Interviewing Apploi, Service Driven Landscapes and Amplifying Aptitude into August!

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bklyn-crop642workville-crop522Weight WatchersYEXT-logo-large62222222digital-ocean-logo_thumb2_thumb_thumbooker_thumb2_thumb1_thumb3222222222invision-logo-pinkSummitService-Logo2013-Final-LRG-WEB
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Nominate a great product manager you know today @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel @
http://tpg.li/subscribe-tpg

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at WorkVille, as well as to our other sponsors, Yext, Digital Ocean, BKLYN, InVision, SUMMIT, Balsamiq Studios and Sunshine Suites.

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

Featured Product: Apploi
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from love of bread to design sprints (thanks to Tom Gebauer)

Product in a Service Driven Landscape
from mindsets to customers

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, August 4th @ 7PM
RSVP Now!  

Stay tuned for more announcements about August’s Featured Product, Powerlinx.

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Please submit your nominations for 2016’s great product management candidates @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !

Learn more @ http://tpglog.com/tbpp

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.

The Product Group London June 2016

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group London at WeWork, as well as to our other great sponsors.

See you at our next event…

Thursday, July 7th @ 7PM
Topic: Product Management Mistakes
Featured Product: Prodigy
RSVP TODAY!

RSVP @ http://www.meetup.com/TheProductGroupLondon/events/229738053/

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Exploring Gett, Guiding Expectations and Apply in July!

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bklyn-crop64workville-crop52Weight WatchersYEXT-logo-large6222222digital-ocean-logo_thumb2_thumb_thum[2]booker_thumb2_thumb1_thumb3222222222invision-logo-pinkSummitService-Logo2013-Final-LRG-WEB
balsamiq_logo2_thumb263333
sunshine_suites_logo

Nominate a great product manager you know today @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel @
http://tpg.li/subscribe-tpg

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at WorkVille, as well as to our other sponsors, Yext, Digital Ocean, BKLYN, InVision, SUMMIT, Balsamiq Studios and Sunshine Suites.

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

Featured Product: Gett
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from accelerating drivers to focusing (thanks to Phil Lakin)

Managing Expectations
from all hands to reducing threat

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, July 7th @ 7PM
RSVP Now!  

Stay tuned for more announcements about July’s Featured Product, Apploi.

TBPP2016_alt-abrv-114_thumb2_thumb_t[1]

Please submit your nominations for 2016’s great product management candidates @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !

Learn more @ http://tpglog.com/tbpp

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.

The Product Group London May 2016

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group London at WeWork, as well as to our other great sponsors.

See you at our next event…

Thursday, June 2nd @ 7PM
Topic: Product Management Mistakes
Featured Product: Prodigy
RSVP TODAY!

RSVP @ http://www.meetup.com/TheProductGroupLondon/events/229738024/

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Effective Leadership, Project Expedition and Riding into June!

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bklyn-cropworkville-crop5Weight WatchersYEXT-logo-large622222digital-ocean-logo_thumb2_thumb_thumbooker_thumb2_thumb1_thumb3222222222invision-logo-pinkSummitService-Logo2013-Final-LRG-WEB
balsamiq_logo2_thumb263333
sunshine_suites_logo

Nominate a great product manager you know today @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel @
http://tpg.li/subscribe-tpg

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at WorkVille, as well as to our other sponsors, Yext, Digital Ocean, BKLYN, InVision, SUMMIT, Balsamiq Studios and Sunshine Suites.

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

Featured Product: Project Expedition
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from retargetting to Periscope (thanks to Jeremy Clement)

How to be an Effective Product Leader
from accountability to key metrics

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, June 2nd @ 7PM
RSVP Now!  

Stay tuned for more announcements about June’s Featured Product, Gett.

TBPP2016_alt-abrv-114_thumb2_thumb_t[1]

Please submit your nominations for 2016’s great product management candidates @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !

Learn more @ http://tpglog.com/tbpp

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.

