Product Management Advice from Adrian Jank

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Over the coming weeks I will be sharing segments of a Q&A session I had with Adrian Jank  — and shedding some light onto just exactly what makes Adrian truly The Best Product Person of 2013.

What makes The Best Product Person person of 2013 tick?

Advice…

> What is the best career advice you received as you entered product management?

It was during a pragmatic marketing training session, and it’s one of their advice[1]staples “Your opinion, while nice, doesn’t mean shit”. 

> What is the hardest lesson you learned as a product manager?

Tough decision! I once took a role at a company where I quickly learned I was not passionate about the problem I was solving. It made paying attention to all the details more difficult to do because the passion wasn’t there. The job didn’t work out and despite a love and passion for product management I thought I might not be cut out for it. I had to stop and really evaluate what types of problems I want to solve. I eventually figured it out, but it was a hard lesson to learn.

Nominate TBPP 2014 Today!

Amazon.com Gift Cards - In a Gift Box - Free One-Day ShippingThank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2014 has begun! The individual who first nominates TBPP is also awarded! Nominate your pick for The Best Product Person right now!

http://tbpp.wufoo.com/forms/the-best-product-person-of-2014/

Stay Tuned

Over the next few weeks I will share more of my interview with Adrian Jank, The Best Product Person of 2013!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2013, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

And, don’t forget, take a moment and congratulate The Best Product Person of 2013: Adrian Jank. (tweet)

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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“In the Now” with Adrian Jank

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Over the coming weeks I will be sharing segments of a Q&A session I had with Adrian Jank  — and shedding some light onto just exactly what makes Adrian truly The Best Product Person of 2013.

What makes The Best Product Person person of 2013 tick?

In the Now…

> Whose shoes would you like to walk in for a day? why?

snapchat-evan-spiegel-021113[1]Evan Spiegel just turned down 3 Billion from FB for a company that has little to know revenue, and while it’s done a great job acquiring and activating users, I’d love to see how their retention plays out. Is Snapchat really solving a big enough problem that would justify turning down that number? I’d love to find out what the general public doesn’t know. 

However, if I could I’d probably want to spend the day with Dave Chase and pick his brain about his experiences building the recently acquired HealthTech company Avado. Avado is going down a similar path I am exploring in my own work. How can we give Dr.’s better insight into what their patients are doing after they leave the Dr. Office AND How can we give patients more access to their doctor without actually having an appointment.

> What excites you about your current products?

I recently took on an engagement with a health tech company, and it’s truly been eye opening. There are huge problems to solve on both the patient and the doctor side of the ecosystem. While my thoughts on how the president has bungled the launch of his new health-promotion-industry[1]“product” (sold the feature, not the value), regardless of how it’s been sold, the ACA has forced a business model change in the healthcare ecosystem. The change from an assembly line type mentality to a service mentality (Income only for outcomes) has opened a huge need in the market for products that serve both sides of the ecosystem. In the customer conversations I am having it is mind boggling to hear and see how little technology has helped both doctors and patients. 

Furthermore the opportunity has allowed me to create a Lean culture from the start. It’s been exciting to see how things have come together the last 8 or 9 weeks. I am consulting with a small company that has been willingly to embrace my philosophy. We recently launched our concierge MVP. Its going to be exciting to see the path this takes on the next few weeks.

> What do you like most -and least – about being a product manager?

As cliche say as it sounds I love my customers and my team. I love the excitement I feel when I’ve tapped into something painful during a customer conversation. In the healthcare industry its the best kind of pain too. Some of these doctors don’t even realize their pain.

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I think the least enjoyable part of being a product manager right now is having to cultivate the data myself. Right now we have a hacked together product using web resources like vimeo and wufoo to do the work. Trying to compile that data into meaningful reports is time consuming!

I love the data, but even at the smaller startups I’ve worked at I’ve been able to work with a BI person. Right now its a manual process for my team and I, trust me its not easy!

Nominate TBPP 2014 Today!

Amazon.com Gift Cards - In a Gift Box - Free One-Day ShippingThank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2014 has begun! The individual who first nominates TBPP is also awarded! Nominate your pick for The Best Product Person right now!

http://tbpp.wufoo.com/forms/the-best-product-person-of-2014/

Stay Tuned

Over the next few weeks I will share more of my interview with Adrian Jank, The Best Product Person of 2013!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2013, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

And, don’t forget, take a moment and congratulate The Best Product Person of 2013: Adrian Jank. (tweet)

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

TBPP2013: Adrian Jank on “Getting to Here”

TBPP2013_alt-abrv-114What makes The Best Product Person person of 2013 tick?

