insights blog

Product Discovery in Established Companies

Much has been written about how to do product discovery in startups, by me and many other people.   There are many challenges for startups, most importantly, survival.  But one of the real advantages from a product point of view is that there’s no legacy to drag...

The End Of Requirements

When I start working with product teams, one of the first things I try to do is to get them to stop thinking of their job as one of gathering and documenting requirements.  In fact, I try to get them to stop thinking in terms of requirements at all. Most requirements...

The Biggest Risk

One of the things I like about a Lean Canvas is it helps to quickly highlight the key assumptions and major risks facing a startup or a significant new product in an existing business.  This is a good thing.   The idea is to tackle the biggest risks first.  That's the...

The Power of Reference Customers

Our job in the product organization is to create products that can sustain a business.  Make no mistake about it: everything depends on strong products. Without these strong products, our marketing programs require customer acquisition costs that are too high; our...

Selecting An Agile Coach

I should have written this article many years ago. Starting around 2004 and 2005 I began seeing an increasing number of teams moving to Agile, and of course the first thing they needed was training and often some coaching. However, more often than not, I had to go...

This I Believe

This article is a little bit different, but if you make it to the last paragraph, I'm hoping it will help better explain where I'm coming from. In the spirit of the inspirational This I Believe project, I thought I would share with you the beliefs that underly so much...

The Need For Speed

I'm always badgering teams about moving faster.  Yet I continue to meet people and teams that not only move very slow, they don't understand the relationship between speed and innovation, or speed and quality.  In fact, many people still think those goals are at odds....

Developing Strong Product Teams

Note: This article is a collaboration between myself and my long-time friend and colleague Jeff Patton.  We often work together to help product teams. We have both long argued that the best way to evaluate product teams is by their results; the outcome they generate,...

Lean Canvas vs. Opportunity Assessment

One question that's come up several times recently is the difference between an Opportunity Assessment, and a Business Model Canvas (or its popular derivative Lean Canvas). While it is true you could try to use each to serve the purpose of the other, it quickly...

Funnels vs. Umbrellas

In my last newsletter I wrote about Stakeholder Management.  That article seemed to strike a chord with many people. One person sent me a quote that is attributed to Todd Jackson of Facebook, which is probably one of the best lines I've seen regarding product in a...

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