Management survey takes less than seven minutes to complete, and all participants will receive the final report as well as an electronic copy of Brian Lawley’s top 50 Amazon business best seller, The Phenomenal Product Manager. Additionally, all respondents will be entered into a drawing. The first place winner will receive an iPad Air 2 and the second place winner will...[continue reading] The post Challenges In Product Management 2015 Survey appeared first on 280…
  • Product Management Rule #32: Determine Your Marketing Approach Early and Wisely

    Brian Lawley
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:35 pm
    Product Management Rule #32 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Barbara Rice, Senior Principal Consultant, 280 Group A brilliant product without the right marketing approach to support it can result in company failure. As product managers, you always have to struggle to meet customer needs in the context of an unrealistic schedule in order for the company to meet its objectives. It’s easy to get caught up and over- whelmed with turning out a perfect...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #32: Determine Your Marketing Approach Early…
  • 5 Ways to Cut to the Chase as a Product Manager

    Brian Lawley
    15 Apr 2015 | 2:26 pm
    This post was written by Pamela Schure, Director of Products and Services for the 280 Group. Pamela recently ran a webinar on this topic which can be viewed here if you are an AIPMM member: Earning Influence And Authority To Be A More Effective Product Manager. The slides are also available on slideshare at the previous link. The wonderful part about being a Product Manager is the passion you feel for your product and the benefits that it brings to your...[continue reading] The post 5 Ways to Cut to the Chase as a Product Manager appeared first on 280 Group.
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    280 Group » Product Management Blog

  • Product Management Rule #33: Let the Customer End the Debate

    matt
    18 May 2015 | 1:53 pm
    Product Management Rule #33 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Noël Adams, President, Clearworks Product managers need a way to stop the debate—a way to provide proof and evidence that the product recommendations they support are the right approach. One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of being a product manager is moderating the internal debate around what the product should “be”. What it should look like, what features should be included, what functionality is...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #33: Let…
  • Product Marketing Rule #32: Protect Your Product’s Rear

    Brian Lawley
    6 May 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #32 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by By Jim Anderson, President, Blue Elephant Consulting If you are successful, you’re going to have competitors trying to find ways to take your product marketing crown from you. Will you be ready? So there you are, your company has launched its fantastic new blue widget product and the reviews are rolling in: you’ve got a hit product on your hands. Life is going to...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #32: Protect Your Product’s Rear appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Challenges In Product Management 2015 Survey

    Brian Lawley
    27 Apr 2015 | 11:44 am
    We need your opinions and experience to help us move the Product Management profession forward! The Challenges in Product Management survey takes less than seven minutes to complete, and all participants will receive the final report as well as an electronic copy of Brian Lawley’s top 50 Amazon business best seller, The Phenomenal Product Manager. Additionally, all respondents will be entered into a drawing. The first place winner will receive an iPad Air 2 and the second place winner will...[continue reading] The post Challenges In Product Management 2015 Survey appeared first on 280…
  • Product Management Rule #32: Determine Your Marketing Approach Early and Wisely

    Brian Lawley
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:35 pm
    Product Management Rule #32 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Barbara Rice, Senior Principal Consultant, 280 Group A brilliant product without the right marketing approach to support it can result in company failure. As product managers, you always have to struggle to meet customer needs in the context of an unrealistic schedule in order for the company to meet its objectives. It’s easy to get caught up and over- whelmed with turning out a perfect...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #32: Determine Your Marketing Approach Early…
  • 5 Ways to Cut to the Chase as a Product Manager

    Brian Lawley
    15 Apr 2015 | 2:26 pm
    This post was written by Pamela Schure, Director of Products and Services for the 280 Group. Pamela recently ran a webinar on this topic which can be viewed here if you are an AIPMM member: Earning Influence And Authority To Be A More Effective Product Manager. The slides are also available on slideshare at the previous link. The wonderful part about being a Product Manager is the passion you feel for your product and the benefits that it brings to your...[continue reading] The post 5 Ways to Cut to the Chase as a Product Manager appeared first on 280 Group.
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    MindTheProduct

  • How to Find the Right Customers for Your Product Development Interviews

    Suzie Prince
    12 May 2015 | 8:30 am
    Most of us agree that talking to potential customers about your product before you invest in building it is a good idea. And I think we pretty much all agree that asking Mom if she likes our idea doesn’t count as validation, except in the emotional sense. But sadly, people still seem to be fine asking any ol’ random person – who’s most likely not a potential customer – for their opinion. Just today, in an interview, a product management candidate said to me, “…and I talked to random people about what they liked. I tend to meet lots of people and it was good…
  • Josh Brewer, Rochelle King and Mina Radhakrishnan round out the #mtpcon SF line up

