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 V1

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...

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

NOTE: This is the original version of an article that has since been updated significantly.  The current version can be found here: Coaching Tools – The Assessment. In my last article I discussed the role of the leader of the product organization.  I heard back...

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...

Why Traditional Messaging Fails

Back when I was a product manager for Microsoft Office, we spent hundreds of thousands on positioning research. Messaging lived for years on store shelves, so getting it “right” was important. We thought about every word and enforced consistency, summarily dismissing...