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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Your Go-to-Market Activities Need to Change — Here Is How

The day has come. Your teenager is finally ready to part with their toy car collection. In the old days you might have held a yard sale and tacked flyers up around the neighborhood. Not anymore. Today, your teen knows to announce the sale where the ideal buyer goes to purchase — an online marketplace or an auction site like eBay. Read more…

Busy Is Not a Badge of Honor

busy badge of honor

A whole lot of “busy.” The person in the grocery store tapping out messages between two cell phones at once. The jogger whose eyes keep darting to the notifications blipping on their smartwatch. And the dinner party conversation that turns into a one-upping competition over who has less free time. Calendars double-booked! Overwhelmed at work! Read more…

The Founder’s Paradox: How Do You Build a Company Without Venture Capital When People Want to Give You Lots of Money?

founders paradox venture capital

“Can we grab a cup of coffee?” For some reason, this has become the casual beverage of choice for venture capitalists and just about anyone else who wants to get together and talk “growth.” But I do not drink coffee. And I have been pretty clear that our company is not looking for outside funding. Read more…

5 Skills You Need to Lead Enterprise Transformation

lead enterprise transformation

Enterprise transformation has been a popular topic on this blog lately. By now, you should be familiar with the framework I have laid out. And you may be wondering how it gets done. What can you actually do to have an impact at a company going through major change? Read more…

Is There a Squirrel in Your Office?

office squirrel

Someone in the office is driving you nuts. Hoarding information and forgetting where they stashed it. Zipping from one thing to another without any focus. Running ahead of the team. Tough to pin down. Does this sneaky co-worker sound familiar? Read more…

This Is How You Build a Radically Responsive Product Development Team

radically-responsive product development team

“I wish we could work this fast.” This is something our Aha! team hears a lot. It is true that our team works fast — really fast. Faster than any team I have ever worked with. But if you are thinking our speed is due to some top-secret sauce, you would be wrong. In fact, I will reveal the ingredients right now. Read more…

Why Strategic Thinking Is So Hard for Product Managers

strategic thinking product manager

Daily standups. Planning poker. Estimates of time (or points). It is all collaborative fun and games until that new product launch lands with a customer thud. And then the big boss comes strolling down wanting answers: Why did this flop? Hm, good question. You were so busy working that you barely left the office. And the product development team was grinding — sprint planning, grooming, more standups, retrospectives, and then wash/repeat. Read more…

6 Steps to Achieve a Successful Enterprise Transformation

enterprise transformation steps

What does real transformation look like? An automobile manufacturer overhauling their digital sales operations. A multinational IT company changing how they use data. A major fintech provider undergoing a solutions transformation and starting to think more holistically about how to bundle services that customers need. Read more…

5 Years of Aha! — This Is What We Have Learned so Far

Aha! product management software company

Something different. This is what my co-founder Dr. Chris Waters and I had in mind when we founded Aha! five years ago. We had spent nearly 20 years working in Silicon Valley and building breakthrough products at both large technology companies and smaller startups. And in plain terms — we were successful in lots of meaningful ways but we experienced a lot we did not like in the process. Read more…

The Founder’s Paradox: How to Always Work and Avoid Burnout

founders paradox burnout

Burned out on burnout. No, that is not a typo. You read it right. Although it can seem like the flames are inescapable. This person is smoldering, that person is about to flare up, and over there Sam took a 6-month sabbatical. Spontaneous combustion — narrowly avoided. Read more…

How Product Managers Are Driving Enterprise Transformation

product managers drive enterprise transformation

The future of product management. I have written about this before. And I think that change really is here now — we see it happening with our customers at Aha! every day. Today’s product managers are more strategic, customer-centric, and team-oriented than ever before. Many are fundamentally changing the way their entire company thinks about its products and services. Read more…

The Best Way to Handle the Office Meddler

office meddler

“If it were me…” This is the motto of the office meddler. You know who I am talking about. It is that co-worker who thinks they always know what is best. So they take it upon themselves to dig into your work — offering plenty of unsolicited advice. Good intentions, maybe. Big annoyance and big problems, definitely. Read more…

What Is a Solutions Transformation?

solutions transformation

Remember planning vacations in the 1990s? You spent a lot of time talking on the phone. Separate calls to airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. This was just to compare rates — you had to make another set of phone calls to book services. Or you used a travel agent and accepted the fact that it was likely going to be more expensive than if you just did it on your own. Read more…

14 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

books for entrepreneurs

I read a lot of books about strategy and leadership. But not in the way you might think. I find the best strategic lessons often come from the books that are not taught in business school and were not purposefully written about strategy. The authors probably did not even know they were providing strategic guidance. Read more…

8 Things Product Managers Should Do Every Monday

product manager monday

I never understood why Garfield hates Mondays. He is a cat after all — why does he care what day it is? Personally, I have always looked forward to the start of a new week. I have a strategy that gets me into a productive mode fast. (And it does not involve lasagna.) Read more…