Don’t Let Hype Run Your Product

Observing tech companies you may notice a broad, disturbing phenomenon: everyone’s hard at work “selling” their product ideas — stakeholders and engineers are selling to product managers, product managers are selling to management, and management is selling to everyone (just listen attentively in the next all-hands meeting). As a product manager I too had to

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Your Customers Are Not Always Right

When talking to product managers, company leaders, and customer-facing folk, a common belief surfaces: if enough customers (b2c), or an important customer (b2b) ask for something, then we should build it. This axiom is reflected in prioritization discussions as well as in many product management tools that rank ideas by “customer votes”.  Customer feedback, whether it

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Who Should Rule the Product?

Recently the product sphere had boiled-over over Airbnb removing product managers from product teams and converting them into product marketing managers. The Airbnb transformation may be a one-of (essentially an attempt to adopt the centralist Steve Jobs / Apple model), but the story and the discussion that followed surfaced an age-old debate: who should rule

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Planning With Outcome Roadmaps

As I’m writing this, the dreaded yearly planning cycle is just around the corner and the debate over roadmaps is surfacing once more. On one hand it’s clear that classic roadmaps that show releases on a timeline create both high planning overhead and high waste. On the other hand, attempts to construct roadmaps around outcomes

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Is Your Company Evidence-Guided?  

As I teach evidence-guided product development I encounter two types of reactions. Most people realize that their company is caught in a vicious cycle of plan-and-execute that heavily relies on opinions, consensus, and HiPPO. But when presented with the alternative — using research, experimentation, building product through discovery and delivery — various types of objections

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