Product Management

8 Books Every Product Manager Should Read

Too many books and not enough time. This is how I feel every time I look at my long list of books to read. And while most of us dream of spending hours reading at the end of a busy day — the reality is that we often fall asleep before the end of chapter one.

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Product Managers: Celebrate the Interruptions

drowning product manager

You start the day off ready to cruise through your schedule and To-do list. And then… the speed bumps appear out of nowhere. Impromptu meetings. Last-minute requests. Fire drills from the sales team. If this sounds like your typical work day, I have good news for you — you are a fortunate product manager. Read more…

Product Manager to Customer: “What Do You Really Want?”

dog clothing box subscription product

Listen to the customer. This is the advice given to many product managers. But what if you are listening — yet hearing all the wrong things?

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10 Steps Product Managers Take to Get to The Lovability Line

10 building blocks of lovability

I bet you can think of at least a few customers who absolutely love your product. They are vocal, share positive feedback, say that you “get” them, and advocate for your company. But let’s face it — you can probably also think of a few customers who merely like your product. And then there are many others who simply tolerate what you do. It takes work to get these customers over the line and into love. 

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Product Manager: Don’t Be a Data Fool

data only trap

Pop quiz: How many minutes a day do customers use your product? What screens do they visit most? How much data do they enter? These questions might have you dreaming of an analytics dashboard that would bring you nirvana. But beware — you will never fully understand your customers if you fall into the “data-only trap.”

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Product Managers: You Are What You Build

product managers you are what you build lovability biplane

If you are like me, the following has happened to you. And if you are lucky, it has only happened once — but that is unlikely.

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The 3 Signs of Product Love

puppy love

Do you believe in love at first sight? Some people quickly answer this question with “yes.” But ask if they can pinpoint the very moment their affections blossomed and you usually get a vague reply. Something like, “We met in college at a mutual friend’s party.” That is because most love grows over time — there is no one magical moment.

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7 Components of Your Complete Product Experience

complete product experience

“What is your product, really?” If you work for a technology company, you might think of it as the item you directly sell, the software that you ship, or the basic service you provide. But this is only part of the answer. Your product is actually the complete experience and relationship you and your customers share.

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The 10 Building Blocks of Lovability

art museum

Rave reviews are unusual. For good reason. This kind of adulation is only reserved for the truly outstanding. Even artists who refine their craft for years may not be recognized for their genius during their lifetime — if ever. Product builders can find a lesson here. Complaints come fast and easy. Adoration, not so much.

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How Product Managers Should Not Build a Product

product management jenga syndrome

You want to build something great. We all do. And we hope that customers will love our products as much as we do. But too many people cut corners simply because it takes hard work to earn that desired love. And when the shortcuts lead to a focus on product hype and bolstering company valuation rather than serving adoring customers, it can spell big trouble.

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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 any time 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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