Outstanding Awards in Product Management

TPM-Short3-LogoThis past weekend we just held the global Session 4 closing for The Product Mentor where everyone shared highlights of their experiences and what they learned.  All the mentors and mentees did a great job over the past 6 months.  Some exciting stats…

  • 71% of all OKRs Completed (Mentee’s Goals for the Session)
  • 3 Mentees Promoted
  • >50% of Mentees had career progressing conversations with their C-Suites

I would also like to take this moment to recognize those Mentors and Mentees that learned, engaged, and achieved above and beyond:


TPM-Mentor-Award

Awarded to Mentors for going above and beyond in experience, attention and accomplishment.

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Nis Frome
Content and Product, Alpha UX
Talk(s)​: Rapid Prototyping
​​LinkedIn

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Marc Abraham
Senior Product Manager, notonthehighstreet.com
Talk(s)​: Creating and Managing Product Roadmaps
​​LinkedIn

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Felix Sargent
VP of Product, SeamlessDoc
Talk(s)​: Inheriting a Product, How to Interview a Product Manager
​​LinkedIn


TPM-Mentee-Award

Awarded to Mentees for achievements in learning and advancement within the field of Product Management.

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Avinash Bajaj
Head of Product Management, Flixmedia
Article: How to transition a Product Manager to a Product Leader (coming soon)
​​LinkedIn

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Lonnie Rosenbaum
Senior Product Manager, Booker Software
Article: How Communicating More can Help You Succeed as a Product Manager (coming soon)
​​LinkedIn

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Liel Aharon
Appstore Product Manager, MediaMath
Article: Does your product management process actually solve your problems? (coming soon)
​​LinkedIn

Receiving these awards is truly an outstanding achievement of which everyone recognized should be very proud.  Please reach out and congratulate our latest Mentor and Mentee inductees. (hashtag: #tpm)

Thank you again to everyone who participated and looking forward to more great achievements with our new Mentors and Mentees in Session 5, kicking off this coming weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

About The Product Mentor

The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…

Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.

Each Session of the program runs for 6 months with paired individuals…

  • Conducting regular 1-on-1 mentor-mentee chats
  • Sharing experiences with the larger Product community
  • Participating in live-streamed product management lessons and Q&A

Signup to be a Mentor Today!

Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

The Product Group London April 2016

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group London at WeWork, as well as to our other great sponsors.

See you at our next event…

Thursday, May 5th @ 7PM
Topic: Product Quality
Featured Product: Nickelled
RSVP TODAY!

RSVP @ http://www.meetup.com/TheProductGroupLondon/events/229737923/

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Inheriting Product, Reckoning RJ Metrics and an Mapping May!

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workville-cropWeight WatchersYEXT-logo-large62222digital-ocean-logo_thumb2_thumb_thum[1]booker_thumb2_thumb1_thumb322222222invision-logo-pinkSummitService-Logo2013-Final-LRG-WEB
balsamiq_logo2_thumb263333
sunshine_suites_logo

Nominate a great product manager you know today @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel @
http://tpg.li/subscribe-tpg

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at WorkVille, as well as to our other sponsors, Yext, Digital Ocean, InVision, SUMMIT, Balsamiq Studios and Sunshine Suites.

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

Featured Product: RJ Metrics
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from communicating value to developing a data ecosystem (thanks to Matt Monihan)

Inheriting a Product
from socializing vision to pacing change

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, May 5th @ 7PM
RSVP Now!  

Stay tuned for more announcements about May’s Featured Product, Project Expedition.

TBPP2016_alt-abrv-114_thumb2_thumb_t

Please submit your nominations for 2016’s great product management candidates @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !

Learn more @ http://tpglog.com/tbpp

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.

Achieving Team Buy-in in Product Management

In our a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Ari Tiktin, lead a conversation around “Achieving Team Buy-in”.  We are always looking for more product mentors from all around the world.  Signup to be a Mentor Today!

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View the live stream…

 

About The Product Mentor

The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…

Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.

Each Session of the program runs for 6 months with paired individuals…

  • Conducting regular 1-on-1 mentor-mentee chats
  • Sharing experiences with the larger Product community
  • Participating in live-streamed product management lessons and Q&A

Signup to be a Mentor Today!

Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

Meet the mentors…

PictureJordan Bergtraum
VP Product Management, ServiceChannel

Jordan is a Management level, revenue-driven, B2B SaaS Product Management and Project Management leader. He grows revenue and adoption, and ensures product by turning business problems into profitable, simple, easy-to-use solutions
Jordan works closely with his market, executives, and internal subject matter experts to develop roadmaps, and communicate these roadmaps internally and with clients. He translates complex business problems into solutions that are easily consumed by engineering, marketing and sales. Jordan has enterprise Software-as-a-Service experience within the facilities management, legal and pharmaceutical verticals, having most recently worked at ServiceChannel, Epiq Systems and Medidata Solutions.
Jordan has a BS in Biology from Union College and an MBA & MS in Information Systems from Boston University’s School of Management. Jordan lives in Manhattan and in his spare time likes to play soccer.

PictureLadislav Bartos
Product Manager, Gumtree.com

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
Ladislav believes that success is in simplicity that’s why his aim is to help companies to make complex products simple for users. He lives in London, currently working as Product Manager at Gumtree.com, an Ebay company, previously led product at international startups and large organisations. Ladislav focuses on user centric product development, especially on brand, usability and revenue product challenges. He is passionate about Lean and Agile Product management, innovative business models and business and product strategies.

Dustin-Levy_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumbDustin Levy
Director of Product Management, Gentex Corporation

Dustin Levy is a Director of Product Management at Gentex Corporation—the leading supplier of high-performance flight equipment for military, law enforcement, and rescue aircrew worldwide.  In this position, Dustin’s primary responsibilities include product portfolio management, new product introduction and product line strategy deployment. Prior to joining Gentex, he was a Senior Product Manager at Smiths Detection and in that role launched several new chemical identification solutions into the global security market. During his career, Dustin’s research efforts have been supported by fellowships from the National Research Council and National Institutes of Health and include a track record of several new product innovations, patents and publications. Dustin is a graduate of the doctoral program in Physical Chemistry at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the MBA program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Paul-Hurwitz_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumPaul Hurwitz
Director of Active Analytics, ActiveHealth Management

Paul Hurwitz is Director of Active Analytics at ActiveHealth Management, a Healthagen Company and subsidiary of Aetna. He is responsible for the strategic roadmap and execution of the Active Analytics product suite, which is focused on providing standalone clinical analytic solutions and business intelligence modules to internal users and the payer/provider customer base.   Paul is an experienced product management professional with over 15 years of experience in technology management and 10 years in product management.  Prior to joining ActiveHealth, he led a cross-functional team at Medidata Solutions working on life sciences software for the design and optimization of clinical trials.  Prior to Medidata, Paul led product management and was head of technology at Centage Corporation, a budgeting and financial forecasting software company in Natick, MA. Paul is a member of the Boston Product Management Association, Boston CTO Club, the Boston-NY CTO HIT Club, co-founder of the Boston Jewish Outdoors Club and product management consultant. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University’s Syms School of Business with a degree in Marketing.

Amanda-Ralph_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumAmanda Ralph
Product Management Consultant

Amanda is an experienced product management leader with over 20 years of experience in product portfolio management and innovation generating significant revenue and market share growth. In a career spanning a range of corporate and not for profit sectors within Australia and the Pacific Islands, Amanda has championed organisations to embrace product and service innovation opportunities.
In her most recent role, Amanda spearheaded the Corporate and Overseas portfolios for Australia’s largest private health insurer, Medibank.  Amanda is passionate about customer led product design and in product prototyping to deliver best in market products and customer outcomes.
Amanda has a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Arts (Asian Studies) from Monash University. She is a University of Melbourne Asialink Leadership Fellow and Asia Education Foundation Literacy Ambassador. Amanda lives in Melbourne with her family and in her spare time likes to explore all things cooking related (with a dose of the gym thrown in to try and work it all off!)

