All things related to PM: analysis, best practices, thoughts about its role & more Mar 23
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Editor’s Note: David Lieb is co-founder and CEO of Bump , creators of the popular app that lets people share contact information, photos, and other content by bumping their phones together.
Tracking & Analytics
UI & UX
Key skills & qualities
Sign up funnel
Product market fit
Minimum viable Product
Monetizing your product
Mistakes to avoid
Earlier this week usability expert Jakob Nielsen (famous for his eyetracker studies ) published the results of some research into the importance of page response times to user experience and perceptions of brand. In his words “users really care about speed”. In Jakob’s assessment speed matters for two reasons:
For a tech company, product and engineering are the heart and soul of the business. When I do a quick mental query of headcount across our entire portfolio of ~30 companies, I think at least 50% and maybe as much as 60% of the entire headcount of our portfolio is in either product or engineering. Many of the founding teams we back include a strong coder and a strong product person.
My Hunch cofounders and I frequently ask ourselves: “If we were to start over today, would we build our product the same way we had so far?” This exercise is meant to counter a number of common cognitive biases, such as: 1. The sunk costs trap. People tend to overvalue past investments when making forward-looking investment decisions.
I once believed optimization was the secret weapon that could make almost any startup successful.
The first million people who bought VCRs bought them before there were any movies available to watch on them. They just wanted to “time shift” TV shows – what we use DVRs for today. Once there were millions of VCR owners it became worthwhile for Hollywood to start selling and renting movies to watch on them. Eventually watching rented movies became the dominant use of VCRs, and time shifting a relatively niche use. Thus, a product that eventually had very strong network effects* got its initial traction from a “standalone use” – where no other VCR owners or complementary products needed to exist. I was talking to my friend Zach Klein recently who referred to products as having single player and multiplayer modes.
Product Leadership Series: Creating a Great Product Process at Opower May 25, 2010
One of the amazing things about the internet economy is how different the list of top internet properties today looks from the list ten years ago . It wasn’t as if those former top companies were complacent – most of them acquired and built products like crazy to avoid being displaced. The reason big new things sneak by incumbents is that the next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a “toy.” This is one of the main insights of Clay Christensen’s “disruptive technology” theory. This theory starts with the observation that technologies tend to get better at a faster rate than users’ needs increase.
Back in February at the Future of Web Apps (FOWA) conference in Miami, Union Square Ventures ' Fred Wilson presented on his 10 Golden Principles of Successful Web Apps .
Reading through emails and blogs yesterday afternoon I came to posts from engineers at Disqus and Twitter via Fred Wilson ’s Code is craft post. I read them partly because Fred recommended them and partly because I was interested to hear what presumably talented engineers at successful services like Disqus and Twitter had to say about improving the speed of a service and identifying the root cause of service problems respectively. I’m interested to read these stories not because I am ever likely to need to do something similar myself (I am nowhere near that technical) but because I need to be able to recognise a good engineer when I see one. That helps with figuring out whether we should invest in a company and in hiring senior techies into our existing portfolio companies. I had two takeaways from the Disqus post :
What Makes A Great Product Leader? April 12, 2010 There was some chatter a few weeks ago about the dearth of experienced product managers in innovation centers outside of Silicon Valley.
This post is for all of you lucky enough to have a product with real users. Way back before you had users, or even a product, you probably went through a process to figure out what you should build. During that process you may have written user stories and work flows that described, in various levels of detail, how your users would perform each expected task. But you know who didn’t read your user stories? That’s right: your users.
There are techies (if you are reading this blog you are almost certainly one of them) and there are mainstream users – some people call them “normals” (@ caterina suggested “muggles”). A lot of people call techies “early adopters” but I think this is a mistake: techies are only occasionally good predictors of which tech products normals will like. Techies are enthusiastic evangelists and can therefore give you lots of free marketing. Normals, on the other hand, are what you need to create a large company.
The 1% rule
There is no denying Apple has had an incredible run. Steve Jobs’ return and the Mac’s resurgence After a number of strategic and execution mistakes, the company almost went bankrupt in 1996.
Guest post by Luke Hohmann of Enthiosys . Product Managers, Agile or otherwise, are asked to create a fair number of documents. Even when we’ve replaced our “Big” MRDs with vision Statements, Roadmaps, and Backlogs, most of us are still expected to clearly document: