“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…

Read more
 

How Well Can You Predict The Future?

It’s been a very tough quarter for economic forecasters, quota-carrying sales teams and CEOs.  The sudden downturn even caught GE’s legendary planners by surprise.  If you’re an executive at a technology company, you may already have started an FY09 planning process to re-examine staffing, product investments and revenue.  These already bake in your core business assumptions, though, so you should “stress test” your assumptions using scenario planning. We’ve worked with a range of executive teams on scenario planning: using market-driven product roadmaps to identify business risks and core assumptions, and then highlight the interrelationships among strategic choices. Once you can see how products and delivery dates relate to market realities, you’ll be able to answer the “what if” and “how…

Read more
 

Disruptive Pricing Units

During a miserable week of domestic air travel during June, I noticed new fees suddenly appearing for checked baggage and in-flight soft drinks.  That caused an announcement about a new airline to catch my eye – an airline offering a radically different approach to pricing.  It re-raised a topic that we explore with many clients: shifting the basis of competition by changing pricing units. On June 6th, 2008, a new airline called Derrie-Air started advertising fares based on total passenger weight,  with the slogan “Pack Less. Weigh Less. Pay Less.”  A flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles was priced at $2.25 per pound – with each passenger paying based on body weight plus luggage.  Thus a supermodel carrying only a…

Read more
 

Sharks, Pilot Fish, and the Product Food Chain

Where should your new product compete?

Read more
 

Insider Thinking

Product managers and other product champions spend a lot of their time driving internal processes and decisions — the daily incremental struggle for progress on pricing, packaging, release schedules, upgrade policies and other bits of the production puzzle. This relentless motivation is indispensable, the tech equivalent of keeping the trains running on time. PMs should also be spending time with customers, refreshing their sense of needs and marketplaces.

Read more