When do you let go of Process and Accept Controlled Chaos?
I’ve worked at two different startups, going from beta to 1.0 as the first non-founding member of the product team. Surprisingly, I had a completely different experience at each startup, even though they were both open source databases. If I were forced to prioritize (as all product managers naturally tend to do) and choose the most […]
Why We Fail: What I Learned From 5 Years with Friends, Netflix's Social Strategy
I write a lot about product strategy, and use Netflix as an example so that others can learn from the company’s success and failure. I often highlight that half of Netflix’s high-level product strategies fail in order to help product leaders to understand how hard it is to launch and grow startups. I also think […]
Practical Tips for Working in Distributed Product Teams
Ever since the shift towards agile practices, product teams have hung on to a set of core attributes, ranging from cross-functional, to customer-centric all the way up to iterative. But there’s one aspect which will soonish vanish from this list of must-haves: co-located. The notion that successful product teams strictly need to operate from within […]
Building Successful Communities of Practice by Emily Webber
Summary: Communities of practice can be powerful tools to enable both individuals and organisations to increase their effectiveness. By bringing together people who share a common interest or passion, new skills are learned and developed. People are often put in situations where they’re empowered, but they don’t know how to move forward. Sink or swim […]
What can Trader Joe's Teach us About Customer-Centric Product Development?
In talking about how a product goes from idea to shelf on an “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast, Matt Sloan, the VP of Marketing Product for the neighborhood grocery store chain, tells the story of his visit to Canada years ago, to a factory which made soup to be sold in frozen “pucks”. Sloan wondered whether […]
How Speed to Market Starts With a Strong Foundation
Imagine this: You’re in the middle of developing a product when you realize you’re going to miss the launch date. That’s never happened to you, right? Well, according to the Center for New Product Development, “the average new product development project exceeds its schedule by 120%.” So why does this happen, even to the best of […]
An Ethical Sanity Check: What Would Trolls Do?
As a teenager in the 90s in the US Bible Belt, you didn’t have to look far to find someone wearing an iconic bracelet with 4 simple letters: WWJD. This was meant to remind Christian youth to constantly evaluate decisions in their daily lives against the question, “What Would Jesus Do?”. It was intended to […]
Break Down Silos to Build a Culture Focused in a Single Direction
Have you ever worked in an environment where one part of the business didn’t talk to the other? Are your Product and Engineering teams pushing (or pulling!) in different directions? Does your Marketing team know what is happening in the Contact Centre? Does Logistics know what has been happening on the website recently? Does the […]
Building Product in an Age of Distrust by Ryan Freitas
Once upon a time, designers were convinced that they were doing the right thing. They didn’t question outcomes because they thought their motives were sound. Recently the conversation has shifted to become much more focused on user safety, trust and ethics. While this is progress, it has led people to feel they work in an […]