DokDok… It’s Advice!

dokdoklogo_thumb15Email will be with us for a good time longer. DokDok, along with founder Bruno Morency, is seeking to evolve this often cumbersome communication mechanism, solving the often onerous challenge of exchanging documents via file attachment, tracking them, versioning them, facilitating interaction with them, and extending this vision to facilitate other products.

In Part 3, of this 4 part series, I sat down with Bruno to pick his brain and see what advice he may have for other entrepreneurs and startup pioneers.

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Learn

TPG: What are some tips/advice you can offer entrepreneurs?
Bruno: There are vast amounts of very good blogs written by successful entrepreneurs that cover all aspects of starting up a company. A good starting point is to read them regularly, debate these ideas and post comments.

bruno-pic I would add one simple piece of advice: just do it. A lot of people wait for the perfect time or opportunity to come. It just won’t. Is success more about luck than anything else? That question misses the point. Luck and opportunity knocking are consequences of what you do. You have to become a magnet for these. Build your first prototype now. Show it and iterate on it until people care enough to pay for it and/or invest in it.

TPG: How can DokDok help startups or others in the community?
Bruno: The startup community in Montreal has been coming together really nicely over the past 2 or 3 years with many great social and tech events and we’re actively involved. We share offices with other startups and we’re aiming to host regular events and workshops opened to everyone interested. We had a first one about automated QA a short while back; we’re hoping to host more of these in the coming year.

See DokDok

DokDok began as an email enhancer, working with your Gmail, Google Apps, Highrise to overlay concepts of a robust document management and version control system to email attached documents. As many resilient products do, it has now evolved to tap more deeply into the trends of Modular Innovation that are propelling many of the most successful and emerging companies out there. However, my conversation with Bruno covered many other topics. We can all look forward to the next part in our conversation with Bruno and DokDok, understanding how DokDok is surfing the Modular Innovation wave.

Part 1: DokDok: Who’s there?
Part 2: More than Just Email Being Brought to the Future
Part 3: DokDok… It’s Advice!
Part 4: More Companies are Becoming Modular Innovation Enablers

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring DokDok, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

From Being Google-y to Consoling the (API) Masses

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. For your weekend enjoyment, here are some of those highlights.  What are you reading this weekend?

02_scvngr

On Design & Product Experience…

http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/12/scvngr-ceo-seth-priebatsch-the-game-layer-is-coming-sxsw/
Designing the next Level-up … in your real-life.

03_apigee

On Modular Innovation…

http://mashable.com/2011/03/11/apigee-to-go
On consoling the masses of Modular Innovation.

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Strategic Function of Product Management

Paul GrayVery close runner-up to The Best Product Person of 2010 was Paul Gray. Paul Gray has spent ten years working in the entertainment, media and communications industries within Australia and Europe. Paul worked in both B2B and B2C roles for organizations including Disney, Foxtel, and British Telecom.

In consideration as The Best Product Person of 2010, I interviewed Paul about all aspects of Product Management, from his own career path, to advice, to trends he now sees emerging.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing portions of this interview. This week, let’s look the strategic function of product management.

In the now…

> Whose shoes would you like to walk in for a day? why?
I think I’d learn a great deal from walking in the shoes of Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix. He seems to embody traits of a great product manager. He is intensely focused on his customers. He doesn’t dwell on products or features, rather he seeks to understand and deliver the outcomes they want. His approach has been mocked and belittled by everyone from Blockbuster to Time Warner, but he has shown that his approach not only works, but works really well. I’d love to see how he created this culture and spread these great product management principles throughout his entire organization.

> What excites you about your current products?
As I work in product management consulting, I’m able to work across multiple products in diverse industries. In 2010, I worked on Pay-TV services, insurance, online communities, health services and innovative startups. I enjoy this breadth in scope, having the opportunity to bring a fresh pair of “eyes” to a product and suggest new ideas and insights to help ensure that it is aligned on meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

> What do you like most and least about being a product manager?
I’d echo the concerns I’ve heard from many other product managers that I work with – that the role often ends up taking on too much tactical responsibility, from reporting to customer service resolution, sales support and even help with the actual development of a product. In my view, product management is a strategic function that touches multiple parts of an organization and while product managers should have input into, and be available to support other business functions, it is important that the product manager’s main efforts and responsibilities are directed towards crafting and executing strategy.

Remember

TBPP2010_altabrv114_thumb2Over the next few weeks I will share more of my interview with Paul Gray, Runner-up to The Best Product Person of 2010, as well as other fascinating product people I met in this journey!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2010, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

From the Shape of Grids to the Latest MI Milestones

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. For your weekend enjoyment, here are some of those highlights.  What are you reading this weekend?

