Sorry, Boss — But Your Apology Stinks

bad dog made a mess in the kitchen

It should be simple. But there are many ways to screw up a perfectly good apology. There is the over-apology — as if saying “I’m really, really sorry” carries more weight. There is the knee-jerk, insincere “sorry!” that does not ring true. Perhaps the worst is the non-apology, which begins “I’m sorry, but….” and ends with a finger pointing at someone else.

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My Name Is Molly Jane Quinn — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

I was dreaming about Aha! long before I knew it existed. Let me explain. It was a cold night in December 2014. I was at a cookie party — you know the kind, where you bake dozens of treats and swap with other guests. I was in the kitchen chatting with a childhood friend of the hostess. We were talking about her job as well as mine.

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12 Questions Smart Marketers Ask to Find the Perfect Job

sheep looking up from the herd

Corporate. In one word that was my workplace culture three years ago. I was working at a top 10 SaaS company, supporting $400 million in annual revenue. We were big in every sense of the word. I should have been happy, right?
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Will Your Legacy Mindset Fail You?

Aha! roadmap software for product managers on mountain bike

“The epitome of power.” I recently read an article in Harvard Business Review that proclaimed this was why we should care about building a legacy. It gave me pause. The word “power” suggests that legacies are about leverage and status, reserved for company founders and CEOs. I know that is not the case.

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User Interviews: 6 Best Practices for Product Managers

User interviews for product managers

I learned a hard lesson early in my career — one that I never forgot. I was working on product strategy for a media company. Third-party studies showed that prospective customers were interested in a new content format. So we decided to revamp the site. When the mockups were ready, we interviewed our existing customers to get their take on the new look. And boy, am I glad we did.
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Please Do Not Send a Cover Letter Like This

fish swimming upstream

I am often surprised by what people choose to send as cover letters. Typos, broken links, and rambling emails. I also see messages like this one: “I was looking for work-from-home opportunities and I came across your company. Below is a copy of my resume. Please let me know if you have anything available.”

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Just Launched! — Aha! Integrated With GitLab

Aha_Gitlab

Simple to enjoy. No, I am not referring to my morning cup of coffee. I’m reminiscing about a few of my favorite features I worked on as a product manager. What made them so enjoyable? It was not the technology. The common theme was awesome collaboration between product and engineering.
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You Are Bored at Work — Go Ahead and Admit It

giant panda eating bamboo shoots

Are you allergic to boredom? If you like achieving I will bet you are. There is always something new to learn and do. But no matter how busy you are sometimes the boredom lingers. It is a real feeling, even though we do not always express it. Sound familiar?

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You Cannot Buy This Priceless Tool

Aha! roadmap software team go-kart race

Is there a fee for being happy at work? I recently saw an ad suggesting that there might be. A software company promised to boost employee engagement and retention with its powerful analytics platform — all for a small monthly fee. While the technology might be impressive (and there are certainly benefits to HR software) I had to shake my head at the pay-for-happy thinking.

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6 Memorable Blog Posts — December 2016

hands holding holiday sparklers

How is it already 2017? The end of the year always seems to rush by in a hurry. But we managed to keep busy in the midst of the holidays. After all, there were a lot of stories to tell. From product management myths to career advice — we covered it all on the Aha! blog this month.
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The 4 Qualities of Engineers This CTO Loves to Hire

Aha! roadmap software engineering team

When I first learned to program, I did not have a computer. I wrote everything out on paper and just imagined what would happen when it ran. (This was back in the days when magazines actually had code listings for you to type into your Commodore 64 or Apple II, and the only storage was on cassette tapes.)

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Just Launched! — Enhanced Security on Custom-Branded Ideas Portals

aha-branded-ideas-portal

A few people brainstorming in a big room with walls covered in sticky notes. That is how I imagined ideation before I became a product manager. Of course, once I started working as a PM, I learned that new product ideas come from everywhere — from inside the organization, from outside business partners, and most often, directly from customers.
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What Kind of Product Manager Will You Be in 2017?

black 8 ball on a pool table

“What kind of product manager will you be this year?” This was THE QUESTION that smacked me early on in my career. I had just come back from a holiday break and was catching up with my boss. I wanted to give a strong reply, but I needed time to unpack the question.

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18 Blog Posts You Loved in 2016

Aha! product roadmap software

I seek adventure in two places: business and wilderness. When the two intersect the result is something special. And as far as adventures go, 2016 certainly offered fodder for some wild topics. I think you can see that reflected in what we wrote about on the Aha! blog this past year.

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Is “Good Enough” Really Good Enough for You?

Orangutan-sitting-near-log-thinking

Think back to your high school years. Remember that one kid who just seemed to have “it”? The classmate who everyone was sure would be a great success. Mine was smart and well-liked. He was a great athlete too. Let’s call him Stan to protect his identity. Stan talked a lot about his big plans.

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