Love Is the Greatest Predictor of Business Success

brown teddy bear in grass in front of city office buildings

I do not believe in luck. I appreciate good fortune, but it is just not reliable enough to call a friend. Luck has no place in business because it is an unpredictable force. Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best will not get the job done. So what is predictable? Hard work, perseverance, and one more trait that might surprise you.

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I Am Not a Guru (Neither Are You)

common barn owl ( tyto albahead ) head close up

Being a fully distributed company means we can hire the best people regardless of where they live. We receive hundreds of resumes every week from applicants all over the world. But I am still surprised to see the incredible number of “gurus” who are applying for open roles at Aha! — I mean, what are the odds?

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Just Launched! — Customize the Cards on Your Workflow Board

Product managers are a loud bunch. We are accustomed to leading and leaders are open with their beliefs. Perhaps that is why there are so many heated discussions about development methodologies. But no matter which one you follow, the intention behind it is usually the same — to get more done.

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A Product Manager’s Love Note — It Changed Everything

baby chicken running on flagstone walkway

It is not every day that you receive a love note. A person has to think you are pretty special to write a heartfelt message of appreciation and devotion. Who takes the time to do that these days? It is especially rare for people to profess their love for a software company. 

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The One Metric Silicon Valley Is Missing

boy chalk drawing of a rocket ship

A friend just recently helped raise money for a fin-tech startup. Exciting times with lots of numbers to watch. Especially when it relates to having money in the bank to push that end-of-business death cliff out another 18 months. But all he could talk about was that it was an “up round.” (Barely, but still up.) I reminded him that for private companies there is one number that people obsess over, often causing more harm than good — valuation.

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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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Just Launched! — Instantly Analyze and Report on Your Product Plans

I have read and written a lot of product manager job descriptions over the years. One word every job has in common — “data.” Managing it, understanding it, presenting it. It is clear that data is vital to product management. You cannot have a successful product or business without it. But who wants to spend hours entering and manipulating data in spreadsheets?

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Your Success — Think Like a Grandpa

black and white fedoras

“Think like grandpa?” That may sound like backward advice. Times have changed. What could our grandparents possibly have to say about running a business today? Well, I think they have plenty to say.

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Does Your CEO Love You?

dog and cat hugging in the grass

So you are putting in another late night at the office. Tied up in meetings all day with no time to get to your real work. And just now catching up on 15 “urgent” emails from your boss. You are giving your best, most heartfelt effort — but it never seems to be enough. If love is truly evidenced by our actions, then you are showing plenty of it to your company leaders. But do they love you back?

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The Un-Buzzed Way to Build a Great Company

Aha! product management book

People are unhappy at work. That is obvious. In a recent post I strongly suggested that leaders have a responsibility — to treat everyone with respect, set a positive example for the team, and create a framework for what success looks like. But what happens when leaders do not own up to that responsibility?

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It Is Not Your Fault You Are Miserable at Work

sad teddy bear miserable on rock

You can probably spot the signs. Sunday night blues. Feelings of “am I really making a difference.” I am not talking about the occasional bad day. No, this is an everyday pit-in-your-stomach malaise. You are miserable at work. Thankfully, it has been a while since I felt that way.

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Our New Book for Company Builders — Lovability

Lovability by Brian de Haaff product management book

You do not write a book to make money. That’s true for most people unless you are already famous. And I am not. You write a book because you believe a story needs to be told. And you are willing to struggle to tell it. I definitely have had stories to tell, but I never wanted to write a book. That contradiction makes sense if you understand the backstory.

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5 Blog Posts You Loved — February 2016

wall of license plates

February is a short month. But we packed 31 days of goodness into those 28 days. From product management to unpredictable bosses, we covered it all. So, whether you are a new product manager, an experienced developer, or a company founder, there is something here for everybody.
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Product Manager Beware: Your Roadmap Is Confusing Customers

confusing traffic signs

“What are you planning to deliver in the second half of the year?” We were wrapping up a meeting with our customer advisory group when someone asked me this question. As a product manager, I should have known how to answer. Unfortunately, I caused more confusion than good. Here is what happened.

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Just Launched! — Visualize Your Release Schedules

Have you ever sent someone a calendar invite for 9AM… on a Saturday? Well, maybe on the rare occasion that you need to meet on a weekend. But even in the hardest working companies, we know that the vast majority of work gets done during the week.
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