PictureAdrienne Tan
CEO, Brainmates

In 2004, Adrienne Tan co-founded Brainmates with Nick Coster. As the Brainmates CEO, Adrienne draws on 20 years of senior Product Management experience gained at The Microsoft Network, Telstra BigPond and AUSTAR. Adrienne has a Masters of Economics (Social Science) with distinction from The University of Sydney. She majored in Industrial Relations in her undergraduate degree. Her other academic pursuits include lecturing at the University of Technology Sydney in Information and Interaction Design and co-authoring a chapter in the book Digital Experience Design. Adrienne recently contributed to two Product Management books; 42 Rules of Product Management and the 42 Rules of Product Marketing.

PictureDominic Gadoury
Director Product Management, ADP

Dominic is the Director of Product Management at ADP’s (Automatic Data Processing) New York City based Innovation lab.  In his role in this lab of ~100 employees Dominic leads (and geeks out) in the fruition of roadmap deliverables for Employee Engagement, Analytics and Workforce Management solutions.  Dominic has been in various product owner roles at ADP for the last 14 years including ADP’s creation of an employee mobile app that is actively used by nearly 2 million employees worldwide.  Dominic was also a key player in helping ADP transition from a waterfall SDLC to agile in less than 2 years time.  Dominic has a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

Vikas-Batra_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumbVikas Batra
Product Management Leader, Alcatel-Lucent

Vikas has over 15 years of experience in Telecom/IT industry with over 10 years in the field of Product Management. Vikas started his career as software developer with Siemens.    After doing IT consulting for some time he moved into Product Management at Lucent Technologies and held various roles developing and launching multiple telecom software and hardware products.  He led a large, multi-location product team in developing a new mobile technology that provides voice (VoIP) and data services over Satellite to phones of size comparable to traditional cellular phones.
Currently, Vikas is a Product Management Leader at Alcatel-Lucent bringing 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi capable Small Cells to marketplace.
Vikas did his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Information Systems from XLRI  Jamshedpur, India.  He did his Bachelors of Engineering (Honors) in Electronics and Communications from Delhi Technological Institute (formerly Delhi College of Engineering) Delhi , India.

Ari-LinkedIn_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumAri Tiktin
Mobile & Emerging Media Product Director, CNBC

Ari is an award-winning executive who has led cross-functional teams to launch dozens of multiscreen products for premier consumer brands. He is currently the product head for a healthcare startup aiming to introduce innovative solutions to help parents with young children. Previously, Ari launched WebMD’s mobile web business and grew it to 23+ million monthly unique visitors. Prior to that, he launched Discovery Mobile which included two-dozen mobile web sites, smartphone and tablet applications.

Jonathan-Berg_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thuJonathan Berg
Director of Product Management, Schoology

Jonathan is Director of Product Management at Schoology, a fast growing startup in education technology, and he is excited about how technology is unleashing the future of education. Prior to Schoology Jonathan held a variety of product roles in web and mobile. From head of product at an early stage startup to managing global web properties at American Express, his career has taken him to the UK, France and back to New York.
A hands on product leader, Jonathan relishes close collaboration with design and engineering teams. When digging into a new challenge, he starts by establishing a long range product vision, then ruthlessly prioritizes opportunities and features to find the sweet spot between customer needs and business strategy.
When he’s not building products, Jonathan enjoys rediscovering suburban life with his wife and two kids.

Felix-Sargent_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thuFelix Sargent
Product Manager, Bloomberg

Felix works at Bloomberg as a Product Manager for their Corporate Compliance suite. Having been a support person out of college, he transitioned into operations, then programming, then into Product Management. He finds the diverse background helps him communicate effectively to build good software. When he’s not doing product management, he trains for long distance cycling, and dreams of opening a tiki bar.

Krishna-Madhuvarsu_thumb2_thumb_thum[1]Krishna Madhuvarsu
Director of Product Strategy, Oracle Inc.

Krishna enjoys creating new products and works at the intersection of the technology, design and strategy. Krishna believes in “Mobile and Social eating the world” and helps enterprise customers to make use of technology to increase their productivity. Krishna spent several years in building Platforms and brought scalability to several products. Previously, he started his career as a software engineer in embedded systems and moved to application software before venturing into Product Management. Krishna has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing. Krishna is an author, enjoys writing blogs and tutorials on anything technology.

