Lessons From Leaders

One thing I love to do when I visit with companies is collect their favorite quotes and mantras.  It helps me to understand their culture and their values.  We all deal with certain truths about building technology products, and I find that certain quotes resonate...

Product Scorecard Stages

Normally I like to keep my newsletters to discussions of organization, process and best practices that I believe apply to nearly all technology companies, and I limit the number of product-specific techniques I discuss because of that.  I save the product-specific...

Defining Good

I consistently get asked questions like the following: “Just look at Facebook/Amazon/Google (usually one of those three).  Don’t you think they have a terrible product?  How could they possibly be so successful?” No matter how many times I hear the...

Live-Data Prototypes vs. Production

I have written earlier about the differences between user prototypes (simulations intended to test the user experience), and live-data prototypes (actual code intended to send live traffic to in order to test real behavior). ...

The Product Manager Contribution

Recently I was asked by a very smart CTO: “I understand the need for a great user experience designer, but if we have a strong designer, and that person is paired with a strong technology lead, do we really still need a product manager?” For many teams,...

Viable Product vs. Minimal Product

To continue on the series of articles describing the critically important concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP), in this article I wanted to contrast the concept of Viable Product with what I call “Minimal Product.” So often I meet teams that tell me...

Social Contract for Product Managers

If I were starting my career in product today, I would do anything I could to get into a very innovative program at Stanford called the Stanford Design School (aka “d.school”).  I absolutely love the curriculum and the faculty.  But this article is not...

Product Management Then and Now

Occasionally in my work with technology product teams around the world, I run into product managers that are still practicing the role as it used to be defined back in the PC era of technology.  These organizations are inevitably frustrated, as the role was not...

Measuring Innovation

Measuring innovation is a popular topic lately.  Many product teams use Product Scorecards to keep their focus on outcomes rather than output.   Eric Ries introduced the term “Innovation Accounting” for this purpose as well. However, as much as I like and advocate for...

Product Manager vs. Product Owner

All too often I run into companies that have resigned themselves to having two different people covering the product role. Usually the way they split it is they have one person responsible for interacting with customers and stakeholders (which they often call the...

Product Market Fit vs. Product Vision

Earlier I expanded on the notion of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and I promised a series of articles that explores aspects of MVP Tests that often cause product teams confusion.  In this article, I’d like to discuss the relationship between the MVP Tests, Product...

Lean Thinking

A while ago I posted an article on people that I think have something really valuable to say to product leaders.  One of those people I discussed was Eric Ries, author of the blog http://www.startuplessonslearned.com.  I also promised that I’d share a glossary to map...

The Greatest

It may have been Muhammad Ali in the boxing world, but in the product world, it’s hard to argue that Steve Jobs wasn’t the greatest ever. He tackled immensely difficult problems, and generated products that came to define their categories and literally change the...

Minimum Viable Product

One of the most important concepts in all of software is the notion of minimum viable product (often referred to as “MVP”).  But if you’ve been around software products for a while, you know that term is used in many different ways, and while the term intuitively...

Competition

One of the constants in our business is competition.  Very occasionally you find a company that has established a monopoly position, but for the most part, if the market you’re serving is a real market with real customers with real needs, you either have competitors...

Project-based Funding

If your company is one that still allocates product development funds based on approval of projects, then you still have the old “project-based funding model.”  This is mostly a situation in either large companies, or those that have an IT-style legacy, but the...

Product Evangelism

In my last article I wrote about the importance of product passion, and I said that one of the reasons this passion is necessary is for product evangelism. Product evangelism is, as Guy Kawasaki put it years ago, “selling the dream.”  It’s helping people to imagine...

Product Passion

One topic I’ve never written explicitly about is the need for product passion.  I’ve referenced it at the top of the list of traits for good product leaders, but it’s easy to take this for granted especially since the people I surround myself with professionally are...

The Two Core Competencies

Good product teams must be good at product discovery, which means they must get good at learning quickly.  They need to be able to zero in on the appropriate target customer, identify the key problems to solve for those customers, and typically the most difficult part...

The Most Important Thing

There are several skills and activities that are important when coming up with great products.  In my last article, I argued for the absolute necessity of having good data about how our products are actually being used. But in the this article I want to argue that the...
Page 5 of 13« First...23456789...Last »