Product Management

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  • Do have the right product launch goals?

    Launch Clinic
    David Daniels
    1 Oct 2014 | 7:27 am
    Tweet You’re working hard toward launching your next product. Your project plan is glorious. The deliverables are well defined. The activities are noted. The interdependencies are evident in the Gantt chart. You have the best people on your cross-functional product launch team. You are set. Or are you? Do you and your team know what a successful product launch looks like? How will the success of the product launch be measured by the executive team? If you can’t answers those questions you’re not alone. Many companies get so fixated on getting “stuff” done in…
  • Des Traynor – Product strategy in a growing company

    MindTheProduct
    Martin Eriksson
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:17 am
    “If software is eating the world, then product managers are setting the menu”. Des Traynor, co-founder of customer communication platform Intercom, talks about how to create simple, yet brilliant products. He asks us to consider where products come from and how they are made, arguing that a product manager should know where the product stops and starts. Ultimately, he says, the customer only cares about the value a product can provide, not how many features it has and Des shares his strategies for managing feature creep and staying true to the core of the product. The post Des…
  • YOUR OPINION, ALTHOUGH INTERESTING, IS IRRELEVANT

    Brainmates - Boosting People and Product PerformanceBrainmates - Boosting People and Product Performance
    Sean Richards
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Harsh But Good Advice for Budding Product Managers and Product Marketers I have been in the game of product management and product marketing for a while now — 13 years. Over that time I have learnt a thing or two and have made just as many mistakes. One thing I do know is that these roles are awesome. This is what I love to do. What is not to like about these kinds of roles? You work with essentially all other business units, you drive strategy for the business through your portfolio, you get to work with lots of customers, it is a highly visible role and it usually pays pretty well.
  • Product Management – You’re doing it wrong

    On Product Management
    Saeed
    12 Oct 2014 | 9:06 pm
    by Saeed Khan Would anyone hire a sales rep, have him spend his time updating the website and then wonder why the sales aren’t coming in? Or how about hiring a accountant, asking her to project manage the development team, then question why the books aren’t up to date? Or how about having some of the software developers spend time […]
  • UX and product managers

    Under 10 by Steve Johnson
    Steve Johnson
    8 Oct 2014 | 4:51 am
    On the Mind the Product blog, Martin Eriksson writes, I’ve always defined product management as the intersection between business, technology and user experience. A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners in all. To Martin’s list I would add expertise on the market (or persona) and a passion for the domain. I’ve written about expertise in product management in my free ebook. (Download it here). User experience (UX) is an area that befuddles many product managers. Ideally, product managers should…
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    280 Group » Product Management Blog

  • Product Marketing Rule #26: Always Test Your Message

    matt
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:36 am
    Product Marketing Rule #26 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Greg Cohen, Senior Principal Consultant, 280 Group Customer validation also applies to product marketing Experience is a harsh teacher. She has visited me many times in my career. This experience is how I learned that customer validation also applies to product marketing. In particular, it is equally important to test and confirm marketing materials and messages as it is to test product concepts and designs....[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #26: Always Test Your Message…
  • Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes

    Brian Lawley
    13 Oct 2014 | 3:26 pm
    Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes was written by Brian Lawley and is included in the Product Launch Toolkit. Common Errors to Avoid to Ensure Success Introduction Companies invest millions of dollars each year developing new products and trying to increase their revenues and profitability. Some of these are good products, and some aren’t. Nonetheless, they all have one thing in common: without appropriate marketing activities they will most likely fail. In fact, there are many examples of inferior products that...[continue reading] The post Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes appeared first…
  • Product Management Rule #26: Align Your Product Strategy With The Company Strategy

    Brian Lawley
    6 Oct 2014 | 11:19 am
    Product Management Rule #26 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Mara Krieps, Founder, Pivotal PM Your product needs executive sponsorship to succeed. You gain executive sponsorship by showing how your product strategy supports the company strategy. The intrepid product manager who masters this rule will follow three steps: Understanding the Company Strategy Aligning Product Strategy with Company Strategy Telling the Strategy Story and Gaining Executive Support First, you need to understand the company strategy. Sometimes your...[continue reading] The…
  • How to Run an Effective Beta Program

    Brian Lawley
    29 Sep 2014 | 10:21 pm
    How to Run an Effective Beta Program was written by Brian Lawley and is included in the Beta Program Toolkit. A Beta program plan should include goals, recruiting, costs, timeline, responsibilities and success criteria. Introduction Oftentimes customer Beta programs are one of the most critical factors in the success or failure of a product. Yet many times they are not well-planned and are executed at the last minute with a lack of resources and focus. An effective Beta program can...[continue reading] The post How to Run an Effective Beta Program appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Marketing Rule #25: Create the Right Messaging First

    Brian Lawley
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:14 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #25 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Michael Cannon, CEO and Founder, Silver Bullet Group What’s typically absent from a product launch plan are the styles, categories, and types of messaging required for market success. We have all read the research reports from IDG, AMA, etc. that say over 50 percent of the content we produce is not relevant to customers, nor to the field/channel sales teams. It’s exceedingly difficult to...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #25: Create the Right Messaging First…
 
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    ProductMarketing.com

  • How You Can Use “Pay per Laugh”

    Mark Stiving
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:19 pm
    Tweet A friend and fellow pricing expert, Jon Manning, posted this article, “Comedy club charges customers per laugh” in the Pricing Propheteers LinkedIn group. If you click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the article, you’ll see a video that describes it well. To summarize, they hooked up cameras to the seat back in front of each patron and used that camera to count laughs based on facial expressions. The show was free to enter, but entrants were charged approximately 30 cents per laugh up to a maximum of 24 Euros. Very creative. Imagine you run a theater company and when…
  • How Pricing Can Be Used in Sales Compensation

    Mark Stiving
    13 Oct 2014 | 10:12 am
    Tweet A frequent question during our Price class is “How should we compensate our sales force?” Salespeople have a huge influence on our achieved margin.  They are the front line in any negotiations.  They are the ones who communicate our value to the customer.  They set the customer expectations on what price they should be paying. Since they have so much influence, how do we influence them to do the right thing when it comes to getting the highest price? You may have heard the phrase, “Salespeople are coin operated” meaning they do what they are paid to do.
  • Turns out your opinion is interesting AND relevant.

    marketing
    8 Oct 2014 | 9:19 am
    Tweet Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey on professional certifications and let us know what matters most to you! http://ow.ly/CrGro
  • Pricing at the Palms Resort

    Mark Stiving
    6 Oct 2014 | 2:53 pm
    Tweet Last week I attended the Train the Trainer class put on by Ed Tate and Darren LaCroix of the World Champions Edge. Great class. There is always something new to learn, but that’s not the point of this blog. They had arranged a special rate of only $49 a night for a room at the Palms Resort. What a great price. As a very frequent traveler, I haven’t paid $49 in years. And the Palms is a nice resort.  My room was as spacious and clean as any 4 star hotel. When I checked in the agent told me they had a $25 resort fee. Wow! A 50% up charge as a fee! The below is from the Palms website…
  • Competitive Intelligence: Four Pillars for Creating a Successful Sharing Strategy

    marketing
    6 Oct 2014 | 9:43 am
    Tweet In Pragmatic Marketing’s September webinar, Tim Rhodes, former director of competitive intelligence (CI) for Oracle, discussed the importance of establishing a CI sharing strategy and identified the four pillars necessary to establish a strong program: culture, CI structure, sharing process and tools. Companies that engage employees as a CI source learn important information about what’s happening in the marketplace. In addition, by developing a rich source of intelligence about their competitors’ products, marketing strategies and sales tactics, these companies are better…
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    On Product Management

  • The Maturity of your Market Dictates the Type of Product that You Need

    raspler
    19 Oct 2014 | 7:08 pm
    By Rivi Aspler A few months ago, I linked the type of product manager that you want to hire, to the product life cycle stage that your product is at, saying that an engineering oriented product manager would be a better fit for a product that is at its first life cycle stages and that […]
  • Politics and your next release

    Steve Johnson
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:20 am
    by Steve Johnson A desire not to butt into other people’s business is at least eighty percent of all human ‘wisdom’… and the other twenty percent isn’t very important.—Robert A. Heinlein, author You’ve planned a new release, pulling together ideas from the market and from the company. You think you’ve got a really strong plan […]
  • What is a Successful Product? An Overview of Metrics and KPIs to Track Product Success