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing segments of a Q&A session I had with Adrian Jank  — and shedding some light onto just exactly what makes Adrian truly The Best Product Person of 2013.

Getting to Here…

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

TBPP-Winner-2013Roger McAulay: In my first true product management role I was fortunate enough to work with a great CTO who really taught me how to build relationship building throughout the organization and how to make my relationships with developers more impactful. I’ve taken with me throughout my career. I’ve been able to take that philosophy and apply it across functional areas (marketing, design, executives, etc). 

Gothelf/Will Evans: Both are the thought leaders in the Lean UX. I was lucky enough to be on one of the first teams to be practicing Lean UX. The team itself was a hypothesis and it forced all of us out of our comfort zones and silos. It forced me to become a better facilitator. Product Management became less about owning the customer and creating ideas. Instead it became more about representing the customer and navigating the team towards potential value.

Growing Up Military: Another key attribute, there isn’t really a person attributed to it, that has shaped my career is how I grew up. My dad was in the Military. I moved around a lot and was exposed to a lot of different experiences and ecosystems. Learning how to get past being the new kid really taught be a lot about being empathetic. Empathy is a key trait in great product managers. Not to mention moving in the Military teaches you how to prioritize. Imagine being a kid and being told you get to fill one box(not a big one either) that will arrive within a few days after you move, all the other stuff you want will come 3-6 weeks later! 

> How did you decide to become a product manager?

After 1 semester of CS and calculus I realized programming wasn’t for me. However I knew I wanted to be in technology, and I enjoyed working with people. I changed my major and focused more on project management. Eventually this led me to  NYC and a hybrid project management/product management role at a startup. I quickly realized I loved the process of interacting with  people and defining the solution that this role afforded me. I decided this was my career.  This was before the startup craze hit New York City and no one really knew what a Product Manager.

I eventually turned this into my first full fledged product management role at a startup. I was green, but threw myself in it and loved it from the minute I got started and I’ve been a product manager ever since.\

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

Right now its knowing that I could latch on to a big enough problem that I can really make an impact in someone’s life. Healthcare is such a personal experience, and the ecosystem is finally ready to let technology help make healthcare a better experience for everyone.

Also the joy of getting to build something from scratch with a fairly blank agenda. Unless you are founding your own company, it’s rare when you get these types of opportunities. It’s really pushing my own capabilities and allowing me to experiment with my own practice of Lean.

Nominate TBPP 2014 Today!

Amazon.com Gift Cards - In a Gift Box - Free One-Day ShippingThank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2014 has begun! The individual who first nominates TBPP is also awarded! Nominate your pick for The Best Product Person right now!

http://tbpp.wufoo.com/forms/the-best-product-person-of-2014/

Stay Tuned

Over the next few weeks I will share more of my interview with Adrian Jank, The Best Product Person of 2013!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2013, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

And, don’t forget, take a moment and congratulate The Best Product Person of 2013: Adrian Jank. (tweet)

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

The Best Product Person of 2013 Announced!

TBPP2013_alt-abrv-114 On Thursday, February 6th, the 4th annual winner of The Best Product Person (TBPP) was announced at The Product Group!

This year saw such record turnout the official announcement was moved from January to February to allow us enough time to carefully consider the flood of 100+ nominations from all around the world!  Again, many received multiple nods for recognition in excellence in Product Management!TBPP-Winner-2013-373

The Product Guy & The Product Group are very pleased to announce The Best Product Person of 2013 is Adrian Jank!

Adrian Jank’s career in product management and entrepreneurship led him to spearhead efforts in agile methodology and product strategy with multiple Internet startups, including TheLadders.com, ThissHowIWork.co, Gust.com, Healthasts.com, Bloomberg LP, Zingy, BurnLounge, and Borderfree. He volunteers his time with First Person American, a non-profit initiative that explores stories of modern immigrants in the US. He studied Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts, and has a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Old Dominion University. Adrian has a strong competitive background in triathlons, skiing and distance running. Endurance sports fuel Adrian’s passion to succeed in the most grueling training session on the track, in the pool, on the bike, or on the slopes, which help prepare him for the most demanding days at the “office.” He is a frequent guest lecturer and workshop leader at universities. Adrian also bakes the world’s best red velvet cupcakes. For more about his work, visit about.me/adrianjank or connect with him on http://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianjank.

Runner-up

Only under extraordinary circumstances do we award a runner-up — where product excellence is clearly displayed and proximity to TBPP is especially close.  This year, join us in also congratulating the TBPP Runner-up, Matthew Smith of Shutterstock!

