Warning: This is a long one, so you may want to grab a hot drink :)
During this presentation we'll cover 15 key competitive intelligence questions that product managers need to ask.
- Questions that highlight a customer's key buying criteria
- Questions that highlight where competitor's are succeeding
- Questions that highlight where competitor's are failing.
Finally, we'll highlight how competitive intelligence teams can effectively partner with product management teams to develop better products and services.
Is it just me or are there a lot of aspiring product managers out there? Maybe it’s just because I am one myself, but I feel like all I hear these days is that people who are not product managers — consultants, MBA candidates, engineers — want to be product managers.
Starting out as a product manager, you constantly oscillate between feelings of total elation and complete dejection - occasionally, multiple times a day. Over time, you learn to manage the ups and downs of releasing a highly requested feature and being buried under a mountain of bugs, but that feeling never completely goes away. Truthfully, I would never want to lose it completely because I've learned more from it than I could from anything else. The work also teaches you a tremendous amount about humility, agility and persistance.
After my last post on landing page (UVP) optimization, Nivi, from VentureHacks, pointed me at Sean Ellis’s blog and suggested that I might be better served achieving product/market fit before spending time on landing page optimization and positioning. While I completely agree that achieving product/market fit is the necessary prerequisite to kicking into growth mode, I believe some level of preliminary landing page and positioning testing is absolutely required towards achieving product/market fit. After our call, I re-read both Steve Blank’s and Sean Ellis’ views on this and think they would agree too. Although I think Steve has a stricter definition of what achieving Product/Market fit looks like than Sean.
Product management is one of the hardest jobs to define in any organization, partially because it’s different in every company. I’ve had several recent conversations about “what is a product manager?” with friends who are taking their first product jobs or advancing in their product careers. I wanted to capture and share them here. Please share your feedback via notes.
There are key differences between the traction phase and the growth phase of a company. Understanding what stage you are at, helps you focus on the right goals, metrics, channels, and team structure. But how do you know when you are ready to transition from one phase to the other?
One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist.
The hardest part of any new product launch is the beginning, when it’s not quite working, and you’re iterating and molding the experience to fix it. It may be the hardest phase, but it’s also the most fun.
Software practitioners know that product management is a key piece of software development. Product managers talk to users to help figure out what to build, define requirements, and write functional specifications. They work closely with engineers throughout the process of building software. They serve as a sounding board for ideas, help balance the schedule when technical challenges occur — and push back to executive teams when technical revisions are needed. Product managers are involved from before the first code is written, until after it goes out the door.