The CEO as Head of Product

Posted by marty cagan on August 31, 2010

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One question I’m often asked is whether an early stage startup needs to hire a product manager or head of product.  The answer really depends on the skills of the founders, especially the CEO.  Much more often than not, I see the CEO as the head of product, and I argue that in most cases this is a good thing.  This is especially true in consumer-facing companies.

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Court-Appointed Special Advocates

Posted by marty cagan on August 20, 2010

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I want to be clear up front that this is not a typical article.  I have had as a policy to only provide product development process related content to my SVPG readers, and this is the first time in the 5 years I’ve been writing these articles that I’ve strayed from that.  So I completely understand if you do not wish to read further.  However, I’m hoping that people will give me a one-time pass on this one because it really is for a good cause, I don’t gain anything personally, and I promise I’m not asking anyone to contribute money.

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Top 10 Reasons for Weak Product

Posted by marty cagan on August 16, 2010

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In my last article I discussed the top reasons for slow product, and here I wanted to highlight the top reasons for weak product.  I am defining weak product here as product that fails to meet its objectives and provide new and expanded sources of revenue and/or growth for your company.

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Top 10 Reasons for Slow Velocity

Posted by marty cagan on July 26, 2010

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I work with quite a few product teams, and after a while you start to see patterns.  Many organizations are frustrated because they believe that it takes far too long to move from concept to delivery.  They often just blame the skills of their developers, which is rarely the root cause in my experience.

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A Trend of Global Proportions

Posted by marty cagan on July 11, 2010

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I am writing this article sitting on yet another international flight, and I wanted to discuss what I believe to be the start of a truly transformational trend.

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The Rapid Response Team

Posted by marty cagan on June 17, 2010

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Have you noticed how fast a team goes when they’re just getting started, but that once the product is live and there are customers and users, that the velocity of the team can slow down to a crawl?  It’s an all too common problem, and it causes frustration all the way around.  Once you have real customers and/or an active sales team, there are always bugs to be fixed and changes urgently needed.  So the development team no longer has a clear focus because they’re now being pressured to fix and change the prior versions at the same time they’re being pushed to create significant new things.

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New Voices in Product

Posted by marty cagan on June 1, 2010

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I’m often asked about the blogs I read and the people I look to for inspiration as to thought leadership when it comes to product.  Sadly, for several years I couldn’t give a very good answer to that, however, today there are some exceptional people that have published their experiences, and I thought I would highlight my favorites here.  If you like the topics that I write about, I’m confident you’ll also like what these people have to say.

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An Open Letter To The Design Community

Posted by marty cagan on May 11, 2010

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I hope that everyone that reads this knows that I am one of the biggest advocates in our industry for user experience.  Because I generally work with the CEO’s, VP Product, and product managers of technology companies, I am probably in the best position to explain to them the importance of user experience design in coming up with great products.  I am not a designer, and I don’t have a design agency I’m trying to sell, so they know I have no personal interest other than I just want them to create better products.

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The Office Of Silicon Valley

Posted by marty cagan on May 6, 2010

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Regular readers of this blog know that I’m all about true collaboration, where product leaders, designers and engineers work together to discover products that customers love.  Mostly I talk about the process and techniques involved in this, but today I wanted to talk about the physical space and work environment that can be optimized to nurture and support this.

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You're Not Helping

Posted by marty cagan on April 26, 2010

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Most of my writing is aimed at the product organization, and in helping that organization evolve to where it needs to be to truly serve the needs of the company.    I have also written about how the leaders of the company can help facilitate this.  This article, however, is aimed at those leaders that are not actually helping, even though their intentions are typically good.

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