India is a complex and diverse country, more so than any other emerging market in the world. Its diverse linguistic, cultural, and economic user base makes it a daunting challenge, one that the start-ups operating out of global hubs like Silicon Valley and London don’t face until much later in their expansion lifecycle.
Replatforming is arguably one of the most difficult things you can tackle in a product management career. And if experience is about learning from mistakes, let’s just say that I have a lot of experience on replatforming.
When designing connected hardware products, there are many ways in which a project can go sideways and end up way over budget before the product is completed or in a manufacturable state. We’ve seen this happen countless times and it’s never one person’s fault, rather a lack of understanding of the full product design process and a lack of the experience necessary to avoid these cost surprises.
During development you’ve been building prototypes and presenting them to key customers for feedback. Often, these prototypes will demonstrate selected features or subsystems of the final product you intend to launch. Once all features and subsystems are developed, you will begin to prepare for production readiness. In some organizations, production readiness and launch are synonymous. More on this point later.
Famously, back in 2001, inventor Dean Kamen was going to change the world. The buzz just before the launch of his Segway personal transporter was astonishing. Tech investor John Doerr posited that it would be more important than the internet. South Park devoted an episode to making fun of the hype before the product was released. Steve Jobs said that it was “as big a deal as the PC”. But when it finally launched it was a commercial flop.
A former tech investment banker, June Angelides is the founder of Mums in Technology, the first child-friendly coding school in the UK. A lack of options for learning alongside her baby led June to create a skills-based tech programme for like-minded mothers raising children. In this ProductTank London talk, June demonstrates a new way for organisations to approach learning for mothers while helping to close the gender gap in tech.
I believe that predictive analytics is poised to enable businesses in ways we didn’t think were possible several years ago. It’s starting to play critical roles in solving inventory problems, loan prediction, user personalization, customer segmentation, propensity to churn, product pricing, and many other areas, with the goal of enhancing customer experience and the bottom line. And we’re starting to see applications being deployed in Healthcare, Manufacturing, Finance, and Retail.
There are lots of resources to help startups through their first product launch (if you haven’t found them yet, try looking here). But what if you don’t work for a startup? Is the process different if you’re a product manager in an established organisation, where products have already been launched?
But their assumption is misleading. It illustrates perfectly why quantitative and qualitative testing (and research) need to go hand-in-hand for a complete picture. Although A/B testing tells you what users are doing, it doesn’t tell you why they are doing it. More importantly, the A/B test result ignores what happens in a portion of your traffic, in segments.
I hate them as an interviewer, because they don’t tell me anything about what it’s like to work with you, how you’re going to help me, or why I might want to hire you. They’re just questions to fill the interview hour and see if you know the right jargon.
By choosing to work in product management, in either a blue-chip/corporate environment, a fast-moving tech house or a startup, do we brand ourselves with the type or size of company we work with? And, if we do, is it then hard to make the transition from one type of business to the other? Do our prospective employers see the challenge of moving to the “other side” as too much of a jump? And if so, why?
At #mtpcon San Francisco, Brandon Chu, VP of Product at Shopify, provides some insight into what he considers the most interesting challenge in his career: managing platforms. In this talk he shares what platforms can mean for our product strategies, and what his team learned as they discovered how to build a platform at Shopify.
As a product manager you’re the monkey in the middle. You have multiple stakeholders, all with different and sometimes competing demands, and it’s your job to manage these. A successful product manager will remove themselves as a barrier, and bring people to a shared understanding through a customer mindset. In this ProductTank London talk, new product and market growth consultant Laura Scanga shares some thoughts on how best to do this and which tools and exercises can be useful.
In this fun talk at ProductTank London, product management advisor Thor Mitchell discusses the messy reality of how to scale his cheese on toast business, and outlines how product managers can use a three-step process to take the burden of scaling away from company founders.
Facing uncertainty is a company’s biggest challenge. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a startup or an established company, when you start work on a product, you need to validate your problem, your solution, and find your market. When you scale, uncertainty arises in the form of change – your market changes, your users’ needs change, and your organization changes. With that in mind, the most decisive tool you have when facing uncertainty is knowledge. Some companies rely on instinct and opinions to make decisions, but this article focuses on knowledge as a decision-making model.