Matthew is currently the General Manager of Offset.com, a subsidiary of Shuttertsock, the largest global image marketplace. Prior to running Offset, he was the Director of New Products at Shutterstock, where he lead the company’s video, mobile, and new product strategy. Previously he was a Senior Product Manager at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), the world’s leading expert network, where he built and ran the company’s survey and Q&A business.

More to Come

Over the coming weeks we will be speaking with and learning more from Adrian Jank and Matthew Smith.

Amazon.com Gift Cards - In a Gift Box - Free One-Day ShippingThank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2014 has begun!  The individual who first nominates TBPP is also awarded!  This year, the first nominator of Adrian received a $100 gift certificate to Amazon.comNominate your pick for The Best Product Person right now!

http://tbpp.wufoo.com/forms/the-best-product-person-of-2014/

And, don’t forget, take a moment and congratulate The Best Product Person of 2013: Adrian Jank. (tweet)

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

About ‘The Best Product Person’

The Best Product Person (TBPP) is the leading international award honoring excellence in Product Management. Established in 2010, TBPP is awarded annually in association with The Product Guy (http://tpgblog.com) and The Product Group (http://meetup.com/theproductgroup).

TBPP Recognizes 1 person each year, invites them to speak and share their knowledge and experience with the larger product community. The nominations can be submitted by anyone. And, if you are the first to submit the winning nominee, you too will be rewarded  Over the course of the year, the various nominees are interviewed and the finalists narrowed down to: The Best Product Person of the year . The finalists are interviewed and evaluated for excellence in Product along the following lines… Becoming a Product Person, Your Product, Advice to Product People, and Future & Trends.

TBPP is both (1) the way the Product community gets together to recognize excellence amongst our ranks as well as (2) provide, to a large audience, insights into that excellence in a manner we can all learn from and leverage in our own Product journeys.

For more information about The Best Product Person award and past winners visit http://tpgblog.com/tbpp

About ‘The Product Group’

The Product Group is an opportunity for Product Managers, etc. to come together to meet, interact, and network. It’s an awesome way to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational environment within which sharing and learning can flourish and complement the knowledge base for all on a peer-to-peer basis. The NYC chapter of The Product Group meets the first Thursday of each month. If you are interested in a establishing chapter near you, please contact The Product Guy or The Product Group for more information. (http://tpgblog.com/theproductgroup/ )

Product Management Excellence, VenueBook, and Marching on!

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Congratulations to Adrian Jank, The Best Product Person of 2013! Join me in congratulating @adrianjank on winning The Best Product Person of 2013!! #tbpp (tweet)

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Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest RECORD-BREAKING roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at MTV Networks / Viacom, as well as to our other sponsors, SUMMIT, Balsamiq Studios, Sunshine Suites, and Ryma Technology Solutions.

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

The Best Product Person of 2013: Adrian Jank
launched in 2010, this annual award recognizes excellence in Product Management

Featured Product: VenueBook
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from search to not giving it away
(thanks to Kelsey Recht)

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.

If 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 (or email at jhorn (a-t.) tpgblog DoT com).

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meetup

Thursday, March 6th @ 7PM
RSVP Now!

Stay tuned for more announcements about March’s Featured Product, ProdThink.

tpj-logo-w_lkwAnd, don’t forget to check out our new job board exclusively dedicated to Product jobs!Visit  http://TheProductJobs.com and happy hunting!
TPM-Short3-Logo4If you are interested in being a Product Mentor or seeking Product Management Mentorship…

Visit http://TheProductMentor.com and
Sign-up today!

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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

Coming Soon: The Best Product Person of 2013!

TBPP2013_alt-abrv-114The Best Product Person (#TBPP) is the leading international award honoring excellence in Product Management. Established in 2010, TBPP is awarded annually in association with The Product Guy and The Product Group. And, it’s now that time again to start submitting your 2013 nominations.

Submit your nomination today!

TBPP recognizes 1 person each year, invites them to speak and share their knowledge and experience with the larger product community.  The nominations can be submitted by anyone.  And, if you are the first to submit the winning nominee, you too will be rewarded (see 2012′s prize). Over the course of the year, the various nominees are interviewed and the finalists narrowed down to 1: The Best Product Person of the year.

Submit your nomination today!

For more information about past winners (and nominators) visit:  http://tpgblog.com/tbpp

Thanks to all those who participate and spread the word of TBPP!

And, when you do nominate someone, let me know. (Click to TWEET)

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy