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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7 Product Management Job Titles (and What They Really Do)

product management job titles

There are some Inuit dialects that have dozens of words for “snow.” The dialect spoken in Canada’s Nunavik region, for example, has at least 53 words to distinguish between wet snow and crystalline powder. Interesting, right? Even though I really like being in the mountains, you might be wondering why I am writing about snow. Read more…

What Is Needed for Real Enterprise Transformation

enterprise transformation

I want to begin with three business truths. The first is that most companies will need to fundamentally change to better serve customers. The second is that the transformation required will be enterprise-wide and include digital, solutions, and data-oriented strategies. And finally, for meaningful change to happen, the organization needs to think and behave differently to execute on the chosen strategy. Read more…

Hey Boss: Your “Open Door” Policy Is a Joke

open door policy

The big boss strolls into the big corner office. “Remember, my door is always open,” they call out to the team. If this sounds like the start of a bad joke, that is because in a way it is. “Open door” policies are usually empty gestures. Because if you have to tell people that you are open and accessible, then it is probably not true. And you have a transparency problem.

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The 3 Types of Enterprise Transformation

3 types of enterprise transformation

What does transformation really mean? Merriam-Webster dictionary offers a grounded and elegant definition: “The act or process of changing completely.” Interestingly, I am not the only one to be curious about this word recently. The online dictionary tracks the popularity of word lookups — “transformation” is in the top 20 percent. Why? I have some theories. Read more…

4 Ways Being Nice Is Hurting Your Career

are you too nice at work

Are we morally obligated to always tell the truth? What about telling a small fib with good intentions? White lies are one of those things that give deep thinkers fits. Soften or obscure the truth to avoid hurting somebody — it frequently happens at home and at work. And it is a problem. Because this ends up doing more harm than good. Read more…

Why This CEO Does Not Believe in Digital Transformation

digital transformation enterprise

I recently asked people on LinkedIn to explain how their companies are trying to achieve meaningful organizational change. Most said with “greater efficiency” through “digital transformation” — with technology as the way to realize those efficiency gains. Read more…

The Founder’s Paradox: So You Want a Team of Superstars?

founders paradox superstars

Pelé. Beyonce. Chavez. Oprah. Salk. Magic. There are some names that require no explanation. You know exactly who these superstars are. The level of talent and impact supersede the need for their complete name — these folks have moved from mere mortals to one-name legends. But there are plenty of other stars in our midst. Read more…

19 Big Myths About Remote Work

Aha! product roadmap software remote team

I feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. You know that feeling when you keep having the same conversation again and again? You try to be patient. But you feel the repetition starting and you tense up. For me, that conversation goes something like this…

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Why Good Product Managers Need to Be Great Project Managers

product manager skills

How is your “project manager” job going? People always asked me this earlier in my career when I worked as a product manager. If you are a product manager, I bet you have heard the same. It is because most people still do not know that product managers exist. And they definitely do not know what we do.

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Hey Boss: I’m Drowning in Meetings

drowning in meetings

You versus your calendar. You are fighting for time to get your real work done. Nervously eyeing the clock. Each day is a relentless sprint from meeting to meeting. But the calendar always wins. It goes something like this…

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Do Your Company’s Core Values Mirror Your Own Values?

Aha! product management software remote company

What are your core values? I am not referring to the aspirational traits that you want to strive towards. Or the bare minimum morals you require of yourself and others. I mean the beliefs that are deeply personal to you. They are part of your DNA. These core values are the fundamentals that guide your actions and choices every day — especially when no one is looking.

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Hey Product Manager: Do These 4 Things in 2018

busy product manager

Most product managers I know are optimistic realists. I am both — a former product manager and an optimistic realist. So call me biased. You could say it is their nature, but I think it comes from the job. Product managers plan thoroughly and vigorously for a future that is better than today. But getting there requires a certain confidence.

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This Is Why You Dread Going to Work

dread going to work

It wakes you up in the middle of the night. Your palms sweat and your mind races. Toss, turn. Toss, turn. Until finally the alarm goes “bing!” and you face the source of this anxiety. What is filling you with dread? I know. The anticipation of going to work.

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Can You Be Perfect Every Day?

perfect moment Aha! product management team

There are moments in all of our lives when we experience a deep sense of satisfaction. When we have worked incredibly hard and realized our true best. Instant flashes of mental and emotional euphoria. Masterpieces that no one else needs to appreciate. But you know that what you just accomplished means everything. And guess what? These moments can happen at work too.

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The Future of Product Management

future of product management

I care about product managers. A lot. This should not be a surprise. If you have been reading this blog for some time, then you know that I once was one. Product managers are special because they sit at the epicenter of everything. They communicate ideas, set strategy, and lead cross-functional teams to create products that delight customers. But there is something else that may be a surprise.

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