The Traveling Product Manager

Flying above the weather, I can only admire the technology that keeps me aloft. It affords a unique vantage point, enjoyed by only a fraction of the billions of humans ever to roam the earth. The pristine setting and wide-angle perspective remind me of the time before starting work on …

9 Professions Product Managers Would Excel in

Experienced product managers share several key skills like being good listeners and understanding technical concepts. On top of these, they must shine at specific “vocations”. In the course of a typical day they may practice any number of these. As the years go by they either become competent at all of them or pursue a different …

Embrace the Fear

Fear is real. It may instinctively paralyze you or prompt you to fight or run away. In some situations, none of these reactions will get you very far. Being an executive involves making decisions that are not for the faint of heart. I’m constantly evaluating competitive threats, technological challenges and …

Growing Guitar

The artwork in the picture was a joint project with my daughter, 5 years in the making. The colors around the body encode the song While my Guitar Gently Weeps by the Beatles’ George Harrison. A few other hints are strewn throughout the design. Medium: – Manzanita branch stained to restore the …

Hiring Product Managers

Two qualities matter most when hiring product managers: smart persistence and attention to detail. Everything else is secondary: experience, education, and technical aptitude. Finding out if a candidate is persistent (but not annoyingly stubborn) and fanatically detail oriented is not trivial in an interview setting. After trying out different approaches I …

March On

Back in high school I had many opportunities for extra-curricular activities, but marching band wasn’t one of them. In fact, I don’t think I even knew such a thing existed. My son graduated high school this year after four successful marching band seasons – one of the most rewarding activities …

How to Move Ahead: 9 Rules

These are rules to live by for people who aspire for more at work. They may sound pessimistic but I’d rather call them realistic. Focus on what matters Distance yourself from anything that is not part of the core value creation process. Make meaningful things happen. Don’t waste your time and your company’s. Don’t …

10 Sure Ways for Giving a Lousy Presentation

There’s no shortage of resources and opinions about how to give a good presentation. At a risk of repeating what others have already said, here is my list of presentation faux pas. These are guaranteed to derail any pitch regardless of how relevant, important or interesting the message is. I …

Tastemaking: The Art of Product Management

Product management is an obscure art. Many people, especially outside the tech world, have no clue what it is. When I tell someone what I do, they often reply with “You mean project management?” The lengthy explanation that follows sometimes falls on deaf ears. In an effort to explain it …

Hire Growers

Tech workers rarely take a job just because they need one. It’s a buyers market for the most part, and more so when the economy is booming. Rational job seekers – and I’d like to think they all are – choose positions that will allow them to grow and develop. Finding …