engine repair

Product Coaching and “Show, Don’t Tell”

I sometimes find product management teams composed entirely of first-timers, where not a single person has any previous experience as a product manager.  This presents a fundamental challenge: how do we train or skill up a whole product team from scratch?

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please come work here

We’re In A Product Candidate’s Job Market

Every CPO/VP Product I talk with is in a battle for product talent… so we’re in a “candidate” job market rather than a “hiring company” job market. What are some do’s and don’ts for product managers and first line product directors looking for their next adventure in this market?

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Product Sprawl

There’s a pattern I see, especially at enterprise software companies, where the go-to-market materials present a glowing product picture – but underneath there’s a jumble of mismatched pieces, arcane product history, incomplete testing, and randomness.  I call it product sprawl. 

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watering down wine

Watering Down SaaS ARR

I see some software companies classifying multi-year development contracts as SaaS ARR. Here’s why I don’t think investors should be excited about that…

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I'm leaving

Exiting Gracefully

Most of us don’t get much practice resigning from corporate leadership positions, but it’s important to do this gracefully.  Plan it the way you’d plan your next product: clear communication, succession plan, helpful transition. And be a mensch: you’ll be working with many of these people again.

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offshore oil rig

The Risks of Replatforming

Many companies have replatforming efforts underway.  This is an essential part of the software product business, but fraught with poor assumptions and lack of experience/understanding.  I’ve seen the majority of these replatforming and reimplementation efforts fail…

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Angels dancing on head of a pin

Selling Problems (and Then Solutions) Instead of Philosophy

We know that external customers must recognize a problem before they consider buying our solution. But I often see product managers / product leaders forget this when dealing with internal stakeholders and executives. We push for product-side practices and processes without clearly framing the underlying problems. I think of this as ‘selling philosophy.’

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Merchandizing Product Management

Product management work is much easier when the product team is well-respected: when stakeholders believe that we’re smart and hard-working and good at product stuff.  So an under-appreciated skill of product leaders is merchandizing good product work and good outcomes from our teams.
What does that look like?

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old assembly line

How Weak Analogies About Software Can Lead Us Astray

Company leaders who aren’t steeped in how software is designed and built can apply less-than-useful analogies for how software products are built. These analogies tend to highlight predictability, scheduling and cost management… but may not be that useful. This post unpacks a few of them.

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Difficult Product Discussions with CEOs

CEOs may not see their role in systematic product/development problems, and product leaders may not know how to frame their concerns so CEOs can hear them. Can we get past buzzwords to difficult organizational discussions?

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Book Cover - The Art of Product Management


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