Ian-Moulton_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumbIan Multon
Product Manager, TouchTunes Interactive Networks

Ian Moulton has over 10 years of experience in digital product management. He began his product work at Broadcast Interactive Media, where he launched a video publishing platform for broadcast news sites. He later joined the Associated Press, where he managed AP’s Online Video Network, as well as AP’s YouTube channel. Ian is currently a product manager at TouchTunes, where he led a design engagement and development effort to create a new user interface for over 60,000 digital jukeboxes. Ian loves capturing learnings from users, even when they are proving him wrong. Ian has a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University. When not doing product management Ian enjoys playing the guitar, hiking and mountain biking.

Addi-Regev_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumbAddi Regev
Director of Product, Outbrain

A passionate customer advocate and result-driven executor with deep mobile expertise, Addi is leading teams in creating consumer and business digital products, for startups and Fortune-500 companies alike, for more than a decade.  In her current role, as Director of Product at Outbrain, Addi is re-imagining a content-marketing platform. Previously Addi was theProduct Manager behind the redesign of the American Express mobile apps and before that she managed a startup that focused on mobile marketing and content delivery. She also provided strategic advice to Fortune-500 companies as a Management Consultant. Addi started her career trying her hand in customer support, QA, project, sales and marketing management before finding her passion in product management in startups that focused on mobile and its application in business settings. Addi holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Occupational Therapy from Tel Aviv University.

Dan-Mason_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumbDan Mason
Head of Product, People Magazine

I am a digital product executive and engineer with 15+ years experience in product development, with a focus on media, advertising and emerging platforms.  I know what it takes to innovate and break new ground, and I have an unrelenting focus on my customers, who are always right!
I have a wide range of experience in product, tech, and strategic business development. I have built and managed Agile teams from both the product and engineering perspective; I have built products in house, with offshore teams, with partners and through acquisition. I strongly advocate a Lean, customer-driven product process and embrace analytics and data-driven experimentation. I have deep domain knowledge in mobile, advertising, real estate, SaaS, video, TV, sports, and news, and I am a fast learner who enjoys the challenge of developing new expertise.

Marc-Wendell_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumMarc Wendell
Director of Product Management, Worldnow

Marc Wendell currently is Director of Product Management at Worldnow where he oversees day-to-day product development and product strategy.  Prior to Worldnow, Marc held a number of senior-level roles in product development were he facilitated the execution of a number of different products across a broad spectrum of industry verticals. His expertise includes product development and customer experience across various platform experiences. His industry experience includes media, start-ups, publishing, financial services, interactive agencies, tier 1 research intensive academic institutions and the stock media industry.

James-Alexander_thumb2_thumb_thumb_tJames Alexander
Founder and Head of Product, Vizibility

James builds products and services which delight customers and differentiate companies. He recently sold his third start-up, Vizibility, an enterprise-class digital business card solution. Vizibility is a SaaS delivered service in the mobile wallet ecosystem and received outstanding reviews and recognition, including 4 stars by PC Magazine. As a successful technology entrepreneur of three start-ups (with two exits), and as a product management executive at Adobe for seven years, he has led cross-functional teams through every stage of the product life cycle. James has held responsibility for $100M+ productportfolios and managed both small teams and large organizations. He has worked on four continents and localized products and services for 27 countries. James holds an MBA from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and has been awarded 12 patents.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Better Time Management for Product Managers

Guest Post by: Anthony Nguyen (Mentee, Session 3, The Product Mentor) [Paired with Mentor, Paul Hurwitz]

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had as a new product manager is around having to juggle multiple areas of product ownership, each associated with multiple cross-functional team members and stakeholders. It can be a lot to manage—I often lose momentum in the day by frequently switching gears and by focusing on fighting small fires instead of making headway on product work. My day feels like it’s being spent being pulled in a dozen different directions, always on the verge of letting something important slip by.

So it comes as no surprise that one of my goals coming into The Product Mentor program was to develop better personal time management. With the help of my mentor, Paul Hurwitz, here are a two time management tactics I’ve started to incorporate into my practice as a product manager. Hopefully you’ll find them as useful in your practice as I have in mine.

Personal Task Management as Project Management

While I had been using a traditional to-do platform for my personal task/time management (Wunderlist) to some success, it felt lacking in both flexibility and power.