    Martin Eriksson
    28 Apr 2015 | 11:43 am
    I hope you got a ticket to our sold out conference in San Francisco on June 4th, because the line-up promises to be absolutely amazing. As if Marty Cagan, Kathy Sierra, Ryan Singer, Linda Rising, Tom Chi and Jon Kolko weren’t amazing enough, we’ve rounded out the line-up with three more rockstars of the product and design world: Josh Brewer Josh is a vocal advocate for Design Leadership, writing and speaking about the challenges of building Design-led companies and products. As an active advisor to several startups, a mentor at the Designer Fund, and part of the Kleiner Perkins…
  • Product Management is a Team Sport

    Martin Eriksson
    27 Apr 2015 | 7:47 am
    In my post what is a product manager, I define that person as the intersection of UX, business and technology. Many have misunderstood that to mean product managers are superior to those teams. Other product management definitions often fall back on the “product manager is the CEO of their product” trope. Both of these views fundamentally misunderstand the role and – worse – set any product manager following them up for failure. A better analogy would be to see the product manager as the conductor of an orchestra – or the quarterback in a game of football. Like the conductor or…
  • Stop Thinking About User Interface: A Product Approach for Designing Products of the Future

    Juan José Ramírez
    24 Apr 2015 | 6:06 am
    One month ago I subscribed to Digit, a service that promises a way to “save money without thinking about it”. The way it works is simple – you submit your mobile number, link your bank account and you’re pretty much set. There are no apps, no user interfaces or additional confirmations. The only thing Digit asks you to do is save their phone number as a contact, as once you’re subscribed, interactions occur exclusively through SMS. These text messages inform you about your daily balance and give you a snapshot of how much money they’ve been saving for you. If you text a word like…
  • 8 Insightful Podcasts for Product Managers

    Molly Barton
    22 Apr 2015 | 9:10 am
    It’s no secret, especially for commuters, that – 10 years into their existence – podcasts have become an incredibly valuable and popular source of stories and information. This is especially true for podcasts that are highly targeted to a specific industry’s issues and highlight current approaches for overcoming industry challenges. Professionals in virtually every industry are using podcasts as a way of sharing best practice and learning from each other. However when Alpha UX, a real-time user insights company I advise, interviewed more than 100 product managers, they found that,…
 
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    Product Talk

  • How To Write Product Requirements That Engage Everyone on the Team

    Teresa Torres
    29 Apr 2015 | 10:45 am
    Why do you write product requirements? We used to write long product requirement documents to communicate the solution we wanted our engineering teams to build. But over time we learned that outlining every detail of the solution upfront leads to overcommitting to solutions before we know whether or not they work. With the rise of Agile methodologies we started to define our requirements iteratively allowing us to collect feedback from the market before we over invest. With the introduction of the user story and more recently the job story, we shifted our focus again from the solution to the…
  • Product Managers Don’t Own the Problem (And Designers Don’t Own the Solution)

    Teresa Torres
    8 Apr 2015 | 10:30 am
    Imagine a product team discussing new commenting functionality on their company blog. “We should let people comment anonymously.” “That will only attract trolls. We should require real names.” “We should require unique names, but allow pseudonyms.” You won’t find a shortage of debate on this topic across the Internet. But there is no right answer. Like many product questions, it depends. It depends on your business goals. It depends on your audience. And it depends on the problem you are solving for them. Businesses are good at taking care of their own needs. Some are getting…
  • Take a Team Approach to Product Delivery

    Teresa Torres
    1 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am
    Jim, like many product mangers, spends most of his day with his engineering team. He clarifies requirements, triages bugs, and seeks out hidden dependencies. Sally, on the other hand, spends most of her time with customers. She’s understanding their context, uncovering pain points, and identifying opportunities to delight. What’s the difference between Jim and Sally? At some companies, Jim might be a product owner and Sally might be a product manager. But if Sally and Jim both work at companies that combine these roles, what accounts for their differences? Why does Sally have time to…
  • Your Title Doesn’t Matter

