Thriving in Large Companies

Many of my readers work in large companies, including Adobe, Amazon, AOL, Apple, eBay, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, and Yahoo, and two of the most consistent themes from your questions and comments are: “how do I get things done in a large company?” and “how do I...

Succeeding With Remote Development

One of the most common situations today is where the product manager is in one location, and the engineering team is somewhere else. I don’t only mean outsourcing to India either – the remote development team might be a consequence of an acquisition or merger, or...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Outwit-Outlast-Outplay

Sometimes being a product manager can feel like being on Survivor, and worrying about your product team voting you out at the next product council. Product management is hard. Leading a product team is hard. You make countless decisions, and not all of them will be...

Managing Up

One of the most common questions I get from product managers, usually working at large companies, is how to manage their managers? They are frustrated with their manager. Not that they don’t like their manager, but that they feel like the sands keep shifting, their...