About Brian and Aha!

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product roadmap software — and the author of Lovability. His two previous startups were acquired by well-known public companies. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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This One Behavior Is Stalling Your Career

turtle feedback

“I have some feedback for you.” When you hear these words, do you go into fight or flight mode? Maybe you are a runner. You think about an escape route. So you defensively scramble for a convenient excuse to avoid the discussion entirely. Read more…

Startups Are No Place for Most New Grads

hire recent graduate at a startup

“Do you think recent grads should work at really early stage startups?” I recently posted this question on LinkedIn. And it ignited a conversation. More than 325,000 people viewed and added hundreds of thoughtful responses. 

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How Sam Really Failed on a Remote Team

remote employee failure home office

I am sure this has happened to you at least once. You are trying to solve a problem at work and need help from a colleague. So you send off a quick chat message. No answer. You follow up with an email. Still nothing. Hello? Is anyone out there?

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Hey Boss: Stop Being My Timekeeper

boss cannot make you go faster

“Let’s get it done ASAP.” How many times have you heard this from your boss? Maybe it was an urgent phone call or an email flagged as “high priority.” The pressure of a countdown. Tick, tick, tick… But let’s be real — I bet those demanding “needed it yesterday” calls and emails did not speed up your work.

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The 10 Main Components of a Business Model

business model book

I learned how to write business models in graduate school. Although, it really felt more like writing long and complicated novels. I once spent three months working on one for a hypothetical home services referral website. I even conjured up crowd-sourced reviews for my would-be business. The process revealed a depressing plot twist.

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The Best Product Managers Hurry Up and Take It Slow

product manager go fast, go slow

Here is a riddle for you: How do you go really fast while taking your time? No, this is not a trick question. It is actually inspired by an old Latin phrase, “festina lente.” By now you are probably wondering why you should care about this ancient oxymoron.

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Are You Sprinting to a Disappointing Career?

sprinting in your career

Friends with tunnel vision. Only interested in joining a company that is “just a year away from an IPO.” Do you know anyone like this — running hard, hoping to hit the tech lottery? I do. A friend recently explained that he was mid-career and needed to have a big hit quick.

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The Most Embarrassing Meeting Fails We Never Saw Coming

There is a slow-motion disaster unfolding before your eyes. It is a cringe-worthy moment at work. And you are watching it all go down. You wish you could plug your ears and avert your eyes — but you cannot because you are sitting in a small conference room.

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Do Good Work for Its Own Sake

do good work for its own sake

I am not a gambler. But I know many people like to partake in games of fortune, and some even have a get-rich-quick dream. Hitting those lucky numbers and raking in enough cash to live a life of leisure. Let’s imagine this actually happens — maybe you win the lottery. I hate to bring you down, but I want to tell you the truth as I see it.

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Hey Boss: I Am Begging You to Let Me Work From Home

work from home dog

I studied philosophy. (True.) You know the old cliché about the tree falling in the forest. If no one is there to hear it, did it really make a sound? Well, remote work may seem that way for some. After all, how can you be sure people are actually working if you are not there to witness it?

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You Choose to Do This Every Day

you choose to do this sign

One word can cause a seismic shift in your thinking. A member of our team recently shared a story that proves this. One evening, she heard herself tell her children that she “had to” answer a few more emails before dinner. But she realized this was not entirely true. She did not “have to” answer the emails at that exact moment — she was making a conscious choice to do so.

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The Most Important Thing You Should NOT Do Each Day

Donkey Will Not Do List

You probably have a list somewhere. Maybe several scribbled on the backs of receipts, neatly organized in a notebook, or typed out in an app. Each one a litany of tasks to tackle. To-do lists can be great. But a “Not-do” list may be what you really need.

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Stop Your Next Presentation to Honor the Now

Aha! product roadmap software team presentation

I am always thinking about what’s next at work. (Even on vacation sometimes, like now.) But at our recent, all-team meeting I made a conscious decision to stop. And I did something I have never done before — I interrupted my presentation and asked everyone to stop too. I wanted us all to take a moment to be in the “now.”

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How Not to Scale Your Startup

scale your startup cattle

It started with two people in a garage. The quintessential beginning we hear about many startups. And for good reason — you do not start out with 100 people. Companies begin with a founder or two. Some never leave the garage. The ones that grow solve a real problem and learn how to do it at scale. They do not learn how to scale and then figure out a problem to solve.

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Product Managers: Celebrate the Interruptions

drowning product manager

You start the day off ready to cruise through your schedule and To-do list. And then… the speed bumps appear out of nowhere. Impromptu meetings. Last-minute requests. Fire drills from the sales team. If this sounds like your typical work day, I have good news for you — you are a fortunate product manager. Read more…