Product Management

What Products Do You Love?

Aha! product roadmap software cycling kit

Have you ever said “I love you” … to software? Maybe once or twice. One product that has earned my heartfelt devotion is the Strava cycling app. I use it on my morning rides to record my speed and routes. This real-time data provides a history of where I rode, with whom, and how fast (or slow) I went. Today’s ride: 25.2 miles at an average of 19.4 mph. Not too bad. 

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It Is Time for the Minimum Lovable Product

minimum lovable product cat

Would you ever eat a can of cat food? Under the right conditions, perhaps. On a dare or if you were hungry enough with nothing else to reach for. But cat food is created with felines in mind. For most humans, it would undoubtedly be edible, but nauseating. And you would probably not be inspired to crack open another can anytime soon.

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Why I Only Hire Product Managers

Aha! product manager customer success team

Is product management the new “it” job? It’s starting to look that way. More and more business students are considering it as a dream job. And I can understand why. Product management offers the opportunity to build something meaningful. But I can think of another meaningful dream job for product managers — Customer Success. Before you conjure up images of phone banks and call scripts, keep reading.

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New Product Managers — Do This in the First 30 Days

kids at swim meet

“We should not launch this.” It was a surprising announcement to make just 30 days into a new product management job. My friend had been hired to own several products at a telecommunications company. After doing her research, she could see that the newest product concept, which was woefully behind schedule and poorly defined, was going to fail.

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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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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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The 17 Great Myths of Product Management

We issued a warning to product managers last month — beware of bad advice. The Aha! Customer Success team (all former product managers) weighed in. And many of you added your own examples. Reading through your stories, I noticed something curious.

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You Feel Like a Burned-Out Product Manager — Now What?

Two slides, every day. That’s how a former colleague and friend told me that he put together his annual strategic plan. When I asked him why, he said, “If I thought of having to create the entire presentation at once, I felt overwhelmed. But completing a few slides a day — that I could always handle.”

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The Product Plan vs. the Project Plan

two orange goldfish in clear glass bowl

Great product managers ask questions. Lots of them. But product managers need to answer questions too. And the more complex the work, the more questions abound. When I was working at another SaaS company in the HR space a few years ago, this became very clear.

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The Product Manager vs. the Technical Product Manager

ram statues butting heads

A lot of people ask me about how to break into product management. I think that is because product management is a hot career track today. So much so that there are many variations on the role and title.

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The World's Most Unlikely Product Manager

man in protective mask

What degree do you think most product managers have? I will bet that you did not answer “B.A. in environmental science.” But I do know of at least one product manager who studied just that. After college, his first job was supervising the removal of asbestos (and asking his onsite teams not to smoke while they were doing it).

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5 Product Managers Reveal the Worst Advice They Received

product manager getting advice from the team

I did not learn how to be a product manager in school. I learned on the job and from others. My experience is that we all look for opportunities to deepen our understanding of best practices. That is what ambitious product managers do when seeking out one another — looking for wisdom, guidance, and advice.

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How Tough Product Managers Pick Fights

boxing gloves hanging on boxing ring ropes

How many times do people “ping” you at work each day? For product managers, the answer is probably something like: “Oh, I’ve stopped counting.” Feedback comes in from so many different channels — internally and externally — that those pings can start to feel like a series of jabs.

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5 Signs You Should Be a Product Manager

product manager reading article on a tablet

Are you considering a career in product management? Or has someone told you that you’d make a great product manager, perhaps even seemingly out of the blue? If so, you are likely curious where product managers come from. And what is this emerging craft called product management, anyway?

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4 Unexpected People Skills Every Product Manager Needs

product managers in a startup office environment drinking coffee

It’s all about the technology, right? Nope. I learned that fast in my first product management role. Product managers need a wide array of skills to be successful. And a lot of those skills involve people. When you factor in that many product managers work within a “responsibility without formal authority” context, having interpersonal skills is essential.

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