A key skill in my opinion as a product person is to identify “idea de-railers”. Idea de-railers are specific phrases used to block ideas from going further. Once you can identify this pattern, it’s much easier to plan around it, and as leaders attack it head-on. Below follow some choice de-railers from my collection.
Obvious disclaimer, Yes product managers should be empathetic, yes everybody in the company is driving towards the same thing so idea-derailers seems a bit harsh of a characterization, yes this is not ideal company culture, yes yes yes. However, reality is an approximation of the ideal, it always helps to understand human behavior (good and bad) and have a plan to tackle. These are just techniques that have been useful to me 🙂 Continue reading “Idea killers, how to bounce back”
Read a great book over the weekend – Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG’s Corporate Suicide by Roddy Boyd. Just buy the book, its full of wisdom. One of the many things that jumped out at me was how deeply Hank Greenberg, who made AIG into the powerhouse it became before the fall, was acutely aware of risk.
Continue reading “Risk on, Risk Off – Hedge or die”
A few common threads that I hear these days, that are super interesting,
- $NAME stock is a great buy – typically one of the FANGS or $TSLA
- Bitcoin is going to the moon
- You can never go wrong with real estate
- I am an angel investor (*part-time)
Continue reading “I wonder I wonder – a few questions”
Imagine the scene, its the end of the day, dinner is done, you are ready to turn in. The last thing you have to do is wash the dishes. Your spouse loads the dishwasher and just as she is heading to bed, she tells you “Honey put the soap in the dishwasher and turn the dishwasher on”
Some common responses, if you are a,
Continue reading “How do you wash the dishes?”
Over the years I had the opportunity to work with and interview a lot of product managers. Once you see enough people a few traits emerge. What follows is a humorous take on the various PM personas found in the wild via Dilbert cartoons.
Disclaimer: This is supposed to be funny and a caricature. If this offends you I’m sorry, but please no hate comments and/or twitter hate – it’s just not worth it.
Continue reading “PM personas in the wild”
I’ve been really fortunate over my career to be in companies that were experiencing tremendous growth. As companies grow, hiring and getting the right team in place is important, multiple interviews and mistakes later I’ve landed on one key insight, one thing that I look for
creating playbooks > following playbooks
What is a playbook?
I define playbooks broadly as a set of processes, principles, required behaviors, and measures that lead to a repeatable outcome. A playbook is structured and is the key enabler for scale in the problem area of your choice. Problem: Hiring, figure out your playbook. Problem: User acquisition: figure out your playbook. Problem: High-velocity product delivery: figure out your playbook. Continue reading “The one thing that demonstrates greatness”
Global, distributed teams are everywhere. Companies expand beyond their home country to grow their business and/or find talent. Pretty soon you are managing a global team and your managers are all over the globe. How do you cope? How do you scale yourself and your team? How do you keep in touch?
Continue reading “15 minutes is all it takes – practical tips for distributed global teams”
Accountability is a fascinating topic. The textbook definition is “the quality or state of being accountable;
especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
”. While a lot has been written about individuals, I’ve found in my experience, the actual mechanics of how to think about team accountability for product teams, pretty lacking. This post is an attempt to describe the framework that has been useful for me. A few of these tips are borrowed from the great executives I’ve had the pleasure to work with and a few are homegrown. Hopefully, this helps somebody who is just starting out or well into their manager/team leader journey.
Continue reading “Practical tips for accountability in product teams”
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