As product managers, we’re often used to managing our projects through the various development stages of our ticket tracking software… why not put those same principles to work for ourselves? Paul had recommended I give his own personal approach a try: using Trello and treating personal task management as a Kanban board project.

I’m still in the process of refining how I use Trello in this way, but there were some immediate benefits to this approach over using traditional to-do software: First, the ability to see several lists (and all of their tasks) all together helps to easily provide a “big picture” understanding of one’s priorities, versus looking at any single to-do list at a time. One can scan multiple boards and reorganize quickly and flexibly thanks to Trello and the groundwork laid by project management needs. I’ve found that as a product manager, needs and priorities are constantly shifting, so it’s important to be able to globally understand all the different needs and priorities one is juggling.

Furthermore, organizing one’s day or week as a Kanban board helps to track progress and easily provide updates to stakeholders—unsurprisingly, just like in software development! And the process of moving tasks along helps one feel like they are making measurable progress—a nice morale win when you’ve ended some days exhausted but feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything.

Additional Resources:

Bringing Order to Your Day: Recruiting the Calendar

Though one’s calendar and to-do list often live in two different places, people have long recognized that they are two sides of the same coin. You can’t actually *do* any of the things you need to do if you’re not committing the necessary time for them.

The answer? Time Blocking.

It’s easy to have your day pulled into different directions between HipChat (or Slack) messages, emails, and meetings. The concept of distinguishing between “urgency” and “importance” is one that’s existed for some time now, though it remains as true as ever—particularly so for a discipline that lives and dies by prioritization.

The basics of the technique is fairly simple: reserve (“block off”) time on your calendar for a particular task. You commit yourself to spending a set amount of time towards advancing your work, and it’s protected from interference by spontaneous meetings and other interruptions.Plenty of great writing has been devoted on how to best get the most from this approach—I’ll leave that to the reader.

blocks-of-time

One personal example of how I’ve started to employ time blocking is to reserve a half hour every morning after standup to go through my tickets to check for comments, questions, status, or to close out finished tickets. Sometimes a half hour isn’t necessary or sometimes it’s not enough, but having the routine in place was a great starting point to making sure I was regularly on top of my tickets.

I’ll also note that one of my biggest anxieties of time blocking prior to adopting it into my schedule was a kind of FOMO: I thought that as a new product manager, I was best serving my most important stakeholders by being as available as possible (given their typically busy and packed schedules). One insight that Paul offered was that time blocking also has the additional benefit of self-prioritizing others’ requests of your time. In other words, when folks in your organization are looking for a meeting slot and see that your time is occupied, they will self-evaluate (based upon their relative seniority and the importance/need of the meeting) to decide whether to look for another time slot or reach out and ask if you are flexible on that conflict. As I’ve started to employ more time blocking, I’ve noticed this happening exactly as predicted.

Additional Resources:

  • Ellen Chisa has a great essay on time organization, where she observes: When I started interviewing for PM roles in college, the most common response was “well, there is no average day for a PM.” If someone tells you that, I’m tempted to say that they aren’t a very good PM (that isn’t necessarily the case: it could also be a problem with the organization they’re in). It’s not a role that works well if you’re scattered and just react to what comes up. If you don’t have some consistency, it’s easy to get bogged down in “urgent” work, but neglect what’s actually important.
    Read more about how Ellen typically organizes her day: http://blog.ellenchisa.com/2014/02/07/so-what-do-you-actually-do-as-a-product-manager/
  • For a more “product management” specific discussion on importance versus urgency: http://pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/time-management-for-product-managers

About Anthony Nguyen
Anthony NguyenAs an attorney turned product manager, Anthony Nguyen jettisoned his suit and followed his love of gadgets to become a product manager at Vitals, a healthcare transparency company. He currently works on VitalsChoice, a white-label SAAS platform for health insurance plans that allow members to search for doctors, preview procedure costs, assess quality, and basically make more informed healthcare decisions. Anthony works in New York City and is always up for chatting over coffee about healthcare policy, career transitions, running long distances slowly, or the new smartphone he just bought.

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Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy