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 Company Will Not Let You Work Remotely — But Why?

pug dog looking out window

People want remote work. I hear this from job seekers, comments on social media, and leaders at technology companies. Everyone wants it and research proves the benefits. But many companies just will not let it happen. What is driving this disconnect?

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The Costly Mistake You Are Making on Your Resume

data to include on resume

“Increased social media followers by 4,000 percent. Boosted website traffic by 3,500 percent.” I see puffed up metrics like this all the time. Especially on resumes submitted by people applying for marketing roles. While I appreciate the instinct to show results, what do these eye-popping numbers really mean?

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5 Steps to Set Your 2018 Business Goals

goal setting teddy bear

Getting lost used to be much easier. One wrong turn and you could lose your way. You might pull over to unfold a faded paper map. Maybe even ask a stranger at a gas station for directions. Now smartphones and GPS have changed the way we navigate. But even the best technology cannot tell you where you want to go.

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Hey Product Manager: The Problem With “Trusting Your Gut”

product manager data direction

Sometimes your gut instinct is wrong. I discovered this a number of years ago after launching a new product. A strange phenomenon was happening. The more support interactions a customer had, the more likely they were to keep using the product. Wait — what? The more problems customers had, the longer they stayed with us?

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The Real Value of a Product Manager

real value of a product manager

Who is the most misunderstood in technology? I would say it is the person who plans what will be built next. This person — often called the product manager — is a puzzler to many. Just consider how many different job titles are used for people who do the work of product management: product manager, product owner, business analyst, and even program or project manager sometimes. To keep it simple — let’s refer to these folks as product managers. 

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Hey Boss: This Job Feels Pointless

job feels pointless

The boss is missing. Again. You hate to be bored and are searching for ways to keep busy. So you shoot off an email with a few project ideas. You get a reply a day later: “Thanks, I will take a look.” But you know this will never happen. What is the point?

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The 10 Best Blogs for Product Managers

best blogs product managers

It is one thing to write down your thoughts in a private journal. It is quite another to publish those thoughts for everyone to read. You need to have a strong conviction to share what you have learned. That is why I started writing on the Aha! blog — to share my views about building great products and companies with others who are trying to do the same.

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Remote Workers vs. Office Workers

office work vs. remote work

“I could never work remotely.” A friend of a friend said this to me the other day. We had just met and I was explaining how we run Aha! as a fully distributed team. Despite that declarative statement about “never working remotely,” this person seemed plenty interested in the concept of remote work once I described how we do it at Aha!

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Exhausted at Work? — Do This Now

information overload at work

Does it ever feel like there is just too much information coming your way? You are not the only one who is exhausted. The whole team is drowning — chasing down customer requests, navigating conflicting executive decrees, and trying to prioritize which colleague to respond to first. It is no wonder the mental exhaustion seems contagious. This overcommitted and overloaded state is not sustainable. But the solution might surprise you.

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There Is a Hawk Hovering in Your Office

boss hovering like a hawk

“Quick, hide!” You hear the whispered warning from your co-worker. The hawkish boss is circling the office again — hunting for intel and ready to swoop. He sees no problem with preying on his own employees to get what he wants. Squawking about status updates being delivered at the end of each day, he claws his way into every meeting and conversation.

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This One Behavior Is Stalling Your Career

turtle feedback

“I have some feedback for you.” When you hear these words, do you go into fight or flight mode? Maybe you are a runner. You think about an escape route. So you defensively scramble for a convenient excuse to avoid the discussion entirely. Read more…

Startups Are No Place for Most New Grads

hire recent graduate at a startup

“Do you think recent grads should work at really early stage startups?” I recently posted this question on LinkedIn. And it ignited a conversation. More than 325,000 people viewed and added hundreds of thoughtful responses. 

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How Sam Really Failed on a Remote Team

remote employee failure home office

I am sure this has happened to you at least once. You are trying to solve a problem at work and need help from a colleague. So you send off a quick chat message. No answer. You follow up with an email. Still nothing. Hello? Is anyone out there?

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Hey Boss: Stop Being My Timekeeper

boss cannot make you go faster

“Let’s get it done ASAP.” How many times have you heard this from your boss? Maybe it was an urgent phone call or an email flagged as “high priority.” The pressure of a countdown. Tick, tick, tick… But let’s be real — I bet those demanding “needed it yesterday” calls and emails did not speed up your work.

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The 10 Main Components of a Business Model

business model book

I learned how to write business models in graduate school. Although, it really felt more like writing long and complicated novels. I once spent three months working on one for a hypothetical home services referral website. I even conjured up crowd-sourced reviews for my would-be business. The process revealed a depressing plot twist.

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