Continuing on the theme, here are few more things that I have been thinking about as of late. Hope some are useful for you. This is very sound advice and could easily support a full book on the subject – Beware of chicken and egg products. Make sure your product provides immediate utility. This is a lot harder than it sounds – When you’re faced with a feature that only 8% of your user base are using, you have to make a call: Kill it or Keep it. I am a big fan of the power of a story and the … Continue reading ABOUT PRODUCTS: A FEW THINGS I THINK I THINK – PART 2

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

When it comes to building a product, you are always making decisions. What are you building now? What are you building next? What are you not going to build? There is no secret way to make to make it easier but there are some techniques that can help. The most important thing to realize is that when you are gathering data, you are completely bias. You are going to look for data to help support your cause whether you realize it or not. Even when you run into data that points to a contrary decision, you are more than likely to ignore it. From the book … Continue reading Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

About Products – A Few Things I Think I Think

Inspired by David Lee’s post, I put together a list of current topics that I have found thought provoking. Hopefully, you will find some of them useful too. I think Clay Christensen’s Milkshake Marketing should be required watching.  If you are focusing on a SMB SaaS product, read Tomasz Tunguz’s article on the subject. When it comes to a successful SMB offering Tom is spot on when he writes, “The most successful SMB SaaS products typically offer a 2 step value proposition: an initial value proposition to the end user and a longer term value proposition to a manager/decision maker.” If you have not read … Continue reading About Products – A Few Things I Think I Think

Dear Product Managers, You Can’t Have it All

  I love this cartoon from Hugh MacLeod (GapingVoid). It is so simple but at the same time, so powerful. There are lots of ways you could interpret this message but I have been thinking about it in the context of product development. More often than not, you don’t have the time or resources to tackle everything. This means as a product manager, you have to make some tough choices of what not to do. Great products (and companies) intentionally leave out features that some customers find unacceptable. While this means that some customers won’t buy their product, it means they can … Continue reading Dear Product Managers, You Can’t Have it All

The Process of Finding Breakaway Ideas

If your goal is to come up with something new, be it for an existing product or a new to the world innovation, you are going to need a list of ideas to work with. The question is, how does one come with an idea in the first place? According to the the book, The Idea Hunter, if you are waiting for a time to start looking for ideas, you are too late.  “BREAKAWAY IDEAS COME TO those who are in the habit of looking for them” – The Idea Hunter While this sounds like a simple approach, the challenge is … Continue reading The Process of Finding Breakaway Ideas

8 Reasons to Like Likeonomics

I like Likeonomics and I think you will too. What is Likeonomics? Likeonomics is a book by Rohit Bhargava about being likeable and everything that goes into it (Rohit also wrote the book Personality Not Included which I would highly recommend). Likeonomics is based on the simple idea that, “People buy from people they like”. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a simple idea. In the book, Rohit breaks down what goes into being likable – truth, relevance, unselfishness, simplicity and timing. The idea being that if you can understand what makes a company more likable than others, you can try to … Continue reading 8 Reasons to Like Likeonomics

There Is No Magic Bullet In Creativity

The book Imagine addresses the monumental task of trying to figure out how creativity works. What makes people creative in the first place? How do you maximize creativity? What do you do when you hit the wall and can’t come up with an idea? Even though it did rely on a few cliché examples , e.g. Pixar and 3M, I enjoyed this book and the way it explored creativity from a thinking perspective. It should come as no surprise that there isn’t a magic bullet when it comes to new ideas but there are different approaches you can use that can help … Continue reading There Is No Magic Bullet In Creativity

Taking Risks With The Startup of You

The Startup of You is a book on career management authored by two successful startup entrepreneurs, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. The theme of the book is that you need to take ownership of your career, much like an entrepreneur takes ownership of his/her business, and create a plan to adopt to a changing marketplace (see The End of Business as Usual). While this is not necessarily a new thought, their framework and advice does make sense and sounds very applicable to today’s technology related careers. Here is some of the advice I noted while reading the book: Professional loyalty now flows “horizontally” … Continue reading Taking Risks With The Startup of You

Josh Duncan presenting at Product Camp Austin

How Not to Resonate During your Presentation

In all my years of presenting, last Saturday was the first time that I was tempted to run out of the room as fast as I can. It really couldn’t have started any worse. How did it get to this point? Let’s start at the beginning. Nancy Duarte’s book Resonate has been on my reading list forever and I figured with my plans to present at ProductCamp Austin, it couldn’t be a better time to read it (also, it worked well with my 2012 book reading goals). The book was highly recommended and I can honestly say that it lived up to … Continue reading How Not to Resonate During your Presentation

The Art of Data-Driven Marketing

Marketing is about being creative. Marketing is about engaging. It’s about meeting customer needs and delivering an experience. Marketing is an art. But, there is a science behind marketing and that is where Data-Driven Marketing comes in. Metrics like net present value (NPV) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) are a good starting point, but don’t forget customer lifetime value, return on dollars spent, and transaction conversion rate (TCR). Does this sound familiar or like a foreign language? These are the type of numbers you need to have in order to answer questions such as, “When will we see a return?“, “Is this worth doing?“, and “What are your … Continue reading The Art of Data-Driven Marketing