    Saeed
    14 Oct 2014 | 11:00 pm
    by Anders Linsdorf Every company wants to be a success, and of course, that means having successful products.  But what is a successful product? Different companies will have different goals and it’s critical to measure and track product performance to achieve product success. While there can be many possible measures (metrics), the important ones are called […]
  • Product Management – You’re doing it wrong

    Saeed
    12 Oct 2014 | 9:06 pm
    by Saeed Khan Would anyone hire a sales rep, have him spend his time updating the website and then wonder why the sales aren’t coming in? Or how about hiring a accountant, asking her to project manage the development team, then question why the books aren’t up to date? Or how about having some of the software developers spend time […]
  • UX and product managers

    Steve Johnson
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:42 am
    On the Mind the Product blog, Martin Eriksson writes, I’ve always defined product management as the intersection between business, technology and user experience. A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners in all. To Martin’s list I would add expertise on the market (or persona) and […]
 
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    Brainmates - Boosting People and Product PerformanceBrainmates - Boosting People and Product Performance

  • Tehnical Product Manager Wanted in Sydney

    Adrienne
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Our friends at Parity Consulting are on the lookout for a super Technical Product Manager who enjoys innovating and doing things differently. If that’s you, contact Victoria Butt from Parity on 02 8599-9026.  Here’s the job ad. The company: Our client is one of the world’s leading e-commerce companies, providing both B2C and B2C2C sales and services on a global level. They believe that their success is driven by the quality and experience of talented people working together, and are looking for an eager and passionate technical product manager to join their high achieving…
  • The Age of Product Management

    Adrienne
    19 Oct 2014 | 3:41 pm
    About a 2 months ago a client from a large financial institution said to me  with excitement “It’s the Age of Product Management” as we discussed the plans to support his Product Management team to be event more effective in their roles. This comment got me thinking about the evolution of Product Management over the last 10 years. 1. You are Not Alone Brainmates ran our first Product Talk in 2007. At that time, there were no meetups, no Product Camps, and no Product Management conferences. At that first talk only 7 people turned up but we were elated. It’s certainly…
  • YOUR OPINION, ALTHOUGH INTERESTING, IS IRRELEVANT

    Sean Richards
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Harsh But Good Advice for Budding Product Managers and Product Marketers I have been in the game of product management and product marketing for a while now — 13 years. Over that time I have learnt a thing or two and have made just as many mistakes. One thing I do know is that these roles are awesome. This is what I love to do. What is not to like about these kinds of roles? You work with essentially all other business units, you drive strategy for the business through your portfolio, you get to work with lots of customers, it is a highly visible role and it usually pays pretty well.
  • The Three Tenets of Product Marketing

    Sean Richards
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:10 pm
    Build Business : Build Brand : Enable Organisation As Product Marketers and go-to-market professionals there are so many things we could be doing today. Sometimes it is difficult to know which activities are the most meaningful and which should be prioritised. With a few points of consideration though, we can ensure we keep our eye on the prize and use our time and resources wisely. Fundamental Objectives Every organisation has fundamental objectives. Perhaps it is revenue growth targets, customer engagement targets, profitability, or perhaps a service level agreement. A basic rule that helps…
  • Marketing the Product Marketer

    Sean Richards
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:51 am
    The Ultimate Value Creators and Customer Advocates The process of promoting a product is fundamental for any business, but it is surprising how uncommon the role of Product Marketer is in many Australian organisations. Often, the task of launching a product or owning a go to market plan is shared across numerous roles like sales, marketing, product management and engineering. This is the challenge that needs addressing. How many of you have experienced this scenario? A new product version is ready for release. To promote it the Marketing and Communications Manager gets a copy of the product…
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    The Accidental Product Manager

  • Product Managers Need To Know Who Their Internal Customers Are

    drjim
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Your internal customers are almost as important as your real customers areImage Credit Product launches are one of the most difficult things that product managers are called on to do. The reason that they are so difficult to do well is because no matter how detailed of a product development definition you’ve created, there are still a large number of moving parts that are involved. It can be very easy to focus on the target customers who you are hoping will select your product. However, it turns out that there are even more types of customers that you should be worrying about: internal…
  • How Product Managers Can Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest To Create Product Buzz

    drjim
    13 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Social media is a great way to create product buzzImage Credit As product managers living and working in the 21st Century, we all know about the importance of social media. Many of us have probably already added these skills to our product manager resume. However, discovering just exactly how to make the best use of these new tools that allow us to get in contact with our customers is still something that we are all struggling with. What we need is some expert guidance on which social media tools we should be using and just exactly how to go about using them. Twitter One of the biggest…
  • New Book: How Competition Makes You A Better Product Manager

    drjim
    6 Oct 2014 | 5:40 pm
    How Competition Makes You A Better Product Manager   What You’ll Find Inside: TO BEAT THE COMPETITION, PRODUCT MANAGERS HAVE TO DO SOME HOMEWORK HOW YAHOO PRODUCT MANAGERS ARE KICKING GOOGLE’S BUTT CASE STUDY: WHAT TO DO WHEN A LARGE COMPETITOR SHOWS UP ON YOUR BLOCK HOW PRODUCT MANAGERS SHOULD GO ABOUT DOING BUSINESS RESEARCH Click here for epub, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt, or html formats
  • Why Product Managers Need Checklists In Order To Be Successful

    drjim
    6 Oct 2014 | 2:00 am
    Having a checklist means never forgetting to do something important… Image Credit Let’s face it, being a product manager means that there are a lot of different things that you are responsible for accomplishing. Many of these things are very small details, a few are medium sized tasks, and just a couple may be very large. However, if you “drop the ball” on any of the things that have to be done you may put the success of your product at risk. How can a product manager become perfect and never forget to do everything that has to be done? The Power Of Checklists Let’s…
  • New Book: Product Failure Lessons For Product Managers

    drjim
    4 Oct 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Product fail. As product managers we need to be able to understand what makes them fail and how to prevent it. Get the book that tells you how to do this: Click here to for Paperback, Kindle, or Audiobook Download. Click here for epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt or html.
 
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    How To Be A Good Product Manager

  • Tools for Product Management; ProductCamp Atlanta 2014

    Jeff Lash
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:12 pm
    What tools do you use for product management? What tools and technologies do you use for product management? How well do they work? At SiriusDecisions, we’re conducting a survey of b-to-b product managers and what applications they do (and don’t) use. The survey takes only about 5 minutes to complete, and in return for your participation, you will receive a complimentary copy of the forthcoming SiriusDecisions Field Guide on Product Management Tools. Take the 2014 SiriusDecisions Product Management Tools Survey now! ProductCamp Atlanta I’ll be in Atlanta on Saturday, October…
  • Priorities for Product Management Leaders; Product Management Festival 2014 recap

    Jeff Lash
    23 Sep 2014 | 9:18 pm
    Priorities for Product Management Leaders There’s something I hear a lot when talking with product management leaders about challenges – some variation of, “We can’t be the only ones having these issues… are we?” Product management leaders are often curious about how their priorities compare to those of their peers and wonder how many or what types of companies are facing the same challenges. As part of ongoing research we’re doing at SiriusDecisions to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of b-to-b product management organizations, we are conducting…
  • Four Questions You Should Ask in Customer Interviews; Five-Year View of B2B Product Management

    Jeff Lash
    3 Sep 2014 | 7:43 pm
    Four Questions You Should Ask in Customer Interviews, But Probably Don’t There are many techniques for understanding buyers, customers and users, though interviewing is one of the best in terms of the value received for the effort. Whether you’re trying to create personas, uncover needs not being met for existing customers or identify aspects of a product that current users feel could be improved, interviews can be a valuable source of insight. I talk with many product managers and marketers who are experienced at interviewing, but they often fail to take full advantage of the…
  • Prototyping Myths; Aligning Marketing and Product; Why Healthcare Needs Product Management

