I’ve abandoned “MVP”

After years of struggle, I’m advising all of my clients and product leader coachees to stop using the term “MVP”.  Not to stop doing validation, discovery, prototyping or experiments they may associate that that acronym, but to remove the label from all of their docs and presentations and talks.  To delete the letters MVP from roadmaps and product charters…

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Hiring a Head of Product

I’ve seen some patterns in how companies recruit their Heads of Product (aka Chief Product Officer, VP Product, Director of Product Management, or Group Product Lead). This post unpacks some fundamental misconceptions — and how to get the strong product leadership we need.

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Podcast: Bridging the Product/Engineering Gap

I was thrilled to join Marcus Blankenship for this episode of his podcast.  Marcus is a long-time coach and champion of software engineering managers with an emphasis on processes / culture / leadership. We talked at length about the adjacencies and differences between developers and product managers… Topics: Differences in design principles between product and engineering management (1:35) Understanding the conflict between makers and marketers (6:22) How Rich helps marketers/sales develop a more useful frame for engineering (10:01) The “Innovation” Misconception (15:36) The culture gap between sales and development/product teams (21:46) Where does product management fit between sales and development? (26:31) Helping clients make effective organizational change (32:48) Read more here about Marcus’s writing, podcasts and videos.  

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Business Cases Are Stories About Money

Before we start crunching business case numbers, we should think about the underlying money story: who it’s for, how it generates money, and what similar money stories we are considering.

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Nandini Jammi and Check My Ads

I’ve been following Nandini Jammi’s truth-affirming work at Sleeping Giants for the last four years, which is suddenly now in the mainstream with support of like-minded social action organizations and a rebellion of Facebook advertisers. She and co-founder Claire Atkin have just launched a for-profit company called Check My Ads…

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Product Experience Podcast: The Product Mensch

Wide-ranging conversation about product leadership, how product management has evolved, validation ahead of building, teleportation, scaling up product management teams, and working with non-product executives.

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Cambridge: Software Pricing Demystified (Business of Software Europe)

Software is intangible: it doesn’t have weight or size or per-unit manufacturing costs.  But if we’re in the software business, we have to assign units and prices that reflect our value to customers.  And we should be mapping out pricing strategy before we start development, not the day before product launch. 

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My Stories Are Too Short…

My team says that my stories are too short, insufficient. Except when they say I’m long-winded, overspecifying HOW instead of WHAT. What’s really happening? Thoughts on engaging with our teams to unpack issues and work better together.

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Auckland: “Saying No to Good Ideas”

We can’t do everything, even if our executives believe we can.  So how do we decide what to focus on – and say NO to a huge stack of good ideas that crowd out the best ideas? Bruce McCarthy and Rich Mironov joined Product Tank Auckland to talk about frameworks, collaboration and executive interrupts.

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Why CEOs Should Not Be Our Primary Source of Customer Input

It’s easy for CEOs to think that they personally are the best-informed people within their companies about what customers need and what markets want. In reality, product and design teams have the time, focus, expertise, and large numbers of non-selling interviews to do more objective validation of product ideas.

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