insights blog

The Board of Advisors

In my last article I began a series on the product planning process. I wanted to start by emphasizing that the most critical aspect to product planning is to have an effective mechanism for separating the good ideas from the bad (see The Seven Deadly Sins of Product...

The Seven Deadly Sins of Product Planning

Product planning is a big topic that many product organizations struggle with. It spans a range of activities including business strategy, product strategy, product roadmaps, portfolio management, opportunity assessments, project planning and tracking, and project...

Visiontyping and the Hands-On Executive

In my last article on Inspiring Product Leaders (see www.svpg.com/inspiring-product-leaders) I wrote about executives that are deeply involved in the company's products, and I talked about how these are my favorite types of leaders for tech companies. Several of you...

Inspiring Product Leaders

Last week Silicon Valley and the Internet industry lost one of its pioneers. For those that knew him, Mike Homer was unique and unforgettable. I worked for him for a time at Netscape, where he was the one of the principals there, initially running the marketing...

How To Kill Innovation

Last week I ran into two different software technology companies (neither in Silicon Valley) that had just recently brought in Six Sigma consultants. This caught me by surprise because it¹s been a very long time since I heard of a technology company even considering...

Product Roadmaps

I can¹t tell you how many times product managers have shown me their sophisticated spreadsheets and algorithms for prioritizing their long laundry list of feature requests (weighting various factors like cost, complexity, risk, customer impact, projected sales impact,...

Getting Past The Gatekeepers

Readers of my articles know that I believe that the single most important thing that a product manager does is to get his ideas in front of real target users. This is where real learning happens, and this is where you can discover a product that customers love....

Pleasure is Not the Absence of Pain

This time of year always gets me thinking about the nature of great products. Recently I was forwarded an article on Apple and the caption of a photo of an iPhone had this great line "Pleasure is Not the Absence of Pain." This resonated with me because I had just...

Product Management in Economic Downturns

One consequence of having been around this industry for a while is that I¹ve seen several cycles. Sometimes the downsides are fairly minor and barely touch tech companies, and at other times nearly everyone has lay-offs, cost-cutting, consolidations, or worse. While...

Product Manager vs. Business Analyst

In certain companies, mostly those that have an IT heritage (see https://svpg.com/moving-from-it-to-product-organization), there may be an additional role somewhere in the product organization ­ either in product management or in the product development organization ­...

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