    Jeff Lash
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:53 pm
    6 Myths about Prototyping Prototyping provides many benefits in terms of idea generation, obtaining customer feedback, streamlining development, improving coordination, and ultimately improving the end product. However, many organizations do not regularly prototype new offerings before beginning development, and many have never created a single prototype. As I talk with product management teams, I hear many implicit or explicit objections to prototyping. These are usually myths based in misunderstanding — beliefs that, for example, it’s too costly, too time-consuming, or that…
  • Avoid Lowering Your Prices; SiriusDecisions Summit; Product Management Festival

    Jeff Lash
    2 Jul 2014 | 10:11 am
    How to Avoid Lowering Your Prices Even prospects who are enamored with your offerings and eager to buy may ask for a discount. Too often, companies (or sales reps) immediately cave to the request because they’re afraid they will lose the sale or that customers will leave. Instead, as I write in my post on the SiriusDecisions blog How to Avoid Lowering Your Prices, there are other techniques to use to get around the “discounting” issue. Even if they don’t set pricing, product managers should be involved in the decisions about discounting, concessions in negotiation, and…
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    Lead on Purpose

  • What is your level of positivity?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    4 Oct 2014 | 7:37 am
    “The most successful companies and businesses understand that their greatest asset is their people. When businesses take care of their people the businesses and their people thrive. When they don’t take careof this incredibly valuable resource, they lose it. Fast.” … Continue reading →
  • One Compelling Question for Innovators

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    27 Sep 2014 | 9:47 pm
    Guest post by David Sturt for Lead on Purpose blog I recently came across a story in Wired magazine about a radically new technology being developed for heating and cooling. Aside from the exciting product idea to heat and cool … Continue reading →
  • What are your 5 whys?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    13 Sep 2014 | 1:45 pm
    One of the quickest, simplest approaches to performing root cause analysis (finding the answers for why something happened the way it did) is to use the 5 whys technique. Using this approach, you write a statement that contains the problem … Continue reading →
  • What is the real driver of your success?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:11 am
    Every so often something happens that brings into question long, and sometimes closely held beliefs. One of those happened this morning. An important topic, one that has—I thought—defined who I am and the way I work, was turned on its … Continue reading →
  • Six Channels of Influence: How to Navigate Them Effectively

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    9 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    Guest post by Willy Steiner “The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float … Continue reading →
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    Product Management News

  • Aclara Names New Head of Marketing, Customer & Sales Support

    23 Oct 2014 | 5:43 am
    ST. LOUIS, Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mr. Robert Florence has joined Aclara Technologies LLC as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Customer and Sales Support. Aclara is a leading provider of intelligent infrastructure, software and services for the electric, gas and water utilities.
  • Vistar Media Taps Carrier Data To Target Consumers Across Mobile And OOH

    23 Oct 2014 | 1:50 am
    Digital OOH programmatic player Vistar Media launched an extension of its cross-screen offering Wednesday via a partnership with Airsage, a little-known Atlanta-based company that collects data on consumer location and population movement. Airsage captures and analyzes in the neighborhood of 15 billion anonymous cellular signal data points every day - a trove of information for companies looking to serve targeted, real-time messages to on-the-move consumers via mobile and OOH.
  • Netronome Discusses Methods to Efficiently Scale Data Center Server Networking Performance

    22 Oct 2014 | 9:57 pm
    "Large scale data center operators face new challenges as their next wave of deployments include higher power CPUs and network interconnects moving to 25, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet," said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at The Linley Group. "A new class of intelligent offload solutions optimally addresses power, cost, throughput and programmability for future-proofed designs."
  • eSchoolPLUS Named Best Online School Management Solution in 19th...

    22 Oct 2014 | 5:47 pm
    SunGard K-12 Education today announced the eSchoolPLUS student information system was named Best Online School Management Solution in the 19th Annual Education Software Review Awards Program . Sponsored by ComputED Gazette, the EDDIES target innovative and content-rich programs and websites that augment the classroom curriculum and improve teacher productivity, providing parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence.
  • Benchmarking Business Models With The 2014 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey

    22 Oct 2014 | 1:49 pm
    I'm serving as Vice President, Marketing at iBASEt. Previous positions include product marketing at Plex Systems, senior analyst at AMR Research , marketing and business development at Cincom Systems, Ingram Micro, a SaaS start-up and at hardware companies.
 
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    David Meerman Scott - Web Ink Now

  • Grain Surfboards Builds Success by Following the Grateful Dead

    David Meerman Scott
    22 Oct 2014 | 6:59 am
    Several days ago I wrote about how Grain Surfboards turned their products into an experience. Besides selling wooden surfboards, Grain Surfboards also offers classes in how to build your own board. I took the 4-day class this past long weekend.
  • How to Turn your Products into Experiences

    David Meerman Scott
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:36 am
    In recent years, I’ve enjoyed a number of amazing experiences – many shared here on my blog - like when my wife and I went on an Antarctic Expedition. I’ve got most everything I need product wise.  Sure, I got the new iPhone 6 plus because I wanted the larger size screen and better camera. But I normally don’t spend a lot of money on “stuff”. But I do spend money on experiences!
  • Sales Managers Must Adapt to the New Rules of Selling

    David Meerman Scott
    14 Oct 2014 | 6:51 am
    In my past roles as a salesperson and later as a marketing executive at a handful of different companies, I interacted on a daily basis with sales managers up to the vice president level.
  • Cold Calling is Dead

    David Meerman Scott
    8 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    My first sales job required me to make cold calls to bond traders and convince them to buy our economic consulting services. We had lists of names and numbers to contact that came from directories of people who worked in banks, securities companies, savings and loan associations, fund managers, and government agencies. My sales colleagues and I would psych ourselves into the right frame of mind each morning by drinking a few cups of coffee, maybe telling each other a few off-color jokes (common in the 1980s testosterone-fueled Wall Street markets portrayed in the recent Wolf of Wall Street…
  • WaterField Designs great products and great web content

    David Meerman Scott
    2 Oct 2014 | 2:17 pm
    Michael Kane alerted me to a company called WaterField Designs, saying: “I know you like to write about interesting companies. You should check out WaterField Designs. They make all kinds of bags and sleeves for just about any device. I own several of their products and the workmanship and quality is outstanding. The coolest thing about their products is that they all made in the United States – in San Francisco!” Mike was right to turn me on to WaterField Designs. The moment I reached the WaterField Designs site I was hooked
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    Product Management Meets Pop Culture

  • Haiku: Ship Or Ship It Not

    Christopher Cummings
    10 Oct 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Ship or ship it not Winter comes if held too long Too soon? We all burn The experienced Product Manager understands the importance of getting products or features into the hands of real users as quickly as possible. But discretion and wisdom are necessary… Hold onto it too long, and you’re learning nothing. Release it too soon, and you risk becoming the Newton — a revolutionary technology that didn’t work especially well and never recovered from its poor first impression. How do you navigate the tension between releasing early and often, and releasing features that…
  • Product Management Interview: 8 Questions With… Vanessa Ferranto

    Christopher Cummings
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:05 am
    “Nancy Drew’s courage, problem-solving and strength resonated with me as a child, and still does today…” – Vanessa Ferranto Continuing our series of candid, one-on-one interviews with product management professionals. In the spotlight today is Vanessa Ferranto, Senior Product Manager at Leaf where she is responsible for mobile point-of sale and web application products. Prior to that, she worked at Boston.com and WGBH defining CMS products and features as part of the full development of the CMS. What was it like for her to introduce product management into…
  • Product Management Interview: 8 Questions With… PM In Heel’s Cait Porte

    Christopher Cummings
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:28 pm
    “Daenerys Targaryen [from 'Game of Thrones'] faces challenges similar to the ones I go through as a young woman in technology.” – Cait Porte As summer rapidly draws to a close, we’re continuing our series of candid, one-on-one interviews with product management professionals. In the spotlight this time is Cait Porte, Director of Product Management for Blueport Commerce and the author of Product Manager In Heels. How does Cait build relationships with clients? And which ‘Game of Thrones’ character most resonates with her? Read on… Cait, what attracted…
  • Product Management Interview: 8 Questions With… Product Camp Boston’s Sarela Bliman-Cohen

    Christopher Cummings
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:08 pm
    “Sometimes, even when you have the data to back your decision, you cannot change the outcome.” – Sarela Bliman-Cohen Today, we’re continuing our series of candid, one-on-one interviews with product management professionals. In the spotlight this time is Sarela Bliman-Cohen, officer and organizer of Product Camp Boston, and a former president of the Boston Product Management Association. What advice does she have for aspiring Product Managers? And what did her biggest mistake teach her? Read on… Sarela, how did you first enter product management? I started out as…
  • Product Management Interview: 8 Questions With… Adam Bullied

    Christopher Cummings
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:56 pm
    “No one expects you to be Superman. You don’t need to carry the weight of the company on your shoulders…” – Adam Bullied Today, we’re starting Series Two of our candid, one-on-one interviews with product management professionals. In the spotlight today is Adam Bullied, a product management professional who recently transitioned to the role of CEO for content marketing performance platform provider SqueezeCMM. What advice does Adam have for aspiring Product Managers? And what’s it like to truly be a CEO rather than a metaphorical CEO? Read on……
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    Launch Clinic

  • Do have the right product launch goals?

