Gather ‘round for a tale of workplace woe. Once upon a time there was a boss. He was generally a jovial fellow. But when the moon was full, he would transform into a wild creature overnight, suddenly terrorizing the team, derailing focus, and trashing plans. I once even saw him chase an employee around a conference room table like he was out for blood. The next day the boss would show up to work, back to his congenial self and act as if nothing had happened. Scary stuff.
I once worked for a guy who always had a smile on this face. He was a friend to everyone and always thought it was a beautiful day. But he was not fully respected by his peers because he never prioritized work that had the best chance of being successful. Instead, he wasted a lot of time and money by blindly assuming everything would work out. A lot of times he was wrong. He only looked ahead at sunshine.
Iteration is a concept product managers know well. We all look at our products and constantly think about what we could add or change to make them work better. And often times our users tell us exactly what they need.
The word “hack” has a colorful history. Not so long ago, if someone had suggested you had hacked your way to the top, you probably would have given them a sideways glance. The word described someone who performed mediocre work — not someone to emulate.
One of the most important things I did as a product manager was to write user stories. It was my opportunity to take all the research, all the customer conversations, all of the feedback, and turn it into something that was going to make the product better and customers happier. And I always wanted a clean space that made it easy to focus on writing down my ideas.
You can learn how to do just about anything on YouTube. Change a bike tire, learn guitar, or bake a flaky kołaczki pastry. If you are searching for expert career advice, you can even find videos with titles like “How to Jumpstart Your Career in 5 Minutes.”
Administrators play an important role in making the use of any application a success. That is because they are the ones who customize it in a way that meets the team’s needs — whether it’s configuring the account profile, setting up authentication, or handling billing and the allocation of seats.
Why is it that negative memories have a way of standing out? This is true for personal experiences as well as professional ones. I remember starting a new job many years ago. I was filled with excitement and energy about how I could contribute to the team’s success. But when I brought my fresh marketing ideas to the owner of the small tech company I had just joined, he quickly shut me down: “We do not do it like that.”
You are not imagining things. There is indeed an elephant in your office. Everyone tries to tip-toe around the beast — yet it is becoming increasingly difficult. You see, he started off small, but now he is enormous.
When I was a kid I used to have nightmares about walking into geometry class only to discover there was a test I had completely forgotten about. Once I became a product manager those dreams morphed somewhat. Instead of geometry class, it was the day of a big product launch and the product was nowhere near ready because I never had a plan. Cold sweat.
A friend of mine came over the other night for a pep talk. He works at a San Francisco logistics startup. And he said that things are going well and not so well at the same time. Weird, right?
I was bitten by the coding bug in my youth. When I was eight years old my father brought home an IBM XT. I was immediately mesmerized and spent my afternoons copying BASIC type-in programs from Compute! magazine.
Recognize this scenario? You join the leadership team at the annual offsite to work on next year’s strategy. The location is somewhere expensive and beautiful. Unfortunately, you hardly ever leave the conference room.