Today we have a departure from the normal blog post. It’s 15 min audio riff of me discussing a case study featured in the October issue of Harvard Business Review about a deciding on a positioning / branding angle for a Peruvian business that sells handmade ponchos. You can listen to it on blog or download the file for later listening.
I’m looking for feedback. Is this interesting? Would you want to see me do more of these 10-15 riffs? Are there particular topics you’d want me to cover? Is this boring and not worth the effort? Let me know! Leave a comment or write me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
The book is a spiritual successor to Four Steps to the Epiphany, in that it is an intellectual framework for thinking about high-growth entrepreneurship written someone with deep experience in the field. While there’s a cursory similarity to Good to Great / Great by Choice in comparing pairs of winner/loser companies, it really shines as a way of thinking about, talking about, and analyzing startups at different stages of growth: Continue reading…
This book is more of a typical nonfiction business book: a main idea broken into several components with tactics combined with stories and case studies from consulting engagement it’s plus personal anecdotes all rolled into one concise and clearly written book. Continue reading…
The questions were good ones and were worth thinking about. In general, I’ve found that building new things is all about creating clarity and alignment and dealing with the uncertainty.
What is the most important quality a good product manager should have?
The ability to think across disciplines and both understand and communicate needs + priorities between business, technology, design, research, users and other stakeholders.
What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?
The ultimate challenge of building products is that it is hard to know what will work. You can have an incredibly well engineered, beautiful, and user centered product and it can still fail. Running a good process is how you steady a team’s morale – keeping it up when things don’t work, and not getting cocky when it succeeds wildly.
How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?
The most important measure of productivity is time my team spends working in alignment, with a clear understanding of expectation and goals, on efforts they believe will have major positive impact.
When I moved to New York City a year ago, I had a plan to become a product manager in a technology firm. After interviewing for PM roles at Pivotal Labs and Meetup, I met with Noah, the CEO of Percolate. He told me that they didn’t have a PM function and but that he was looking for hackers on the marketing team.