    David Daniels
    1 Oct 2014 | 7:27 am
    Tweet You’re working hard toward launching your next product. Your project plan is glorious. The deliverables are well defined. The activities are noted. The interdependencies are evident in the Gantt chart. You have the best people on your cross-functional product launch team. You are set. Or are you? Do you and your team know what a successful product launch looks like? How will the success of the product launch be measured by the executive team? If you can’t answers those questions you’re not alone. Many companies get so fixated on getting “stuff” done in…
  • What Sun Tzu Can Tell Us About Competitive Intelligence

    David Daniels
    25 Sep 2014 | 6:34 am
    Tweet   “Art of War” is my favorite business book. It has everything we need to know to compete in the cut-throat world of technology. When it comes to competitive intelligence, “Art of War” is highly informative. “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.” —Sun Tzu It is only one sentence but it contains so much knowledge. How does it apply to us, in a technology battlefield? What weapons do we need to bring to the battle and how should we conduct ourselves for success? Know the Enemy Before entering into battle it is wise to have a…
  • Assembling Your Armada – Creating Leverage for Your Product Launch

    David Daniels
    8 Jul 2014 | 7:21 am
    Tweet Leverage You have access to invisible leverage that could improve product launch success, but few tap into this valuable resource. They’re ‘invisible’ because we often overlook them yet they can have an important positive impact. In the flurry of getting the deliverables ready and activities completed for launch, I’d like for you to stop for a moment. Think about all the points of leverage that you could tap into that are beyond the obvious: your customer support team, sales engineers/product specialists, finance, partners, training, customer evangelists; anyone or any group…
  • Will Increased Content Marketing Budgets Have a Positive Impact?

    David Daniels
    5 Mar 2014 | 7:10 am
    Tweet A number of recent studies indicate that budgets for content marketing have increased significantly year over year. While this is certainly a good thing, I wonder if marketing teams will just spend a lot of money and have nothing to show for it at the end of the year. Or worse, take a perfectly good method and give it a bad name. This is particularly true of technology companies. Technology companies are fond of talking about their products. They often lack the core skills needed for effective content creation. So they will continue to produce the same product-centric “let me tell you…
  • Win/Loss Analysis: Why Sales Doesn’t Want You Involved

    David Daniels
    27 Feb 2014 | 4:53 am
    Tweet The most insightful information about what’s working and what’s not working, from a product marketing perspective, is found through Win/Loss Analysis. We learn about what needs to be fixed, we learn what to avoid, and we learn what to focus on to win more business. And if we win more, everyone is happier. You can conclude that since Win/Loss Analysis is about selling, then our salespeople should be conducting this activity. Wrong. Bad idea. You won’t gain any new insights when salespeople conduct Win/Loss Analysis because the information will be filtered. Not maliciously, but…
 
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    A Girl's Guide to Project Management

  • How to keep project costs on track without budget authority

    Elizabeth Harrin
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:05 am
    While most of the projects that we read about in the press have huge budgets, there are a lot of projects at the other end of the scale. The majority of small projects are run without a specific budget, around the edges of a manager’s day job. Any costs have to come out of the business-as-usual provision which means there is no allocated project budget. Another scenario where you may not end up with your hands on the cash to manage your project is when you are assigned the work, but the budget is still held by the business department – most likely because there is no set amount to spend…
  • How to build your project management network

    Elizabeth Harrin
    19 Oct 2014 | 11:22 pm
    Bruce Harpham This is a guest post by Bruce Harpham. In the project management world, people come and go. In a matter of a few weeks, you can become close with your project team. In some cases, you may see more of your project team than your family on particularly demanding projects. But what happens when the project is over? Do you see those people any longer? If you are a project consultant, it could be months or years before you run into those people again. Relationships are like a garden – they blossom with care and attention and die when neglected. It’s up to you to maintain your…
  • 5 Steps for identifying project dependencies and constraints

    Elizabeth Harrin
    14 Oct 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Earlier this week I looked briefly at an introduction to dependencies and constraints on project and why they matter. Today I’m going to share a 5-step approach to identifying and reviewing all the dependencies and constraints on your project. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. It’s a much faster task than you think. Step 1: Create a log of all the project dependencies Now you understand what a dependency is, you can brainstorm and document all the dependencies that have an impact on your project. Set up a dependency/constraint log using an existing template from your PMO or by…
  • Dependencies and constraints: An introduction

    Elizabeth Harrin
    12 Oct 2014 | 11:54 pm
    No project happens in a vacuum. Projects are influenced by and are dependent on the environment in which they are taking place – both the corporate environment and the wider environment outside the company. Definitions Dependency: The relationship that defines the order in which tasks are carried out. Task B is dependent on Task A if the start or finish date of Task A must be reached before Task B can be started. Constraint: Something that limits your options. Categorising dependencies Dependencies can occur inside and outside the project, and inside and outside the company. The following…
  • What makes a project successful? (Infographic)

    Elizabeth Harrin
    7 Oct 2014 | 11:34 pm
    Click the image for a larger version or click here. Copyright © A Girl's Guide to Project Management [What makes a project successful? (Infographic)], All Right Reserved. 2014. Related posts: Successful project management balances hard and soft skills (infographic) This infographic was produced by Brandeis University M.S. in Project and Program Management Online. Click the image to see it in a larger size. Copyright... Infographic: Conflict in Project Management Infographic prepared for me by thegappartnership.com. Click the graphic to see a larger version. Copyright © A Girl's…
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    Gearhead Gal

  • Three Things Traditional Retailers Still Need to Nail

    Gearhead Gal
    2 Oct 2014 | 10:07 am
    At the Shop.org Summit in Seattle this week, retailers focused on the issues that they face as they continue to defend against threats to their growth from online-only etailers and the changing environment and behaviors of their digital consumer.  One keynote, which included CEOs from Birchbox, Houzz and Zulily, highlighted the success these online retail disruptors have had as they attack the traditional brick and mortar business model. Walking around the show floor, and listening to these disruptors, certain themes emerge, reflecting the ongoing struggle traditional retailers have as…
  • UPDATE: Three Reasons Why Twitter's Buy Button May Not Fly With Retailers and Consumers

    Gearhead Gal
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Twitter's recently announced launch into the online commerce space has gotten a lot of buzz, as practically any move Twitter makes these days does. The ability to buy directly from a tweet seems to be the natural extension of Twitter's card capability, and a clear response to the pressure to monetize social conversations.  However, on closer inspection, the Twitter experience may not ultimately create fans among retailers and their customers.  Why? Just look at the answers to these three questions: 1. Who owns the customer?  The customer will purchase an item from a retailer,…
  • Three Informative Reports on Digital Content Trends

    Gearhead Gal
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:38 pm
    I get a lot of interesting white papers, blog posts, and ebooks merchandised to me from all of the sites and lists and groups I subscribe to across the web, as I am sure you do, too. Who has time to read them all? Well, fortunately for you, I have had a little more time on my hands this past week to read, since I am in the process of moving and have lost my my cable subscription. So as a public service, I have curated links to three of the most interesting ones I uncovered. 1. Newstex's blog often has a few pearls and insights whch I find brief and helpful, like this one they recently posted…
  • Does Your Brand Have A Zingy Feeling?

