55Eleven

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Product Management Fortune Cookie: Transparency delivered, achievements returned.

transparency-fortune-cookie

BizDev asks for wrong features.  Sales gets in the way.  Your boss overrules decisions.  The team only wants to debate.  They all just get in the way of progress.

In my earlier years, I worked directly for a start-up CEO in new product development and strategy.  We worked one-on-one; and, through the weight of the CEO, simply did what needed to be done.  What I hadn’t realized at the time was that while I was making good improvements and progress with the products, I could have been doing so much better.

Sure, in a vacuum, there are less debates, less roadblocks, less change.  But, there is also less oxygen… critical in sparking better ideas and strategies.

At every opportunity, we product managers must seek  to open up new communication channels, shed light on the decision making process, and bare ourselves and our products to critique. Through bringing all people together, product managers can foster constructive debates, tease out valuable perspectives, and incorporate everything into a more robust product plan.

What Product Management fortune cookies do you have to share?

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Product Management Fortune Cookie: Count on one’s real customers being so.

customer-fortune-cookie

1 month of research and planning.  Another month for development.  It was a powerful and lean version one of a product for our target small and medium sized business owners with less than 1000 products within their for-sale inventory.  Nearly everything was automated, and the rest was so easy to use.  All you needed was rudimentary experience with Excel — the product we modeled our initial UI after.  And, of course, everyone knows how to use Excel.  From customer #3, their first comment:  “This product is great, but what do I do with this grid of boxes?”  Uh oh.

At another place and time, a different product of mine had reached the time for a major overhaul of its API.  The old one had always been known for clunkiness and providing more information than was ever desired.  My users were just like me, similar education, similar experiences, and primarily internal to the organization.  What was produced was a very powerful suite of API’s, you could do just about anything.  Everyone was very excited to use this product.  On Day 3, the most common request: “How can I get this object along with all its related records?”  Easy, as long as you write all the code to do it. Ooops.

Your customers are not merely numbers within a set of 30-day-actives or sales figures or demographical statistics. Whether you manage internal or external products, front-end or back-end, losing touch with the real people that are your customers is a recipe for a product disaster.  Envision your consumer’s days, their lives, their unstated needs, and opportunities of great worth will present themselves.

What Product Management fortune cookies do you have to share?

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

From a Spike of Risk to a Boost of Mood

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

product-bundle

On Product Management…

http://pragmaticpricing.com/2013/06/15/should-you-unbundle/
Break up and do yourself some good.

 
 

On Starting Up…

http://mashable.com/2013/07/23/spike-lee-kickstarter/
Mitigate the risk with a spike of pizazz.

startup-spike
modularinnovation-cloud

On Modular Innovation…

http://gigaom.com/2013/05/22/cloudbase-io-launches-shared-api-to-help-mobile-apps-get-connected/
Put the mobile in more mobile.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://designyoutrust.com/2013/08/can-art-boost-your-mood/
Illuminate to elevate.

design-mood

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Product Management Fortune Cookie: He who fixates on the features loses sight of business’ goals, self, and fortune.

goal-fortune-cookie

As my career matured around Product Management, I was increasingly introduced to product roles, defined by non-product people, as ones whereby I was to churn out wireframes and collect, spec, and prioritize features.

Guess what. When you are feature focused, debates are about features; priorities are about features. And, when this happens, all too often I found a critical question gets lost, the product veers off course, the constructive debates prove elusive.

That question is: “Why are we doing this?”

An OK Product Manager will juggle features, a great one focuses the big picture. It is within the construct of this big picture perspective that the successful product manager keeps objectives and goals at the center of the product, its roadmap, strategy, and discussion. A team debating and understanding objectives is one that will find and continue down that better product road.

What Product Management fortune cookies do you have to share?

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

From Standing to Staring

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

product-job

On Product Management…

https://medium.com/what-i-learned-building/63c09a43d0ec
Stand in the middle of it all!

 
 

On Starting Up…

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227533
Stare into the other side of the startup world.

startup-vcve
modularinnovation-chromecast

On Modular Innovation…

http://www.businessinsider.com/nexus-7-live-blog-2013-7
Fling a little video around.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.designerledger.com/popular-websites-redesign-concepts/
Wonder of what might and should be.

design-redesign

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy