I bet at some point, you have done it — you hid from a salesperson. You did not want to be rude, but you also did not want to be bothered with the hard sell. The goal was to get done and be gone before they could harass you. This happened to me recently when I was test-driving a new car.
“Will this ship on time?” I bet your team is used to hearing this question. It should be simple enough to answer. But considering how many features and moving parts are in every release, it is not always a clear “yes” or “no.”
“Why do you care so much?” “Stop trying so hard.” You may have heard this from a well-meaning colleague or, even worse, from your own boss. But why would someone want you to care less?
My career will be defined by the prevalence of the internet. Yours likely will be too. And we are still experiencing an incredible acceleration of the use of technology. But one thing remains the same — we are human. We still crave personal connection, even when so many of our interactions are now made possible by technology.
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.”
Few things make us blush. But the thought of customers fighting over Aha! licenses? That turned our cheeks positively red. We are very grateful to serve many of the world’s best-known and largest companies. Some of our customers who use Aha! across multiple teams told us it was not easy to ensure that each group received their proper allotment of licenses.
Have you seen the real “real” news? A few well-known companies are behaving badly. They made some money in the short term and felt like long-term winners. People were celebrating their success loudly. And the companies themselves were banging their collective chest with pride — look at us. Yet when their lack of integrity and questionable tactics were revealed, all that hype was replaced by scorn. Sound familiar?
“Can we grab coffee on Tuesday or Thursday next week?” This is the sign-off on so many email pitches from associates at venture capital firms who are sourcing deals. Deals — yep, companies with real products and growing customer bases who are going places.
I once worked for a CEO who thought he was the next Larry Ellison. He was an early Oracle employee but did not go so far as owning a yacht or racing team. What he did do was adopt Ellison’s intense leadership style — ultimately creating a workplace of unhappiness and fear. He owned the company so he could do what he wanted. But he pushed out almost everyone who ever worked there.
What is it exactly that makes product managers so busy? I know I often wondered where the day went when I was a PM. So, we asked the PM community on Roadmap.com to describe their work — in just one sentence. Responses ranged from “herding cats” to “turning ideas into businesses.” But there is one thing just about every product manager can agree on.
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.
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.
“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.
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.