    Gearhead Gal
    11 Jul 2014 | 9:01 am
    One of my favorite mail order businesses is Zingerman's, a world famous deli based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Recently, the New York Times did a wonderful profile of the company's incredible business model, which encourages employees to grow with the business and pitch new business ideas to expand the Zingerman's portfolio of enterprises.  Zingerman's catalog is filled with wonderful illustrations and creative copyPart community college, part incubator, part retail operation, Zingerman's promise is based on an assumption that the staff has drunk the Kool Aid, or rather, Ann Arbor's own…
  • Five Great Product Management Books

    Gearhead Gal
    8 Jul 2014 | 9:01 am
    1. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products is a great book that delves into the relationship between behavior and product adoption. Nir Eyal distilled years of research, consulting and practical experience to write Hooked. Who doesn't want to design a product that becomes part of the daily fabric of consumers' lives? Businesses know that habits are hard to give up, and marketing alone can not convince people to take up a new one. Nir's model to create the "hook" is simple enough to understand, even though the psychology of human behavior is not. 2. Creativity, Inc Overcoming the…
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    svpg blog

  • Product vs. IT Mindset

    14 Oct 2014 | 7:27 pm
    The role of the product organization is to consistently deliver significant new value to the business through continuous product innovation.  At a startup, the product team either innovates and provides real value or the startup dies.  However, in larger, more established companies, product teams very often lose their ability to deliver that ongoing value. They just make minor optimizations to existing products. Or they continue to turn out more features that don’t make a difference. In this article I want to talk about some of the deep reasons why innovation…
  • The Internal Agency Model

    25 Sep 2014 | 11:19 am
    I have long written about the importance of dedicated, durable product teams and that we should always strive to optimize for the team and not for the individual function (e.g. product management, user experience design, engineering, test automation, data science, etc.).  It’s not hard to spot when teams have not embraced this model, as you see lots of organizational silos and “walls” between members of the team. Fortunately, most organizations I meet now have honestly embraced the critical notion of a durable, cross-functional, and whenever possible, co-located,…
  • Profit and Loss Responsibility

    10 Aug 2014 | 10:02 am
    One question that I continue to get from many company leaders is whether or not product managers should be given P&L responsibility for their products.   The origin of this question comes from the days when companies had a portfolio of products where each product represented one or more SKU’s.  Think consumer packaged goods. In this world, each product manager would worry about the cost structure of their product, the marketing plan, sales forecasts, contribution and profitability.  This is still what many people out there think of as a product manager. Of course, in…
  • The Delivery Manager Role

    13 Jul 2014 | 2:51 pm
    I have always been interested in taking the holistic view of product teams and understanding and appreciating each and every critical role.  In a recent article I wrote about the dynamics of strong teams versus weak teams, and judging from the response to that article, many of you are interested in this as well.   I focus most of my attention on the product owner/product manager role because I view that role as the lynchpin.  However, of all the roles, I would say that I see the most grief associated with the various guises of project management (project manager, program…
  • Good Product Team Bad Product Team

    13 Jun 2014 | 3:02 am
    NOTE: My friend and colleague Jeff Patton is the author of an upcoming book on the general topic of User Stories and especially the technique of Story Mapping.  I was asked to write a foreword for this new book, and this article is an excerpt from the foreword.  I was also a reviewer of the book and it is definitely a must-read for any product person and fills a very big gap in the current library of Agile titles.  If you’d like to pre-order the book you can do so from O’Reilly. I’ve had the extremely good fortune to be able to work with many of the very best…
 
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    Product Focus Soapbox

  • Conference Call Best Practice

    Ian Lunn
    2 Oct 2014 | 12:37 am
    6 best practice tips and a funny video of how it can go wrong! The post Conference Call Best Practice appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • Tips for recruiting product managers

    Andrew Dickenson
    24 Sep 2014 | 1:01 am
    It can be tough to find a good product manager. And, while recruiting for any role is risky, a poor product manager will undermine the product’s performance and directly hit the bottom line. So the recruitment stakes are much higher than for most people at the same pay grade. Over the last 2 years we’ve […] The post Tips for recruiting product managers appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • Product Management Maturity Model

    Ian Lunn
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:54 am
    Check how mature your product management function is with our maturity model The post Product Management Maturity Model appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • How do you measure a product manager?

    Andrew Dickenson
    9 Jul 2014 | 7:26 am
    If you want stuff done, start measuring it. This is the advice often quoted in business books. The theory goes that if you want product managers to do something, start measuring it and they’ll start delivering. And most product managers have an annual appraisal. They are reviewed against a set of objectives agreed the previous year. Tools […] The post How do you measure a product manager? appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • Scrum But…

    Ian Lunn
    1 Jul 2014 | 3:23 am
    Agile and Scrum but with 57 varieties... The post Scrum But… appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
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    280 Group

  • Product Marketing Rule #26: Always Test Your Message

    matt
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:36 am
    Product Marketing Rule #26 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Greg Cohen, Senior Principal Consultant, 280 Group Customer validation also applies to product marketing Experience is a harsh teacher. She has visited me many times in my career. This experience is how I learned that customer validation also applies to product marketing. In particular, it is equally important to test and confirm marketing materials and messages as it is to test product concepts and designs....[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #26: Always Test Your Message…
  • Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes

    Brian Lawley
    13 Oct 2014 | 3:26 pm
    Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes was written by Brian Lawley and is included in the Product Launch Toolkit. Common Errors to Avoid to Ensure Success Introduction Companies invest millions of dollars each year developing new products and trying to increase their revenues and profitability. Some of these are good products, and some aren’t. Nonetheless, they all have one thing in common: without appropriate marketing activities they will most likely fail. In fact, there are many examples of inferior products that...[continue reading] The post Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes appeared first…
  • Product Management Rule #26: Align Your Product Strategy With The Company Strategy

    Brian Lawley
    6 Oct 2014 | 11:19 am
    Product Management Rule #26 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Mara Krieps, Founder, Pivotal PM Your product needs executive sponsorship to succeed. You gain executive sponsorship by showing how your product strategy supports the company strategy. The intrepid product manager who masters this rule will follow three steps: Understanding the Company Strategy Aligning Product Strategy with Company Strategy Telling the Strategy Story and Gaining Executive Support First, you need to understand the company strategy. Sometimes your...[continue reading] The…
  • How to Run an Effective Beta Program

    Brian Lawley
    29 Sep 2014 | 10:21 pm
    How to Run an Effective Beta Program was written by Brian Lawley and is included in the Beta Program Toolkit. A Beta program plan should include goals, recruiting, costs, timeline, responsibilities and success criteria. Introduction Oftentimes customer Beta programs are one of the most critical factors in the success or failure of a product. Yet many times they are not well-planned and are executed at the last minute with a lack of resources and focus. An effective Beta program can...[continue reading] The post How to Run an Effective Beta Program appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Marketing Rule #25: Create the Right Messaging First

    Brian Lawley
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:14 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #25 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Michael Cannon, CEO and Founder, Silver Bullet Group What’s typically absent from a product launch plan are the styles, categories, and types of messaging required for market success. We have all read the research reports from IDG, AMA, etc. that say over 50 percent of the content we produce is not relevant to customers, nor to the field/channel sales teams. It’s exceedingly difficult to...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #25: Create the Right Messaging First…
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    280 Group » Product Management Blog

  • Product Marketing Rule #26: Always Test Your Message

    matt
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:36 am
    Product Marketing Rule #26 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Greg Cohen, Senior Principal Consultant, 280 Group Customer validation also applies to product marketing Experience is a harsh teacher. She has visited me many times in my career. This experience is how I learned that customer validation also applies to product marketing. In particular, it is equally important to test and confirm marketing materials and messages as it is to test product concepts and designs....[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #26: Always Test Your Message…
  • Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes

    Brian Lawley
    13 Oct 2014 | 3:26 pm
    Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes was written by Brian Lawley and is included in the Product Launch Toolkit. Common Errors to Avoid to Ensure Success Introduction Companies invest millions of dollars each year developing new products and trying to increase their revenues and profitability. Some of these are good products, and some aren’t. Nonetheless, they all have one thing in common: without appropriate marketing activities they will most likely fail. In fact, there are many examples of inferior products that...[continue reading] The post Top Ten Product Launch Mistakes appeared first…
  • Product Management Rule #26: Align Your Product Strategy With The Company Strategy

