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Lesson tag: Product Management

4 Mistakes New Product Managers Make

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

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.

The First Thing That Matters: Product/Market Fit

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

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.

A Product Manager’s Job

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

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.

The Never Ending Road to Product Market Fit

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

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?

Do Things That Don’t Scale

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

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.

Evolution of the Product Manager

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

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.

Want to be a PM? Do a Project.

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

In the past two months I’ve talked one on one with about 20 people who are interested in getting into Product Management. There’s a large range of experience/skills, but none have held the PM title. Despite giving everyone some different advice, my universal constant is that anyone looking to get into PM should do a small project from end-to-end.

Get One Thing Right

Author: Trevor HatfieldComplexity: Easy

A great brand is a privilege, and it’s a privilege best earned through an item, not through a collection. Designers and merchants and founders think about collections. Consumers think about items. Designers and merchants and founders think about one-stop shops. That kind of thinking may lead you to a no-stop shop.