Lipstick on a Pig

A pig is a bad product. Lipstick on a pig is when product marketing tries to make the best of a bad situation. The metaphor may be a bit harsh, but the message is clear. Life can be very hard for the product marketing manager that is trying to convince people to buy...

Patton’s Advice for Product Managers

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – General George S. Patton, Jr. Patton was quite a character. From what I know of him, it sounds like he would have been quite a product manager. He’s the...

Startup Product Management

I’ve been working with quite a few startups over the past few years, usually in an advisory capacity, but sometimes more directly involved. Startups are essentially all about new product creation, so they’re a terrific place for product managers to do their thing, and...

Beware of Specials

How many times have you seen the situation where a sales rep brings to the CEO a proposal from a prospect that says, “if you will just add these seven features to your product then we’ll buy your software and even pay you an extra $X.” Or, lest anyone thinks that this...

Youth versus Experience

If you have been wondering what’s going on with all these startups with 20-something founders and product leaders, you’re not alone. There are some great companies that have been started by some very young people, several of whom dropped out of college to pursue their...

Enterprise Software

I’m frustrated by the state of the Enterprise Software industry, and I have been for quite some time. While there are some notable exceptions, I find fewer examples of good products in this space than any other. Many people view the enterprise software market as...

Consumer Internet Services

In the last issue I wrote about the role that domain expertise plays in product management, and I alluded to deeper differences in types of products. For more traditional types of products, such as Enterprise Software, these differences are fairly well-known. But for...

Technology, Products and Marketing

Some people believe that business is all about marketing and building brand – establishing a great brand in the mind of consumers. Many of these same people also believe that one of the biggest weaknesses of Silicon Valley-style companies is that we just don’t...

The Role of Domain Experience

This week a friend called to ask my opinion of a product management leader – I’ll call him David – whom I’ve worked with in the past. The hiring manager is an exec at a large consumer internet services company. He really liked David, but his...

Platform Product Management

One of the most difficult – but highest leverage – types of product management is to define successful platforms. By platforms, I am referring to foundation software that is used by application developers to create end-user solutions. Examples include...
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