Defining Product

In the consumer packaged goods industry, most people have a pretty clear image in mind when you refer to the “product” that they manage or work on.   You can hold the bar of soap or the razor in your hand.  However, in the Internet world, when we refer to “product” it...

Big Bang Releases

What is a “Big Bang” release? This is when a team works for several months on a project with the intention of pushing it live in one big product creation event. Note that Big Bang is not necessarily the same as Waterfall, but it is an all too common consequence of...

Requirements Are Not

I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, but over the years, I’ve really come to dislike the entire concept of a “requirement.” I’ve learned that so many things that look like “requirements” really are just a perception, or assumption, or an illusion....

Factors in Structuring a Product Organization

For nearly every organization that has grown beyond a very early stage startup, one of the most common, yet difficult, questions is the optimal way to split up the product work.  As soon as you have more than one product manager, or more than one interaction designer,...

Engineers and Sales People

Believe it or not, there are still people out there that think that a technology company is really about two types of people: engineers and sales people.  People to write the software, and people to go sell it.  Everyone else is overhead and at best a necessary evil....

The CEO as Head of Product

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...

Court-Appointed Special Advocates

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...

Top 10 Reasons for Weak Product

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...

Top 10 Reasons for Slow Velocity

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...

A Trend of Global Proportions

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. I have always enjoyed working with teams internationally and especially in developing markets.  There is a...

The Rapid Response Team

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...

New Voices in Product

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...

An Open Letter To The Design Community

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...

The Office Of Silicon Valley

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...

You’re Not Helping

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,...

The Domesticated Computer

In the early 1980’s, I was a very young software developer working at HP Labs, and this was when personal computers had been out just a few years.  The computers were getting faster and more powerful every few months, yet users really struggled to interact with them....

Technology First vs. Needs First

There’s a debate that’s been going on in the design and user research community because the legendary Don Norman wrote an essay in which he did an about-face and decided that doing user research to start a project was mostly a waste of time. That’s an...

Product Discovery for Non-Technology Products

Article: Product Discovery for Non-Technology Products I’m often asked whether or not the concepts that I advocate and write about are applicable to non-software products as well as the consumer and business internet services that I almost exclusively focus on.  My...

Dedicated Product Teams

In my last article I talked about the importance of knocking down walls, especially the wall between product management and engineering.  In this article, I want to describe a technique that helps achieve this, along with several other significant benefits. While...

Knocking Down Walls

One of the great things about startups is that they are so small that there’s almost no organizational structure to speak of.  Basically everyone there is just trying to create something people want. But as organizations grow, people start spending more of their time...
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