I turned around today to realize that I just published my 45th Medium Post.
Some of it is crappy. Some of it is inspired. Typos. Angst. I’ve done it all.
But there has been something very meditative about sitting down and cranking one or two out each week. It has helped ME clarify my point of view.
Given that Medium doesn’t have a great index feature, I figured I’d provide one here. I’m grateful for the folks who have taken the time to read and comment.
Some realities of joining a venture-funded startup
When you join a venture-funded startup, remember that you’re playing someone else’s game.#### 44: What Does “Sales-Driven” Even Mean?
I grapple with what defines a sales-driven organization
Prioritize the curb-appeal of your product over long-term customer value. For example, you actively build and sell flashy features which provide limited lasting value or fail to deliver on the sales promise.#### 43: Real World Kanban (A Cartoon)
What do most Kanban boards look like?
Your product isn’t confined to what you ship. Your product is the whole organization
I partner with my friend Claire to dig into life’s tough decisions. And why we should, as a good heuristic, do things that are uncomfortable
It’s human to buckle, and it’s human to take uncomfortable risks. It’s also human to delude yourself, but also human — and possible — to get to yes with yourself. We are simultaneously creatures of habit and creatures of insight.#### 40: 100 Product Development Hats
Titles don’t mean much in product development. It takes many hats to build something awesome
Why a great sales approach doesn’t necessarily aid in validating your startup’s growth model
Product is to blame when sales attempts to sell “outside the box”
It’s our responsibility to shape a product that is easy to sell, easy to use, enables excellent outcomes for our customers, AND has a winning growth model.#### 37: 10 Common PM Intuition Traps
Sometimes what makes sense doesn’t make sense …
We often rationalize sub-par customer feedback. What do delighted customers look like?
I’d argue that many of the product metrics we capture (e.g. engagement, conversions) are proxies for less tangible things like customer delight, advocacy, and product focus. The hard metrics can be used to predict churn and trial conversions, but they fail to cut at the central question: Is our product truly inspiring our customers and kicking ass?#### 35: Stop Setting Up Product Roadmaps To Fail
What job are you hiring your roadmap to do? Are you setting it up to fail?
Video showing a common startup anti-pattern
New features cost a lot more than you think. There are many hidden costs
Product management is tough! How you manage your time can save your sanity
Are you trying to please everyone? Are you nimble enough to move/pivot if you need to?
Explaining why you’ve made a decision is often more important than explaining the decision. The “what” may change, but the motivations remain powerful …
In the swirl of growth, it’s easy to confuse and conflate transparency on the decision making process, with transparency on actual decisions and details. The Why is scalable because it carries the original intent of our decision, and not just the tactic.#### 29: 12 Core Competencies For Product Managers
Hiring a product manager? Look for these core competencies
Sales and UX have a lot in common. Both look for the pain and opportunity
One of my most scathing/angsty pieces. Basically … all the worst things you can do as a product manager
To be successful we want engineers to relish their craft, and to take pleasure delivering exactly what we want them to deliver.#### 26: Team Health: A Daily Checkup
A quick daily team health checkout template
A video covering an approach to mind-mapping your roadmap and/or strategy
Tips for your company all-hands
Mad libs for getting your product development team to start having the right conversations
To feel more confident about our decision to ________, I would like to observe ________ Example: To feel more confident about our decision to add steps to the workflow, I would like to observe more customers completing the existing workflow#### 22: To Experiment Is Human. Reality is a **cker. And The Law Of Two Feet
I dig into the human need to experiment and have impact. And how when you don’t have that, you should use your two feet and move on
Most organizations are structurally and culturally incapable of making it safe for teams to experiment and occasionally fail.#### 21: Focus Until It Hurts
Startups talk about focus. But what does focus REALLY feel like?
Why safety and diversity are essential … everything connects
Tips on better personas, and how to defeat common objections
You’re about to do a B2B Customer interview. How to you ask non-leading questions that uncover valuable opportunities?
Stop wasting your time trying to define product management. Ask Why.
In my view we’re asking the wrong question. We’re replacing a tough discussion of values and principles — as a whole team, not just as product managers — with discussions about titles, job descriptions, the org chart, and handoffs. The best perspectives on product development have nothing to do with defining and boxing a title.#### 16: This PM Hack Saved Me 1 Hour A Day (and helped me connect with more customers)
A quick hack for booking customer interviews
Light take on effective product development teams
The costs of a sales-driven roadmap are not always immediately apparent
Interview the interviewer. How to gauge whether the opportunity is the right fit
Tips on incorporating data directly into your user stories
Battling the dreaded UX Debt demon. It’s never easy, but you’ll have to pay it down eventually
The biggest listicle of all time. Question prompts for your product development team to ponder at all stages of development
Have we communicated those goals with a compelling vision? Does the vision inspire and focus our work? Can it be explained in a tweet? What is our “true north” ? Is the team engaged?#### 9: Product Ownership: 10 Core Principles
10 core principles underpinning the product owner role
Not all process is bad. Consider the “creative process” …
Physical boards are great. Online tools are efficient. How to integrate the two
An interesting reply to a thread on product management
help the team fall in LOVE with a customer/user/business (hopefully all three) problem AND then do whatever possible to guide the team towards a sense of real IMPACT.#### 5: Life, Death, Continuous Improvement, and Continuous Disruption
We are all disrupting ourselves at some point … as teams, individuals, companies, and cultures
Continuous improvement is the response to the drumbeat of atrophy and carrying dead weight. And it works hand in hand with continuous disruption. Basic process improvement and optimization relies on a repeatable future. Continuous improvement addresses a deeper need.#### 4: Dr. Obvious, Startup Validation, and Failure
You are running “tests” if your tests never fail
All the books in my Kindle. In one place
Classic trend listicle
How to survive when you’re always asking “why” …