insights blog

Where Should Product Management Live?

The single most frequent question I get from product leaders in companies both large and small, is where should product management live? The choices are most often engineering or marketing. While if you have the right personalities, it can work in either place, I’m...

The Smartest Guy in the Room

As product people, we’re first and foremost in the idea business. We have to come up with great ideas and then make them a reality. While this takes skill and practice, the main ingredient is something that I don’t know how to teach. We depend on smart people for the...

Market Research Capabilities and Limitations

If your company is like many, there's some natural tension between marketing and product. One often controversial topic is the appropriate role in product creation of market research tools and techniques such as focus groups, customer surveys, site analytics, site...

Framing Product Decisions

Judging from all the feedback from the last posting, it sounds like quite a few of you are struggling with your company’s process for product decisions (or lack thereof!). Lots of complaints about endless meetings without structure or decisions, second guessing...

Growing Pains

In the last newsletter I spoke about the differences between large and small product companies, and how different they are and how different type of people thrive (and struggle) at each. However, I did not talk about the case where a small company quickly grows into a...

Does Size Matter?

Two questions I get a lot are: “Is now the time to join one of the cool new startups?” and “The startup I’m at isn’t doing so well, should I join one of the big guys that’s hiring so aggressively right now?” I’ve worked in all sized companies, from brand new startups,...

Microsoft’s Advantage

In my last posting I criticized Google’s culture including their hiring practices. In this issue, I’d like to talk about the company that I think does the best job in the industry at consistently hiring strong people. I’ve recruited, interviewed and hired literally...

Corporate Hubris

“Hubris: The false pride that comes before the fall” - Wikipedia I probably get more questions from product people about Google than any other company. With their astounding success, it seems everyone wants to emulate them. Regular readers of my blog and newsletter...

Death of a Salesman

For as far back as I can remember, it wasn’t enough to have a good product, you also needed a strong sales person to get the customer to actually commit and sign the check. In fact, the lack of skilled sales people was and remains the limiting factor for many...

Gentle Deployment

One of the fun things about working on a 1.0 product is that you get to start fresh with your community of users. It’s true that your user base is still influenced by other products and services that they’ve been exposed to, but overall you don’t have to worry much...

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