Flying Blind

I know this topic is going to sound far-fetched to many of you, but I am finding too many product teams out there that either aren’t instrumenting their product or site to collect analytics, or they do it at such a minor level that they really don’t know what users...

Preparing For War

For many years now I have recommended the classic book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” because I think it does such a good job explaining an important dynamic I see at larger companies.  However, I have come to believe that The Innovator’s Dilemma is actually describing the...

The Importance Of Failing

Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to this short video from totally outside of the technology field.  The video is called “Why You Need to Fail” and it’s by Derek Sivers.  Even though the examples are from very different domains, I thought that this short video...

Developing Strong Product Managers

In my last article I discussed the role of the leader of the product organization.  I heard back from more than a few product leaders that it served to remind them that they weren’t doing as much as they knew they should be doing to build the strength of their product...

The VP Product Role

If you take a look at the list of open product positions at the end of my recent newsletter, you’ll notice a record number of VP/Director of Product positions.  In part this reflects the growth we are experiencing in our industry.  However, it also represents an...

Product Discovery With Live-Data Prototypes

In my last article I discussed the keys to product optimization including A/B testing.  However, I emphasized that this type of A/B testing is not the same as the A/B testing we do during product discovery.  In this article I’d like to talk more about how we utilize...

Consensus vs. Collaboration

While mostly I focus on the techniques and best practices for creating great products, I have truly come to appreciate just how important culture is in contributing to great products.  By culture I am including both company culture as well as the cultures of the...

Beyond Usability

In this article I wanted to try to make the case that as an industry we need to expand the focus of User Experience well beyond usability. Most of you hopefully already know that User Experience is much more than usability.  But even those of you that do may be...

Process Police

Readers of my book and articles know how much I value a strong project manager.  I’ve written earlier about the positive impact to velocity a great project manager can have (see https://svpg.com/ebay_secret_weapon/ and...

Defining Product

In the consumer packaged goods industry, most people have a pretty clear image in mind when you refer to the “product” that they manage or work on.   You can hold the bar of soap or the razor in your hand.  However, in the Internet world, when we refer to “product” it...

Big Bang Releases

What is a “Big Bang” release? This is when a team works for several months on a project with the intention of pushing it live in one big product creation event. Note that Big Bang is not necessarily the same as Waterfall, but it is an all too common consequence of...

Requirements Are Not

I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, but over the years, I’ve really come to dislike the entire concept of a “requirement.” I’ve learned that so many things that look like “requirements” really are just a perception, or assumption, or an illusion....

Factors in Structuring a Product Organization

For nearly every organization that has grown beyond a very early stage startup, one of the most common, yet difficult, questions is the optimal way to split up the product work.  As soon as you have more than one product manager, or more than one interaction designer,...

Engineers and Sales People

Believe it or not, there are still people out there that think that a technology company is really about two types of people: engineers and sales people.  People to write the software, and people to go sell it.  Everyone else is overhead and at best a necessary evil....

The CEO as Head of Product

One question I’m often asked is whether an early stage startup needs to hire a product manager or head of product.  The answer really depends on the skills of the founders, especially the CEO.  Much more often than not, I see the CEO as the head of product, and I...

Court-Appointed Special Advocates

I want to be clear up front that this is not a typical article.  I have had as a policy to only provide product development process related content to my SVPG readers, and this is the first time in the 5 years I’ve been writing these articles that I’ve strayed from...

Top 10 Reasons for Weak Product

In my last article I discussed the top reasons for slow product, and here I wanted to highlight the top reasons for weak product.  I am defining weak product here as product that fails to meet its objectives and provide new and expanded sources of revenue and/or...

Top 10 Reasons for Slow Velocity

I work with quite a few product teams, and after a while you start to see patterns.  Many organizations are frustrated because they believe that it takes far too long to move from concept to delivery.  They often just blame the skills of their developers, which is...

A Trend of Global Proportions

I am writing this article sitting on yet another international flight, and I wanted to discuss what I believe to be the start of a truly transformational trend. I have always enjoyed working with teams internationally and especially in developing markets.  There is a...

The Rapid Response Team

Have you noticed how fast a team goes when they’re just getting started, but that once the product is live and there are customers and users, that the velocity of the team can slow down to a crawl?  It’s an all too common problem, and it causes frustration all the way...
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