insights blog

Beware of Specials

How many times have you seen the situation where a sales rep brings to the CEO a proposal from a prospect that says, “if you will just add these seven features to your product then we’ll buy your software and even pay you an extra $X.” Or, lest anyone thinks that this...

Youth versus Experience

If you have been wondering what’s going on with all these startups with 20-something founders and product leaders, you’re not alone. There are some great companies that have been started by some very young people, several of whom dropped out of college to pursue their...

Enterprise Software

I’m frustrated by the state of the Enterprise Software industry, and I have been for quite some time. While there are some notable exceptions, I find fewer examples of good products in this space than any other. Many people view the enterprise software market as...

Consumer Internet Services

In the last issue I wrote about the role that domain expertise plays in product management, and I alluded to deeper differences in types of products. For more traditional types of products, such as Enterprise Software, these differences are fairly well-known. But for...

Technology, Products and Marketing

Some people believe that business is all about marketing and building brand - establishing a great brand in the mind of consumers. Many of these same people also believe that one of the biggest weaknesses of Silicon Valley-style companies is that we just don’t get...

The Role of Domain Experience

This week a friend called to ask my opinion of a product management leader - I'll call him David - whom I've worked with in the past. The hiring manager is an exec at a large consumer internet services company. He really liked David, but his question to me was: "He's...

Platform Product Management

One of the most difficult - but highest leverage - types of product management is to define successful platforms. By platforms, I am referring to foundation software that is used by application developers to create end-user solutions. Examples include operating...

Famous Product Managers

What do the following people all have in common? - Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape - Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon - Steve Case, co-founder of AOL - Michael Dell, founder of Dell - Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle - David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo! - Bill...

Product Validation

The past few newsletters have had references to what I call "Product Validation." This refers to verifying that the product spec (PRD) is describing a product that you know will be successful, but doing so without actually building out and deploying the product. This...

The Waterfall Product Development Process

In the last newsletter we discussed the Agile Development Processes, and the implications for product managers. In this newsletter we look at the process that the majority of product teams still follow, which is known as the “Waterfall” process. Even though the...

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