Epic Waste

Much has been written about waste at startups.  I started writing about this as far back as 2005 (see Startup Product Management), and this concept is at the core of the Lean Startup movement. Lately there’s been much talk and ink about waste in government technology...

Funnels vs. Umbrellas

In my last newsletter I wrote about Stakeholder Management.  That article seemed to strike a chord with many people. One person sent me a quote that is attributed to Todd Jackson of Facebook, which is probably one of the best lines I’ve seen regarding product in...

Stakeholder Management

I’m not sure why I haven’t written specifically on this topic before because it comes up as an issue with so many teams.  For many product managers, managing stakeholders is probably the least favorite part of their job. I don’t want to suggest that...

Product Manager Charm School

Recently I wrote about Apprentice Product Manager programs, where companies recruit and groom high-potential product managers.  Quite a few people asked me about this program and the type of curriculum that I have provided for my own teams in the past.  In this...

Apprentice Product Managers

I find that most tech product companies out there are struggling to find enough very strong product managers.  I have written many times in various ways about how critical it is to put very strong people in this role, and I meet execs every week that tell me that they...

Time-Boxing Product Discovery

In my last article I talked about one technique for applying Scrum concepts to product discovery – the opportunity backlog.  In this article, I wanted to talk about another, which is to time-box product discovery. First, for those that are not familiar with the term,...

Lead Engineer as Product Owner

Many companies I meet are confused about roles and responsibilities.  They’re not sure the difference between product managers and project managers, or between product managers and product marketing, or between product managers and interaction designers, as just...

Lessons From Leaders

One thing I love to do when I visit with companies is collect their favorite quotes and mantras.  It helps me to understand their culture and their values.  We all deal with certain truths about building technology products, and I find that certain quotes resonate...

Product Marketing Contribution

Jane is supporting the launch of Product X, a new release her company is really excited about. She is on the marketing team. Armed with her launch checklist, she schedules a meeting with John, the product manager.  At the meeting, John answers all of her questions,...

Defining Good

I consistently get asked questions like the following: “Just look at Facebook/Amazon/Google (usually one of those three).  Don’t you think they have a terrible product?  How could they possibly be so successful?” No matter how many times I hear the...
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