    Brian Lawley
    6 Oct 2014 | 11:19 am
    Product Management Rule #26 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Mara Krieps, Founder, Pivotal PM Your product needs executive sponsorship to succeed. You gain executive sponsorship by showing how your product strategy supports the company strategy. The intrepid product manager who masters this rule will follow three steps: Understanding the Company Strategy Aligning Product Strategy with Company Strategy Telling the Strategy Story and Gaining Executive Support First, you need to understand the company strategy. Sometimes your...[continue reading] The…
  • How to Run an Effective Beta Program

    Brian Lawley
    29 Sep 2014 | 10:21 pm
    How to Run an Effective Beta Program was written by Brian Lawley and is included in the Beta Program Toolkit. A Beta program plan should include goals, recruiting, costs, timeline, responsibilities and success criteria. Introduction Oftentimes customer Beta programs are one of the most critical factors in the success or failure of a product. Yet many times they are not well-planned and are executed at the last minute with a lack of resources and focus. An effective Beta program can...[continue reading] The post How to Run an Effective Beta Program appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Marketing Rule #25: Create the Right Messaging First

    Brian Lawley
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:14 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #25 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Michael Cannon, CEO and Founder, Silver Bullet Group What’s typically absent from a product launch plan are the styles, categories, and types of messaging required for market success. We have all read the research reports from IDG, AMA, etc. that say over 50 percent of the content we produce is not relevant to customers, nor to the field/channel sales teams. It’s exceedingly difficult to...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #25: Create the Right Messaging First…
 
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    MindTheProduct

  • Irene Au – Design is as important as technology

    Martin Eriksson
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Irene Au, operating partner at Khosla Ventures, led the user experience team at Google for six years and the user experience and design team at Yahoo! for eight years. In this talk she looks at how the different views of design at Google and Yahoo affected the companies. What was it about Yahoo’s organisational structure and the way the company viewed design that made it end up as a house of brands? How long did it take Google to come up with it’s iconically simple, yet beautiful landing page? And can you guess the state of a company by looking at its design? The post Irene Au…
  • Analytics and Decision-Making – Recap of August\'s ProductTank London

    Jock Busuttil
    23 Oct 2014 | 7:45 am
    If you’d have told me that August’s ProductTank London on analytics and decision-making would be one of the most risqué to-date, I’d have struggled to believe you. The talks had everything – sex, drugs and racy pictures of hot plumbing action. Read on for an 18-rated recap. Making Data Actionable Matty Curry (@mattycurry) opened with stark warnings (or promises?) of rude words and ruder pictures. As the director of e-commerce for Lovehoney, one of the largest online purveyors of sex toys, we were obliged to believe him. But hey, it was a warm Friday night in August and everyone…
  • Des Traynor – Product strategy in a growing company

    Martin Eriksson
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:17 am
    “If software is eating the world, then product managers are setting the menu”. Des Traynor, co-founder of customer communication platform Intercom, talks about how to create simple, yet brilliant products. He asks us to consider where products come from and how they are made, arguing that a product manager should know where the product stops and starts. Ultimately, he says, the customer only cares about the value a product can provide, not how many features it has and Des shares his strategies for managing feature creep and staying true to the core of the product. The post Des…
  • ProductTank Stockholm – Creating drive in product development

    Janna Bastow
    16 Oct 2014 | 6:05 am
    ProductTank Sthlm August was all about “Creating drive in product development”.  It featured three great speakers: Siavash Ghorbani (@siavashq), CTO & Co Founder of Tictail, talked about Building a Product Driven Organisation: “I’m planning to talk about the different phases we as an organisation went through as we grew from 4 to 30 over the past two years and how we’ve recruited and structured our organization for high throughput without penalizing creativity.”   Kevin Goldsmith (@KevinGoldsmith), Director of Engineering at Spotify, talked about…
  • Nir Eyal – Building habit-forming products

    Martin Eriksson
    10 Oct 2014 | 10:04 am
    Nir Eyal, the author and entrepreneur behind the book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, talks about the secrets behind the success of companies like Facebook and Twitter. What is it that makes a product habit-forming and even addictive? Nir argues that it’s a hook that consists of a chain of events: a trigger, an action, a reward and an investment. In this talk he breaks down the four elements and explains how to use this knowledge of how habits are formed to create great products. The post Nir Eyal – Building habit-forming products appeared first on MindTheProduct.
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    Product Talk

  • Hypothesis Testing Mistake #1: Not Knowing What You Want To Learn

    Teresa Torres
    8 Oct 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Have you ran an experiment in the past day, week, month? Can you clearly articulate your hypothesis? Do you know under which conditions your hypothesis will pass or fail? Do you know how to interpret the data in a way that drives successful product decisions? Many of us are new to hypothesis testing. Tools like Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and UserTesting.com make it easy to jump right in and get started. But if we don’t take a step back and look at our hypothesis and experiment design, we are unlikely to get actionable data from our efforts. In this post,  I outlined the 14…
  • The 14 Most Common Hypothesis Testing Mistakes Product Teams Make (And How to Avoid Them)

    Teresa Torres
    5 Sep 2014 | 9:57 am
    I’ve been working with a product team on how to get better at hypothesis testing. It’s a lot of fun. They were introduced to dual-track Agile by Marty Cagan and are doing a great job of putting it into practice. As they explore how to support backlog items with research in the discovery track, they are finding that hypothesis testing isn’t as easy as it sounds. Very few of us have had to formulate hypotheses and design experiments since perhaps our elementary school science fair days. And while the scientific method conceptually is easy to grasp, putting it into practice can be much…
  • Know Who You Are Building For and Why

    Teresa Torres
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:38 am
    It’s easy to be fooled by the Facebooks and the Googles of the world. Everyone uses their products. They make it easy to rationalize why everyone will use your product. But when you draw this conclusion, you skip right from A to Z, ignoring all the steps they took in between. Over a billion people use Facebook. But they started just for Harvard students. Then they spread to other Ivy Leagues. Than to other college campuses. Eventually they opened it up to everyone. Google Search launched at a time when search engines were under siege by keyword stuffers and black hat SEO firms. Google built…
  • Ask About the Past Rather Than the Future

    Teresa Torres
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:06 am
    At SXSW this year, I met a startup founder, a former fitness trainer, who was about to launch an online business offering personalized gym workouts. I liked that he had first-hand experience as a personal trainer and wasn’t just a gym rat. But I was surprised when he struggled with my first question. I asked him, “Who is it for? Who are you targeting?” He replied, “People who already go to the gym.” I said, “Good. That’s much easier than trying to convince people who don’t go to the gym to go to the gym. But that seems broad. Men? Women? Runners? Weigh-lifters?” He stared at…
  • The Dangers of Thinking of Products as Features

    Teresa Torres
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:41 am
    It’s easy to spend the majority of your time talking about features. You track features in your backlog. You schedule features on your roadmap. Your customers request features. Your sales team complaints about missing features. Almost everyone thinks of products as features. But if you want to build better products, you need to stop thinking about products as a collection of features. You Risk Building a Me-Too Product A focus on features inevitably leads to an obsession with competitors and the features that they offer. You get caught chasing your own tail trying to keep up. Get off the…
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    Frank Lio: Practical Product Management, Marketing, Strategy, and Life - Blog

  • Thriving in Corporate America

    21 Oct 2014 | 10:32 am
    Thrive : to grow or develop successfully : to flourish or succeed I had the honor to be a panelist at the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineer’s National Conference (SASE) in Philadelphia. The topic was “Thriving in Corporate America” and I was joined by some impressive professionals: John Harris II - VP at Raytheon, Anil Achyuta - Program and Development Manager at Draper Labs, and Chris Soong - Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton.These were the top ten takeaways from the panel discussion:You must be willing to…
  • Oh Fudge! !&@#&! (Expletive Deleted)

    26 Sep 2014 | 11:47 am
    I was far away from home, training a customer in Kaiping, China into the late hours on a Friday night. It was at the new Chinese operation of an American company. I was giving the lab manager, Mr. Li, extra training on our installed system. Although I spoke Chinese during much of the week’s training, Mr. Li asked that we only converse in English so that he could practice and improve his language skills.“How are you Mr. Li?” “I am fine, Mr. Lio.” “That’s good. How many children do you have?“I have one daughter.”We…
  • Crossing the Chasm: Mind Share Before Market Share

    11 Sep 2014 | 1:48 pm
    You must have "Mind Share" before you can take " Market Share"! Many companies have the philosophy of “if we build it, they will come”: This is the typical, sad, predictable path:1. Spend years and tons of money developing a new innovative product.2. Create a hugely optimistic forecast that can justify the amount the amount of R&D and money spent.3. Solicit some positive reviews from a few, friendly alpha customer sites.4. Do a splashy release, train your sales force worldwide.5. Get a few orders from early adopters (some of these orders are due to huge…
  • Litmus Test: Would You Buy from...You?

