Stone Soup and Leadership


Stone soup is a folk tale about motivation and cooperation. It applies directly to our work as product managers, since we don’t have the authority to force cooperation or alignment. We have to provide leadership, motivation, and clarity of goals.

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Bangalore product tour: 19-Feb – 27Feb


I visited Bangalore for a combination of workshops, public talks and client meetings hosted by Confianzys. The trip had a cooking theme: sharing Silicon Valley’s “secret sauce” for innovation and successful products.

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Who Is Your Internal Customer for Innovation?


If you’re a tech company executive setting up an innovation program, most of your initial focus is on generating and validating individual product concepts. Unlike at a startup, though, you have a major hurdle AFTER your validation team comes up with a viable concept: how to find an organizational home for that idea within a mainstream product group. Which prompts the question: who is your internal customer for a validated product idea?

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“Free” Sells (Business Model Required)


Taking a day off for tourism during my Brainmates/Australia tour, I had a chance to see the power of “free” in a non-tech entrepreneurial setting. Following along the business model literally and figuratively…

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Conway’s Law for Product Organizations


Conway’s Law is an old but useful idea: the organizational structure of software teams shows in their code. The technical architecture grows to look like the org chart. In broader terms, how we group people and delineate teams has a real impact on the products we produce. How does this apply to product management teams?

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Product Manager Shortage: Suddenly Sexy?


There are thousands of open product management jobs: suddenly product management seems sexy. Optimism and Pessimist argue about whether product management’s value shifts with the fashion.

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Stockholm: Market Insights Conference


I was honored to keynote Tolpagorni’s annual Market Insights conference in Stockholm. We talked about Silicon Valley’s strong network effect for tech companies and workshopped early validation of product ideas, waterfall Lean, Innovation Games and ways to get actionable insights ahead of full development commitment.

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Why You’ll (Eventually) Need a Product Manager at Your Startup


Oct 23rd talk for “Products That Count”: Very early stage startups don’t have dedicated product managers / product owners. But once they get to 30 people or have a few big-revenue customers, lack of product management can be disastrous. We will talk about symptoms, what product managers/owners really do, and tips for scaling up.

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Mentoring Product Managers: Case Method as Well as Tools


As mentors, we should be demonstrating context, judgment and decision-making models – not just sharing templates. Our mentees should be demanding that we give them the big picture.

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5 Things To Do In Your First Week with a New Product


If you’re already a product manager and stepping in to take over an existing product (or parachuting in as a consultant), you need to find your feet quickly. Here’s my checklist for that first week, and the first month.

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