insights blog

Laid Off; Now What?

Many of you probably saw that eBay recently had a lay-off, and given the condition of the economy they are not likely to be the only one doing so. What I wanted to talk about in this article was what to do if you find yourself in the same boat. Others talk about...

Product Managers vs. Business Owners

In some companies, mostly larger companies with multiple business units, there is an additional role in the product mix. This role typically comes about when you have a matrix organization where a common product organization is responsible for serving the needs of...

Moving From Enterprise To Consumer

Occasionally a company starts its life as one type of business but then finds that they need to change into another type of business. The most common such transition I see is to start by building products for very large companies (enterprises), but then decide you...

Left Of The Line

I picked up this phrase “left of the line” from my friends at the e-commerce site kbb.com. At the highest level, creating software products involves figuring out what to build, and then building it. This line distinguishes those two fundamental activities. Note that...

Product Management and Risk

In a very real sense, every product manager is in the risk management business. Every investment decision we make represents a risk. Should we go for a big project that can potentially redefine our position, or maybe a handful of medium-sized efforts, or continue...

Product Management Certification?

Occasionally product managers will ask me if they should get “certified” as a product manager. There are half a dozen or so organizations that have created their own “product management certification” programs. Now, I do not blame any of these organizations in the...

What’s a Beta?

For years people have been arguing about what the real purpose of a “beta” is. I used to argue this point as well, but today the term is so ambiguous that we all just need to accept that the term can be used for many different purposes, and what’s important to you is...

Global Product Management

One of the amazing things about doing web-based products and services is watching how quickly the service gets adopted internationally. With global access, and with good site analytics tools, we can see the service start to spread around the globe. But these of course...

Subject Matter Experts

I have already written about all the common roles in a product team, but in some companies, there is another role that exists and it goes by various ntitles including Subject Matter Experts (SME), Domain Experts, and Business Analysts. The defining characteristics of...

Moving from an IT to a Product Organization

Quite a few companies that exist today began life as something other than a product or Internet software company. Perhaps your company began as a large brick-and-mortar retailer, or an airline, or a financial services company. While it is true that these companies all...

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