insights blog

Flavors of Prototypes

Prototypes of various forms have been around for as long as we’ve been doing software, since the famous Fred Brooks quote: “plan to throw one away, you will anyway.” However, many things have changed.  Not the least of which is that the tools and techniques we have...

The Role of Analytics

One of the most significant changes in how we do product today is our use of analytics.   Any capable product leader today is expected to be comfortable with data, and understand how to leverage analytics to learn and improve quickly. Note: For the purposes of this...

Product Market Fit

In earlier articles I’ve discussed various aspects of Minimum Viable Product (which I like to refer to as MVP Tests to avoid any confusion with an actual product). In this article I’d like to say more about the critical concept of Product Market Fit. The term was...

Epic Waste

Much has been written about waste at startups.  I started writing about this as far back as 2005 (see Startup Product Management), and this concept is at the core of the Lean Startup movement. Lately there’s been much talk and ink about waste in government technology...

Personas for Product Management

Product: eBay Seller Tools Pete the Power Seller Background Pete is a 46-year-old male that lives in Fresno and runs a small motorcycle parts business.  While he does maintain a small brick-and-mortar shop, almost all of his sales come from eBay, where he sells on...

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...

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