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:10 am
    "Instron" Test Instrument at Tufts Dental School I was walking to the pediatric clinic at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine on a personal day off when I spotted something familiar in the hallway.  Through a small window, I spotted an “Instron” in a research room.   (An “Instron” for those unfamiliar with the term is a test instrument for tension, compression, flex testing, etc. I happen to work at Instron, the company that developed these instruments; the name has become synonymous with materials testing instruments.) I became as…
  • Selecting & Prioritizing Features with Pugh Charts

    17 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    One of the most difficult tasks for product development is prioritizing features.  It can turn into a contentious task with disagreement from different stakeholders. Features are usually drawn from a wish list based on customer feedback, sales and service feedback, management, etc.  Unfortunately, some of this is biased. Management may not understand the market but insist on features discussed during their last customer visit or what they just read in the morning newspaper.  Sales wants features based on their lost orders.  Engineering wants to use this as an…
 
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    Under 10 by Steve Johnson

  • Politics and your next release

    Steve Johnson
    16 Oct 2014 | 4:41 am
    A desire not to butt into other people’s business is at least eighty percent of all human ‘wisdom’… and the other twenty percent isn’t very important.—Robert A. Heinlein, author You’ve planned a new release, pulling together ideas from the market and from the company. You think you’ve got a really strong plan but as soon as it’s announced, the complaining begins. “Where’s my pet project?” “When are we going to fix security?” “But I promised this feature to a prospect!” “Waa waa waa!” Never forget, a product release is always political.
  • UX and product managers

    Steve Johnson
    8 Oct 2014 | 4:51 am
    On the Mind the Product blog, Martin Eriksson writes, I’ve always defined product management as the intersection between business, technology and user experience. A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners in all. To Martin’s list I would add expertise on the market (or persona) and a passion for the domain. I’ve written about expertise in product management in my free ebook. (Download it here). User experience (UX) is an area that befuddles many product managers. Ideally, product managers should…
  • Don’t look for answers in your office…

    Steve Johnson
    2 Oct 2014 | 4:42 am
    Don’t look for answers in your office. Get your ideas and products in front of customers (and prospects) sooner, not later. — Steve Johnson, Under 10 Consulting. A product marketing manager wonders what he should be doing while development is working on the product. It’ll be six months until the first release is available. Six months? Before you worry about go-to-market, get a concept in front of some customers. Test your product idea. “MVP is the smallest amount of coding that can be used to test your product hypothesis.” Tweet thisThere seems to be confusion…
  • Tip: Create round graphics for presentations and websites

    Steve Johnson
    28 Sep 2014 | 6:41 am
    One of my favorite new tricks for presentations and web graphics involves making non-square graphics in PowerPoint. My friend Barbara recently explained this technique. Paste a square graphic into PowerPoint, go to the SmartArt menu, click on the graphic, and choose “Shape.” By choosing Oval, I change Barbara’s picture from a square to a round graphic. On Powerpoint 2011 for Mac (Of course, you can choose any shape, like stars or hearts.) On Powerpoint 2007 for Windows Got a tip to share? Drop me a note.
  • Don’t discover; observe

    Steve Johnson
    25 Sep 2014 | 4:48 am
    It’s not that problems are invisible; it’s that no one is looking for them.—Steve Johnson, Under 10 Consulting. I often chat with company leaders who ask me how to do customer discovery but I always find it a confusing conversation. They don’t seem to understand my questions. “Who did you build it for?” “What problems are you solving and for whom?” At a conference I heard many people talking about technology and products and features, but very few talking about markets and segments and personas. Our industry continues to embrace the idea that “if you build it, they…
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    All it takes for your Product Business Success

  • Big Billion Day Bungle: 3 things Flipkart could have done better

    Shrinath V
    9 Oct 2014 | 6:41 am
    On paper, the idea must have sounded fantastic: Let’s host a one-day sale promising users unmatched prices. We will get new shoppers to try online shopping, and more importantly, build preference for Flipkart. The CEO, corporate board, marketing teams, technology teams, category managers, sales – all are stoked by the thought of creating history in India. The VCs patter applause: this sale would justify the sharply rising valuation and the amount of money they put in. Everyone gets to work. They would convert this to… Read more at Big Billion Day Bungle: 3 things Flipkart could have…
  • When Do You Start Marketing Your Product?

    N. P. Menon
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:15 am
    If you take a linear view of the product development and management processes, you may answer this as product planning followed by product development and then by product marketing. While product planning should be a starting point (read our thought paper on market-centric product planning), marketing does not need to wait until the development is finished and the product ready for rollout. In fact, if you’ve waited this long, you’ve been waiting too long. Product marketing can and should begin while product planning and development… Read more at When Do You Start Marketing Your…
  • Creating An Effective Product Roadmap

    N. P. Menon
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:56 pm
    Creating an effective product roadmap begins not from within the company but from an outside-in view of the market. First, the good news: product companies in India are increasingly using roadmaps to achieve product launch and improvements in a timely fashion. The bad news is that in practice, product roadmaps are far from achieving what they are supposed to. Our experience with customers using roadmaps has shown us that roadmaps can end up as ‘yet another document to be ticked off the list’, without adding… Read more at Creating An Effective Product Roadmap. Part of a collection of…
  • Lessons from a long term entrepreneur – Srinivas Rao, CEO, Aujas Networks

    Confianzys
    30 Sep 2014 | 12:21 am
      Srinivas Rao is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aujas Networks, a pure-play digital security services company. He co-founded Aujas in 2008 after over 21 years of experience in the technology industry. Prior to joining Aujas, he served as the Senior Vice President, Market Management at Cisco Systems and served as the Chief Operating Officer at IBM Netsol. In this conversation, he discusses his learnings from entrepreneurship and a long career in the technology industry, and sheds some light on the growing market… Read more at Lessons from a long term entrepreneur…
  • Create a Market driven Product Roadmap, and keep it that way!

    N. P. Menon
    25 Sep 2014 | 10:20 pm
    {{unknown}}Product Roadmap is a topic we have covered before here on the Confianzys blog; we identified some of the basic questions that need to be asked for an effective product roadmap, and also looked at how Product Managers’ soft skills impact the roadmap process. So why are we here again? The importance of a good product roadmap cannot be overstated. In a sense, a roadmap is the fine distillation of everything you know about a market, presented as ‘what’ goes into this product and ‘when’. Our… Read more at Create a Market driven Product Roadmap, and keep it that way!.
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    serendipity

  • You See Problem, Me See Idea: Power your projects with the MECE Technique

    Vikram
    22 Oct 2014 | 11:47 pm
    So you have an unchewable problem in front of you — perhaps your website visits are dropping like a bowling ball, and you don’t know why. Or you need to plan your best friend’s wedding, and you have no idea where to start. Or your product trajectory has shifted so far even you don’t understand where you’re going anymore. So how do you really take the first step to solving the problem? You could apply the Mammoth Model in germ.io to break down your big problem into smaller, more tangible next steps. But then, you risk leaving out some important detail somewhere. I had a great…
  • Ready, Assign, Launch: Announcing Actionables in Omega III

    Vikram
    29 Sep 2014 | 8:07 pm
    Today is a big day for germ. For you, for us, and for all germs that were, are and will be. Today is the day you get to take your thoughts from fleeting ideas to the last mile of execution. Over the past months, we’ve been getting closer to helping you turn your ideas into actionable projects. You could throw each of your ideas and brain farts into a separate flow of thought already. You could break down that abstract idea into smaller, more focussed pieces… But that still doesn’t complete the life of your idea. Ideas are born with the spark in your head, and the idea hasn’t done its…
  • How to chew a mammoth (aka) Getting your Ideas to Execution

    Vikram
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:40 am
    You’re walking through the icy glaciers, the cold exacerbating your starvation. Your stomach-rumbles make the ominous sounds of far away avalanches cower in shame. And then you spot a mammoth. A wool coated feast that could feed an army. Except you can’t chew your mammoth* yet. For one, you have nothing to cut it up with. The beast won’t even fit into your conventional oven. Your plates, spoons and cutlery are designed for more chicken-sized food. And you definitely can’t swallow a whole mammoth in one go. So you sit on top of your hunt, worrying yourself with what to do next until…
  • Forget VP of Devil’s Advocacy. Where’s your BS Filter?

