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...

Gentle Deployment

One of the fun things about working on a 1.0 product is that you get to start fresh with your community of users. It’s true that your user base is still influenced by other products and services that they’ve been exposed to, but overall you don’t have to worry much...

Rapid Response

I’ve talked elsewhere about the pitfalls of confusing product launch with success, and how important it is to not lose focus after you ship your product or service. In this article I wanted to say a little more about what you should be doing during this critical phase...

Fear, Greed and Lust

I find it ironic that so many of us in the product world come from science and business oriented backgrounds, yet such a large part of what we do every day is really all about emotion and human psychology. Most of us may not think of our job this way, but we should....

The Product Manifesto

The New Year always gets me thinking bigger picture. For some that means reviewing the company mission statement. For others, it means coming up with your annual or quarterly objectives. For me, I’m partial to the Manifesto. A Manifesto is a public declaration of...

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...

eBay’s Secret Weapon

Look at any successful company and you’ll find a set of people that stand out and are the ones that really make the difference. It may be the difference between a great product or a terrible one. Or the difference between getting the business partnership the company...

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...

Does Company Culture Matter?

Company culture is one of those vague concepts that can mean different things to different people. I use the term here to capture the company philosophy in terms of how it treats its employees, customers and partners, and the impact this has on product teams. These...