insights blog

The Importance Of Failing

Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to this short video from totally outside of the technology field.  The video is called “Why You Need to Fail” and it’s by Derek Sivers.  Even though the examples are from very different domains, I thought that this short video...

Developing Strong Product Managers

NOTE: This is the original version of an article that has since been updated significantly.  The current version can be found here: Coaching Tools - The Assessment. In my last article I discussed the role of the leader of the product organization.  I heard back from...

The VP Product Role

If you take a look at the list of open product positions at the end of my recent newsletter, you’ll notice a record number of VP/Director of Product positions.  In part this reflects the growth we are experiencing in our industry.  However, it also represents an...

Why Traditional Messaging Fails

Back when I was a product manager for Microsoft Office, we spent hundreds of thousands on positioning research. Messaging lived for years on store shelves, so getting it “right” was important. We thought about every word and enforced consistency, summarily dismissing...

Product Discovery With Live-Data Prototypes

In my last article I discussed the keys to product optimization including A/B testing.  However, I emphasized that this type of A/B testing is not the same as the A/B testing we do during product discovery.  In this article I’d like to talk more about how we utilize...

Consensus vs. Collaboration

While mostly I focus on the techniques and best practices for creating great products, I have truly come to appreciate just how important culture is in contributing to great products.  By culture I am including both company culture as well as the cultures of the...

Great Products Are Not Just the Product Guy’s Job

I recently asked the founder of a startup what he most wanted to know about marketing. He said, “What’s the best way to get publicity without feeling spammy?” He’s actually done it already: build a great product customers love. His Read-It-Later IOS apps and browser...

Beyond Usability

In this article I wanted to try to make the case that as an industry we need to expand the focus of User Experience well beyond usability. Most of you hopefully already know that User Experience is much more than usability.  But even those of you that do may be...

Process Police

Readers of my book and articles know how much I value a strong project manager.  I’ve written earlier about the positive impact to velocity a great project manager can have (see https://svpg.com/ebay_secret_weapon/ and...

Defining Product

In the consumer packaged goods industry, most people have a pretty clear image in mind when you refer to the “product” that they manage or work on.   You can hold the bar of soap or the razor in your hand.  However, in the Internet world, when we refer to “product” it...

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