The End of Innovation?

The other day I was doing an interview with a member of the press having to do with the future of Silicon Valley, and I was asked the question: “Do you think there are any good opportunities left?” It took me a minute to realize that he meant this as a serious...

Outsourcing for the Right Reasons

Just about every company I talk to now is outsourcing to one degree or another. Yet the results are decidedly mixed. I think there are several reasons for the problems that companies are having. Often the problems stem from issues with the product development process,...

The New Old Thing

With apologies to one of my favorite authors, Michael Lewis’ “The New New Thing,” I wanted to talk today about what I see as a common misconception among product managers and companies in general. So many companies believe they need to create an entirely new market in...

Lipstick on a Pig

A pig is a bad product. Lipstick on a pig is when product marketing tries to make the best of a bad situation. The metaphor may be a bit harsh, but the message is clear. Life can be very hard for the product marketing manager that is trying to convince people to buy...

Patton’s Advice for Product Managers

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – General George S. Patton, Jr. Patton was quite a character. From what I know of him, it sounds like he would have been quite a product manager. He’s the...

Startup Product Management

I’ve been working with quite a few startups over the past few years, usually in an advisory capacity, but sometimes more directly involved. Startups are essentially all about new product creation, so they’re a terrific place for product managers to do their thing, and...

Beware of Specials

How many times have you seen the situation where a sales rep brings to the CEO a proposal from a prospect that says, “if you will just add these seven features to your product then we’ll buy your software and even pay you an extra $X.” Or, lest anyone thinks that this...

Youth versus Experience

If you have been wondering what’s going on with all these startups with 20-something founders and product leaders, you’re not alone. There are some great companies that have been started by some very young people, several of whom dropped out of college to pursue their...

Enterprise Software

I’m frustrated by the state of the Enterprise Software industry, and I have been for quite some time. While there are some notable exceptions, I find fewer examples of good products in this space than any other. Many people view the enterprise software market as...

Consumer Internet Services

In the last issue I wrote about the role that domain expertise plays in product management, and I alluded to deeper differences in types of products. For more traditional types of products, such as Enterprise Software, these differences are fairly well-known. But for...
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