    Teresa Torres
    25 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    If you’ve been reading Product Talk for long, you’ve probably noticed that I sometimes blur the lines between product management and user experience design. I started out as an interaction designer back in 1999. Back then we were arguing about the differences between interaction design, user interface design, and information architecture. Today we argue about the differences between user experience design and interaction design. As designers build their technical chops, we get arguments about the boundaries between design and front-end development. As conversion rate optimization becomes…
  • Fix Delivery to Make Time for Discovery

    Teresa Torres
    18 Mar 2015 | 10:20 am
    “How do we know if we are building the right things?” “We are building feature after feature but to what end?” “How do we know what customers really want or need?” Have you heard these sentiments before? I am hearing them more and more. Underlying each quote is a yearning to do more discovery work. Marty Cagan makes a great distinction between discovery and delivery. Discovery is the work that product managers do to figure out what to build. Delivery is the work that product managers do to deliver a product. Some teams split these roles into product mangers who focus on…
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    Frank Lio: Practical Product Management, Marketing, Strategy, and Life - Blog

  • Why Beautiful Products Fail - Porter's 6th Force

    14 May 2015 | 11:37 am
    The ultimate product strategy where you can lock in your customers is to create a complete ecosystem for your products.Too many people think of only making beautiful products with proprietary software platforms, accessories and peripherals. They believe that this allows them to “own” the customer.  Their belief is that everything made or sold is in direct competition to them.On the contrary, winning companies think of opening up their products to allow users and third parties to further innovate, complement, and enhance what they offer. This expands the features and…
  • Leadership: Being Liked versus Respected

    29 Apr 2015 | 2:13 pm
    Many years ago, a CEO told me that he did not expect to be liked but did expect to be respected. I have been trying to figure this one out. Leadership is not a popularity contest and, in many cases, you are no longer “one of us” among your colleagues when you assume a leadership position. There are times when you have to make unpopular decisions for the good of the company and all. I suppose this is where transparency and inclusion earns you the respect.However, you still must have empathy and compassion. Eric Shinseki, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the 34th Chief…
  • The 3 Keys to Optimal Motivation

    10 Apr 2015 | 11:27 am
    "Under controlled conditions of light, temperature, humidity, and nutrition, the organism will do as it damn well pleases." Eleven teachers from the Atlanta Public Schools were recently convicted for tampering with state standardized tests.  An investigation found that 44 out of 56 schools cheated on the year 2009 tests; 178 teachers and principals were found to have corrected answers entered by students. Many who confessed blamed the pressure to meet mandated targets and the consequences of failing, including termination. Why did this happen? One can argue that this…
  • Strategy 101: Choose What NOT to Do

    17 Feb 2015 | 11:34 am
    McDonald’s has been trying to turn around its sales by drastically expanding its menu with new offerings. This led to new problems including customer confusion, longer ordering and wait times, more work and pressure on staff, and higher prices from premium offerings.  They recently announced plans to cut the number of items on its U.S. menus and use fewer ingredients in its food as it moves to speed up service, bolster sales - eliminating eight food items and five Extra Value Meals.Chef/restaurateur/Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian recently agreed with this move:…
  • Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered - A Teachable Moment from Intuit

    2 Feb 2015 | 1:29 pm
    The recent marketing moves (I daresay "fiasco")  by Intuit with their TurboTax products will be a business school case study for years.Background:Intuit’s TurboTax products dominate the tax preparation software business with over 60% market share in 2013. For 2014, Intuit removed some functionality (e-file forms for some schedules) from their “TurboTax Deluxe” desktop product. This move would force many “Deluxe” users to upgrade to the more expensive “Premier” or “Home & Small Business” products. The problem was that the…
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    Under10 by Steve Johnson

  • Innovation and managing duplicates

    Steve Johnson
    21 May 2015 | 6:18 am
    Once an innovation is implemented it is no longer innovative.—Jack Anderson, Innovation Capability Strategist, Chevron. Where do you find ideas for new products? After all, it seems like everything’s already been solved. Yet ideas are everywhere. What problems are you dealing with today that requires a solution? Have you looked at your address book lately? I have numbers and names I’ve moved from one computer to another and from one address book program to another; I’ve been using smart phones for years. I have contacts spread across three accounts. And so I’ve got…
  • Dealing with one-off feature requests

    Steve Johnson
    14 May 2015 | 3:46 am
    ‪A reader asks: How does one deal with one-off feature requests from sales people that are supposedly deal breakers? No product is ever finished. There’s always another feature needed. That’s why it seems many product managers are continually saying “no” to sales requests. Yet, to the sales person, these one-off requests for a single customer seem perfectly reasonable. Look at it from a sales perspective: You don’t have this key feature; you don’t support this key technology. And the competitors do. Remember, the only time sales people hear something…
  • For your convenience

