insights blog

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 question, I always...

Live-Data Prototypes vs. Production

I have written earlier about the differences between user prototypes (simulations intended to test the user experience), and live-data prototypes (actual code intended to send live traffic to in order to test real behavior). ...

The Product Manager Contribution

Recently I was asked by a very smart CTO: "I understand the need for a great user experience designer, but if we have a strong designer, and that person is paired with a strong technology lead, do we really still need a product manager?" For many teams, the...

Viable Product vs. Minimal Product

To continue on the series of articles describing the critically important concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP), in this article I wanted to contrast the concept of Viable Product with what I call "Minimal Product." So often I meet teams that tell me that they have...

Social Contract for Product Managers

If I were starting my career in product today, I would do anything I could to get into a very innovative program at Stanford called the Stanford Design School (aka "d.school").  I absolutely love the curriculum and the faculty.  But this article is not really about...

Product Management Then and Now

Occasionally in my work with technology product teams around the world, I run into product managers that are still practicing the role as it used to be defined back in the PC era of technology.  These organizations are inevitably frustrated, as the role was not...

Measuring Innovation

Measuring innovation is a popular topic lately.  Many product teams use Product Scorecards to keep their focus on outcomes rather than output.   Eric Ries introduced the term “Innovation Accounting” for this purpose as well. However, as much as I like and advocate for...

Product Manager vs. Product Owner

All too often I run into companies that have resigned themselves to having two different people covering the product role. Usually the way they split it is they have one person responsible for interacting with customers and stakeholders (which they often call the...

Product Market Fit vs. Product Vision

Earlier I expanded on the notion of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and I promised a series of articles that explores aspects of MVP Tests that often cause product teams confusion.  In this article, I’d like to discuss the relationship between the MVP Tests, Product...

Lean Thinking

A while ago I posted an article on people that I think have something really valuable to say to product leaders.  One of those people I discussed was Eric Ries, author of the blog http://www.startuplessonslearned.com.  I also promised that I’d share a glossary to map...

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