interview

TBPP2010: Giff Constable on "Advice & Looking Forward"

Giff Constable, The Best Product Person of 2010, is the subject of our first series of 2011. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing a Q&A session I had with Giff -- and lending some insight into why Giff truly is The Best Product Person of 2010. In part 3 of the series, let's see what the future may hold for us.

TBPP2010_altabrv114556Giff Constable, The Best Product Person of 2010, is the subject of our first series of 2011. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing a Q&A session I had with Giff — and lending some insight into why Giff truly is The Best Product Person of 2010.

Who wouldn’t want to gain some great advice and insight from The Best Product Person of 2010 In part 3 of this series, let’s do just that.

Advice

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

Surround yourself with people who are better than you are at something, and make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

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

Lack of focus is a product and startup killer.

Looking Forward…

> What trends do you see in product management? positive trends? any negative trends?

I see many positive trends: more up-front customer development (thanks to folks like Steve Blank and Eric Ries), more iterative development from a streamlined foundation, more analytical rigor rather than design-by-HiPPO (highest-paid-person’s-opinion), and the appreciation of simplicity and great UX.
The primary negative trend I see might be too much of a pendulum swing towards metrics and quantitative obsession — sometimes forgetting that at the end of the day the user is a human being and the best thing to do is go watch them and talk to them.

> How do you see product management evolving over the next 5 years?

Product managers need to be truly multi-disciplinary and this is only
becoming more important. One needs to be adept at business,
technology, psychology, leadership, art/design and analytical rigor.

And more…

Over the next few weeks I will share more insights from some other outstanding product people I had the pleasure of speaking with in my search for The Best Product Person of 2010!

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

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