    Steve Johnson
    7 May 2015 | 10:35 am
    When we’re talking about positioning and messaging, I always reflect on the falseness of many messages: customers come first; we’re here to help you; we’re scalable. Just saying it doesn’t make it so. Here’s my favorite: For your convenience. Just think about the number of times you see that phrase. How often do you think, “Wow! This is really convenient!” (For me, it’s never). I mean, if you want to be honest, shouldn’t the sign read: ‘For OUR convenience’? On my airline, “for your convenience we no longer take cash; we…
  • Product Innovation: a systematic approach

    Steve Johnson
    23 Apr 2015 | 1:53 pm
    The one test of innovation is the value it brings us, the result. Anything else is just… showing off.—from an IBM ad. My definition of innovation is solving a customer problem in a new way. The key to innovation is an intense focus on one specific type of customer and problem. To build an innovation team, you want to pull together people who have experience solving this type of problem. From The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton Christensen: “The managers in your organization who have most consistently delivered results in the past may be the least skilled at delivering success in…
  • 5 Critical Skills for Product Leaders

    Steve Johnson
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:01 am
    Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion. —W Edwards Deming, quality expert. Roles and responsibilities for product managers and product marketing managers vary from industry to industry and even from company to company within an industry. In general, we see product managers in mobile products more focused on technology skills while product managers for enterprise products tend to be more focused on sales and marketing. Hardware and semiconductor industries rely heavily on operational skills for product managers. When considering a product leadership role in any…
 
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    Serendipity: the germ.io blog

  • [Announcing] The most beautiful update to germ yet: The Paper Experience

    Vikram
    12 May 2015 | 9:27 am
    Right from the day we started building germ.io, we knew we were onto an ambitious mission – to help people everywhere turn their abstract ideas into actionable project plans they can get working on. Of course, we knew this wasn’t a simple problem. We knew we were fighting a battle that 30 years of project management dinosaurs and scary Gantt charts had just plain given up on, in favor of fancy looking to-do lists. We knew if we had to build a product that helped you give form, definition and structure to your abstract ideas, we needed to rethink everything. We needed to build an…
  • The Cheater’s Guide to Growth: Figuring out your PMF Silver Bullet

    Vikram
    6 May 2015 | 9:03 am
    At the early stages of starting up, there is nothing more important than hitting that “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”, called Product Market Fit. You don’t really have a business until you have a sustainable and repeatable model of bringing in users and turning them into active (paying) customers. Paul Graham says so… Marc Andreessen says so… Dave McClure says so… Heck, even your grandma says so. But how do you get to Product Market Fit? Really? I remember when we started out at germ.io, and everyone we spoke to kept throwing around the term “PMF” like it came out…
  • Don’t Think – Announcing pre-thought idea templates for your next big project

    Vikram
    14 Apr 2015 | 1:34 am
    Now that’s a pretty strange title in a blog about germ.io. After all, our one single purpose in life is to help you think – capture your awesome ideas, break them down into finer details, and build an action plan out of it. So why would we ask you to not think? Because shaping your abstract ideas into something actionable isn’t really easy. The road from “thought” to “execution” is filled with distractions, diversions and speed bumps – a million things that make you drop your ideas before you reach the halfway point. And having to put your…
  • Think Top-Down, Do Bottom-Up: germing your creative projects from thought to action

    Vikram
    23 Mar 2015 | 10:28 am
    The world of traditional project management is pretty simple. Create a project, set a bunch of tasks under it, assign them, and let the gears roll. But creative projects are a bit… trickier. You don’t have a ready set of requirements to get started with. You need to discover where you need to go, and why. And, most times, you don’t know exactly what needs to get done, when and by whom until you actually get there. Traditional projects are purely about doing. You don’t need to be a genius thinker when the ancients have already set the processes and next steps you…
  • Launching Work Views with Actionables (II): The last mile in taking your ideas to execution

    Vikram
    14 Mar 2015 | 9:29 am
    The toughest part in working through your creative projects is giving shape to a bunch of abstract ideas – capturing thoughts, breaking them down into focussed next steps, brainstorming with the people that matter, and keeping up as your flow of thought evolves into something more tangible… That’s why we started working on germ.io roughly a year ago with one simple purpose - to help you turn your ideas into executable project plans. We focussed on creating a product that actually worked alongside your natural thinking process, instead of against it. We designed a free-form…
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    Product Bookshelf

  • Information Spaces

    Olaf Kowalik
    11 May 2015 | 8:34 am
    Our lives blend virtual and physical identities, realities, and places. Understanding context requires mapping the changing and overlapping elements of our environments. Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture covers a many aspects of context, focused mostly on digital environments. The book bring together intersecting and related fields and theories in sociology, linguistics, and computer science to describe the way we build and understand the places we inhabit. Andrew Hinton devotes the first half of the book to discussing physical, semantic, and…
  • Understanding Context

    Olaf Kowalik
    1 May 2015 | 10:50 pm
    Context consists of three modes of information: physical, semantic, and digital. Each of these structures has its own dynamics, discovery methods, modes of understanding, and ways of knowing. In Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture author Andrew Hinton takes readers on an extended journey through the structure and components of context. He describes each layer of context, devoting several chapters to each, and brings in a variety of theories which provide entry points for each. Hinton covers a lot of ground and includes discussions of biology,…
  • Picking the right marketing play

    Olaf Kowalik
    31 Mar 2015 | 5:19 pm
    Find your industry gaps, understand your customers and competitors and objectively assess your own capabilities. Then, combine the five essential marketing plays as your business evolves. The Marketing Playbook: Five Battle-Tested Plays for Capturing and Keeping the Lead in Any Market presents five key marketing strategies and a method for evaluating which is appropriate at any given time. The first part of the book lays out the plays and the second part discusses how to assess your market and move from one play to the next for maximum impact. Once you’ve assessed the current market…
  • The Five Essential Marketing Plays

    Olaf Kowalik
    23 Mar 2015 | 11:21 pm
    Assess your market, your competition, and your strengths, then pick one of five essential marketing plays. In The Marketing Playbook: Five Battle-Tested Plays for Capturing and Keeping the Lead in Any Market authors John Zagula and Richard Tong, now both at Ignition Capital, show how all marketing strategies can be condensed into one of five basic plays. Based on their experience at Microsoft with such products as Word and SQL server, Zagula and Tong distill a wide range of market opportunities down to a handful of strategic choices. The Drag Race is a direct attack on a single competitor.
  • Platform Architecture

    Olaf Kowalik
    10 Mar 2015 | 9:15 pm
    Use partitioning and system integration to build effective platform architecture. Platform architectures should be simple, resilient, maintainable, and evolvable. Amrit Tiwana discusses platform attributes as well as design patterns and risks in Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy. He uses cities as a metaphor for well functioning platform architectures and describes how complexity erodes platform viability and increases costs. architecture is a platform’s DNA that preordains visible organizing logics and irreversibly imprints its evolutionary…
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    Product Manager HQ

  • Product Manager Weekly Reading #32

    ProductManagerHQ
    19 May 2015 | 12:22 am
    Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management! 1) Cohort Analysis That Helps You Look Ahead Benn Stancil, Chief Analyst at Mode, provides alternative methods to expand your cohort analyses so that you can learn about your users and proactively improve your product. 2) How to […]
  • Gaining Respect as a Non-Technical PM

    Glen Chen
    14 May 2015 | 10:23 pm
    If you’ve been following the PM world even for a bit, you’ve probably come across the age-old question of how technical product managers should be. In many software startups and larger technology companies, technical backgrounds have become a strong requirement for PMs. However, this is not the absolute case and there are valid reasons why PMs […]
  • Product Manager Weekly Reading #31

    ProductManagerHQ
    11 May 2015 | 9:28 pm
    Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management! 1) We Don’t Sell Saddles Here *MUST READ* Every so often, we come across a piece of writing that reminds us why we work in and love product. This memo that was sent internally amongst the Slack […]
  • Product Manager Weekly Reading #30

    ProductManagerHQ
    4 May 2015 | 11:22 pm
    Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management! 1) How to Write Product Requirements that Engage Everyone on the Team Teresa Torres, VP of Product at AfterCollege, explains the optimal way to create user stories and product requirements to build shared responsibility for product delivery across […]
  • How Do Product Managers & UX Designers Work Together?

    Glen Chen
    30 Apr 2015 | 10:18 pm
    In many companies, the product manager and the UX designer roles go hand in hand. This week’s post is an introduction to the UX designer role, how it’s similar (and different) to the product manager role, and how the two effectively work together to deliver a great product. Before who dive deeper into the two roles, […]
 
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