The Customer is Always Right, Right?

The customer is always right, period. If you have one customer, your life as a product manager is fairly easy – just do what they ask you to do. If you have millions of customers, use statistical analysis to figure out what product to build. The middle range is where …

Steady Hand

Good communication skills are critical for product managers, as they constantly communicate with stakeholders across their company and beyond. Communicating with enterprise customers is exciting, but take the wrong turn and you step into a minefield. Beyond the obvious – listen more than you speak, be engaging, and stay positive …

Agile Essense

Agile methodologies have been trending up and down (but mostly up) in the last two decades. Agile is no longer for software development only; creative teams “go agile” in businesses ranging from graphic design to semiconductor engineering. I had the opportunity to implement agile processes in various settings and learned …

Nine Professions that 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 …

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 …

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 …