insights blog

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 ­...

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...

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