    Vikram
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:14 am
    There are a million reasons why a piece of innovation fails. In some cases, it’s great technology that just didn’t get the marketing gas it needed to make it mainstream. And sometimes, the product is just way ahead of its times. But most often, innovations fail because they just plain suck. I was reading an article by MG Siegler on Techcrunch recently, and a particular quote struck a deep chord with me: We’ve seen a lot of these launches in recent years. Microsoft’s Surface RT. Samsung’s Smart Watches. Google’s Nexus Q. Apple’s Maps. All great examples. Each was quite clearly a…
  • Announcing Flow Maps: Using germ.io for Life, the Universe and Everything

    Vikram
    2 Jul 2014 | 1:05 pm
    The suckiest part of working on a project is worrying for days about a problem only to realize it’s not even that big a deal in the larger scheme of things. Our purpose at germ.io is simple: to help you get your ideas to execution. But sometimes when you’re in the thick of things, it’s easy to lose perspective. It’s called “getting lost in your thoughts”, and the only way you can get  home is if you took few a  steps back and looked at the big picture. With the last big Omega launch, germ.io helped you craft a new flow of thought for every project you…
 
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    Marketing Strategies and Education for Entrepreneurs

  • Marketing Strategies – Integrity in Marketing

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:11 pm
    Do you realize that over 90% of the headlines you read and hear on the news are full of BS? Yep! They’re carefully crafted to shock, seduce and manipulate you to click or not change the channel. Advertising agencies understand that we now live in a short-attention span world and they’re very well-trained to know […] The post Marketing Strategies – Integrity in Marketing appeared first on Marketing Strategies and Education for Entrepreneurs.
  • Marketing Strategies – It’s NOT Google Calling!

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    5 Sep 2014 | 7:09 am
    It’s my goal to teach entrepreneurs marketing strategies and how to navigate the Internet so they can benefit from all the opportunities it brings. However, many people are still reluctant and I can’t say that I blame them especially when there are so many scams going on. It truly outrages me that these things happen […] The post Marketing Strategies – It’s NOT Google Calling! appeared first on Marketing Strategies and Education for Entrepreneurs.
  • Managing Overwhelm

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    13 Jul 2014 | 10:34 am
    Today is Sunday and admittedly I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Not by things I have to do but by things I want to do and don’t have the time. Is anyone with me? Education for the Home Business Entrepreneur – Managing Overwhelm Today I read this article by Mashable called 3 Phrases That Actually Make […] The post Managing Overwhelm appeared first on Marketing Strategies and Education for Entrepreneurs.
  • Complacency is Cancer

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    9 Jul 2014 | 6:24 pm
    Take a moment of self-reflection. How do you take in information? Do you absorb it? Do you read it and think to yourself that you need to do it? Then a few seconds later the dog barks and you need to take him out – then the thought is lost? Do you revisit it? Do […] The post Complacency is Cancer appeared first on Marketing Strategies and Education for Entrepreneurs.
  • Online Marketing – Let’s Do a Check Up

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:29 am
    It’s not rocket-science the world around you is changing. The Internet is growing and expanding. As it expands, it creates change. The Internet will create opportunities – coincidently it will also end many industries as we know them. Some businesses will survive – some won’t. The pendulum has swung and now it’s time to get […] The post Online Marketing – Let’s Do a Check Up appeared first on Marketing Strategies and Education for Entrepreneurs.
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    Product Bookshelf

  • Software platforms: redefining the basis of competition

    Olaf Kowalik
    20 Oct 2014 | 6:03 am
    Competition in the software sector is moving from individual products and services to platform ecosystems. Five key trends are pushing companies to platform strategies. Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy by Amrit Tiwana describes the dynamics that are driving the new basis of competition in software. This is one of the few books in-depth available on product platforms; it covers all aspects of platforms including evolution, strategy, market dynamics, and case studies. The book is incredibly well organized and contains summaries and lessons learned at the…
  • Building habit-forming products

    Olaf Kowalik
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:01 am
    Habits are behaviors that occur with little or no conscious thought–“thinking without doing.” Use emotional triggers, actions, and variable rewards to create virtuous cycles of usage for your product. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products provides a design pattern with the building blocks to create habitual behavior. For business models that rely on habits, it’s important to understand how internal and external triggers combine with to initiate action and continue the cycle. Nir Eyal includes discussions of brain physiology, psychology and emotional dynamics…
  • The other side of innovation

    Olaf Kowalik
    6 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Innovation is hard and ideas only get you up one side of the mountain. You still have to go over the other side to reach your goal by executing well. Vijay Govindarajan‘s four books cover different aspects of successful innovation that begins in established organizations (versus startups). In The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (Harvard Business Review) he explores whether innovation is possible within established companies. Govindarajan expands on the key theme of efficiency and innovation, called Code A and Code B in Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From…
  • Borrowing, Forgetting and Learning

    Olaf Kowalik
    29 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    To successfully incubate and spin-off new ventures, companies must use the right mix of borrowing, forgetting, and learning organizational DNA.  In Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution Vijay Govindarajan covers strategic innovation, which he defines as a process of exploring experimental strategies. He focuses specifically on what it takes to incubate and spin off a successful new business (NewCo) from within an established one (CoreCo). Successfully creating a new venture from within an existing company requires the right mix of borrowing DNA (assets, culture,…
  • Strategic Segments: Going beyond the 4 P’s

    Olaf Kowalik
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Differentiation within segments based on the four P’s is limited and easily replicated; strategic segments offer a more defensible position because they involve a more extensive value network. Value networks are a key theme in Marketing As Strategy: Understanding the CEO’s Agenda for Driving Growth and Innovation by Nirmalya Kumar. Kumar describes value networks as “the orchestration of all marketing and nonmarketing activities necessary to create value for the customer.” Value networks marshall assets and capabilities throughout the organization to meet the needs of…
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    Market Brand

  • 2014 Top C Stores – C Store Distributors and Wholesalers

    Will Robins
    17 Oct 2014 | 2:39 am
    Wanting to know the latest information on C Stores and the top 2014 C Store Distributors? When you start looking for C Store Distributors you will want to know who the big boys are. This information graphic will walk you through everything you need to know about who the top c store chains are, who […]
  • 7 Tips For Contacting Retail Store Buyers – Distributors and Wholesalers As Well

    Will Robins
    4 Oct 2014 | 12:08 am
    Contact a Retail Buyer – The Real Ways to Finding, Contacting, and Selling a Retail Buyer 7 Tips for Contacting Retail Store Buyers Don’t Let No Deter You – They are going to say no. I have even had a buyer saying no as I completed paperwork to be placed in their store. Hilarious. The fact […]
  • 7 Steps on How to Market a New Product

    Will Robins
    25 Sep 2014 | 11:07 pm
    How To Market A Product You get this great idea to develop a product. It is perfect! You are excited. This is going to be the key for you and your family’s prosperous future. You get a vision of press releases, media interviews, your debut on shark tank and getting that big deal with your […]
  • C Store Distributors – Get Your Product Into These Distributors

    Will Robins
    20 Sep 2014 | 6:59 pm
    C Store Distributors Why C Store Distributors? When you are selling a product and looking for retail accounts to start selling your product into, C Store Distributors may be the last on your list to start with. That may be a mistake. Let’s look at why you would want to target C Store Distributors, C […]
  • How to Sell More ECIGS and Vaping – Become #1 Seller

    Will Robins
    17 Sep 2014 | 3:31 am
    Introduction to the concept of Ecigs   How does an ecig function There are mainly three components of a standard electronic cigarette, the cartomizer or ‘tank’ if you may, which holds the fluid consisting of flavour and traces of nicotine. The atomizer, a small device that is responsible for the vaporization of the fluid held […]
 
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