The Product Manager vs. the CEO vs. the CTO

product manager vs ceo vs cto

Do you like tennis? If you like watching it live, you know that it is best to sit behind one of the players. Because if you are at mid-court, you may get dizzy snapping your head back and forth to follow the ball. And if you are a product manager caught watching angry volleys between a CEO and CTO, you also know the whiplash feeling. 

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Hey Product Managers: It Is Time to Set the Strategy That You Think Is Right

product manager strategy

“Vision.” What does this word mean to you? I define it as knowing what you want to accomplish and where you want to go. In business, it can be difficult to determine what your vision is and then commit to it. Of course, this is a lot easier if you are the CEO of a company. Everyone looks to you to set the strategy and wants to know how they can help make the company a success.

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My Name Is Yuko Takegoshi — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Yuko Takegoshi

Say yes to what scares you. I realized a few years ago that if I wanted to grow, I would need to pursue experiences that might make me uncomfortable. For example, I always wanted to learn to scuba dive, but I was terrified of all the things that could go wrong. A planned trip to Hawaii was a good opportunity to confront my fear. I was initially incredibly nervous during the certification process and was not sure if I would ever dive again. But each time I went into the water, I grew more confident. And then I fell in love with the zen of diving.

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6 Ways to Ensure Success When Your Product Is Built on a Platform

Platform-built product success

Product management is rewarding. And it is also really hard work. I know a few product managers who have the toughest challenge out there — leading a product that is built on a platform or collection of products managed by other people. You need to advocate for your product every day. In the process, those other people’s problems become yours as well. It can be difficult to see how an individual product is making a real impact on the business. So what should a product manager do? 

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My Name Is Mike Maylone — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

mike maylone wij

Maps have always captured my imagination. It started when I was a kid — my parents and I went on a road trip every summer vacation. We would leave our home in Michigan and head west, typically to Colorado. My favorite part was sitting in the back of the car with a giant fold-out map, helping my parents navigate to our next rest area, hiking trail, or camping spot. To this day, whenever my wife mentions a new place to visit, the first thing I do is try to figure out where it is on the map. 

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The Founder’s Paradox: The “Future You” Might Not Like the Choices “Today You” Is Making

founders paradox future you

The guy with the laptop. This is how I am known by one of my kid’s soccer coaches. Let me explain. The kids need to be there 45 minutes before games to warm up. There is not much for parents to do during that time except chat with each other. So I pull out my laptop, find some shade, and work. Once the game begins, I put the laptop away to be fully present for the game. This is a conscious choice. But I do miss out on those pre-kickoff conversations with other parents.

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Buzz, Buzz — You Just Got Stung by the Office Bee

the office bee

Jet skiing. Baking. Beekeeping. We have written before about some of the ways our teammates at Aha! recharge. I have to smile when I think about Andrew, our own software developer/beekeeper — working on code all morning before heading to the apiary in his garden. While he and his daughter enjoy caring for their hive, there is a different type of bee that is much more bothersome in most offices.

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The One Thing Most Recruiters Overlook

recruiters overlook

Does this sound unrealistic? A screening call on Monday. An interview with the hiring manager on Tuesday. A chat with another cross-functional team member on Wednesday. A video call with the CTO on Thursday. This rapid cadence is not unusual at Aha! — our team acts quickly to schedule conversations with promising candidates who have applied to an open role. But I know this is not the case at the majority of organizations.

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Aha! Cares — A New Model for Corporate Giving

Aha! Cares philanthropy program

“A startup is for adventure.” I wrote that when we founded Aha! in 2013. Along with my friend and co-founder Dr. Chris Waters, I was energized about how we could change the way that product teams work. And since then, we have achieved some worthy milestones together — from hiring our first teammate to celebrating our 5,000th customer to publishing Lovability, a book about the philosophy behind the company.

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How to Avoid a Rambling Presentation at Work

avoid rambling presentation

“Can you get to the point?” The senior executive who asked this was clearly annoyed. It was early in my career and my colleague was presenting quarterly marketing results to a group of company leaders. But instead of summarizing the key metrics and takeaways, he gave a long-winded description of each step the team had taken along the way. Although he clearly was attuned to the details of the work, the meandering explanation left everyone feeling lost.

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Just Launched! — New Keyboard Shortcuts in Aha!

Keyboard shortcuts help modal

Mouse vs. keyboard. Which one do you prefer? For most of us, the answer is probably a blend of both. A mouse is great for viewing menu options and choosing the one you want. But when you know exactly what you want to accomplish, a quick keyboard command can save your wrists.

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Remote Team Meetings vs. Office Team Meetings

“What do you mean you saw your co-workers? You work at home.” A friend who works for the county court system once asked me this with a look of confusion on his face. He knows that Aha! is an entirely remote company, but he was unfamiliar with the concept of remote meetings. I chuckled as I assured him that nobody had to fly into the Bay Area — we simply caught up over video conference.

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