01-Zwilling

On Starting Up…

http://www.businessinsider.com/eight-key-problems-every-startup-should-anticipate-2011-3
Anticipating the most common startup problems is a good start.

02-grid

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/03/web-culture-grid-based-layout-designs/
Explore the grids at the core of today’s evolving web culture.

03-milestones

On Modular Innovation…

http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2011/03/programmable-web-apis-popping.php
Modular Innovation’s latest milestones.

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Paul Gray TBPP2010 Runner-up

Paul GrayVery close runner-up to The Best Product Person of 2010 was Paul Gray. Paul Gray has spent ten years working in the entertainment, media and communications industries within Australia and Europe. Paul worked in both B2B and B2C roles for organizations including Disney, Foxtel, and British Telecom.

In consideration as The Best Product Person of 2010, I interviewed Paul about all aspects of Product Management, from his own career path, to advice, to trends he now sees emerging.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing portions of this interview. This week, let’s look at the key influencers in his product person journey.

Getting to here…

> What key people helped shape you into the product manager you are today?

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with great people in product management teams as well as those partner business units such as sales, customer service, marketing, engineering and operations. Each has helped provide me with a view of how product management ‘fits in’ to the overall picture and has helped me understand the critical strategic role product managers play in making a product or service successful. Above all however, I would say it’s the customers that I’ve been able to speak to. I’ve worked in B2B roles and B2C so have dealt with everyone from C-Suite executives through to six year old kids. Regardless of who your customer is, I think you gain the most insight, ideas and inspiration from going out and speaking to them. For this reason, I’d say its my customers that have shaped me the most.

> How did you decide to become a product manager?

I think my interest stemmed quite simply as a customer and user of products. I’d often marvel at how bad some products and services were. You’d have a great service let down by a terrible retail experience, or an interesting idea hindered by bad positioning and messaging. Then I noticed a few standout products and services. These were able to deliver their target customer the experience and outcomes that he wanted, and they did it in a way that was original, differentiated and profitable. This made me wonder what part of a business was tasked with this job – and I discovered it was product management.

> What inspires you in your day-to-day work?

Seeing how ingenuity, passion and creative thinking are helping to reshape traditional rules and structures in business, government and communities. With the rise of Web 2.0, we’re seeing new organisations emerge that do things differently, offering products and services that customers have been crying out for years. I think this bridging of ‘the gap’ between product people and customers and really getting to listen to customers and seeing their faces when they’re happy or satisfied make for most of the inspiring elements of my day.

Remember

TBPP2010_alt-abrv-114Over the next few weeks I will share more of my interview with Paul Gray, Runner-up to The Best Product Person of 2010, as well as other fascinating product people I met in this journey!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2010, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Yelp

Yelp

Popular product providing local search in a simply navigable interface, fostering relationships via community and Modular Innovation (REST API and Facebook Connect).
#end

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy
http://tpgblog.com
347-229-1677

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jeremy Horn <jeremydhorn@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 11:15 AM
Subject: TripIt ((tag: tripit,modularinnovation, screenshots))
To: post@theproducts.posterous.com

Outstanding example of Modular Innovation.  TripIt automates the assembly and tracking of your travel itineraries, seamlessly integrating with your email, providing an experience quite compatible with the complexities of travel for people who do it a lot.

via The Products

Pinching Time, Managing Money & April Locales!

  

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A big thank you to everyone who made it to our latest record-breaking roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at General Assembly, as well as to our other sponsors, Balsamiq Studios, Sunshine Suites, and Ryma Technology Solutions. To stay in the loop on General Assembly’s classes and events, sign up for their weekly events newsletter at http://generalassemb.ly.

IMG_0979 Over the course of the night a few of the highlights were…

Featured Product: Thomson One
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from the complexities of a managing a mature product to user research 
(thanks to Thomson Reuters Product Person: Jonathan Weinberg)

Time Management
from the "hoody method" to HitMeLater

AutoSlash
At the end of the meetup we briefly discussed AutoSlash.  A little more about the startup, from Jonathan: "By night I run a fledgling web startup called AutoSlash.com. AutoSlash was launched earlier this year to help people get a great deal on car rentals. I saw that you sometimes have startups present at your meetings. I was wondering whether there might be an opportunity to talk about AutoSlash at one of your upcoming events."  (continue the discussion in the forums)

The Product Group meet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategists, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering.

IMG_0982If you are a Product Person and are interested in having your product featured or participating as a featured guest expert at an upcoming meetup of The Product Group, contact me.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meetup …

Thursday, April 7th @ 7PM
RSVP Now!

And, stay tuned for more announcements about April’s Featured Product, NearSay.

If you would like to attend our next meet-up, RSVP today or visit our group webpage at…

http://meetup.com/TheProductGroup

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

P.S. Interested in becoming a sponsor or host of The Product Group? contact me.