Growing from a Product Manager to a Manager of Products

evolution Here’s an interesting learning when I started my current role in my first month two years back. During that time, I have to reset my intuition about products within an organisation from a product to an omni-channel view of products. In short, there’s a fundamental difference between being a product manager and a manager of products. The unfortunate reality is that most product managers I have encountered, failed this transition after speaking to many of them. In the process of working with my product managers, I have discovered this difference and here are some thoughts to how one must learn to transition from a product manager to a manager of products. Continue reading Growing from a Product Manager to a Manager of Products

How to Build the Right Product but not New Product

owl Over the course of past few years as a product manager and evolving now as a manager of products, I have often reflected on how I think about building products. One insight that I have developed is that you focus on building the right product and not the new product. In fact, you need three important ingredients: (a) the technology facilitates the right user experience, (b) the timing of product to the market is right and (c) making the offline experience seamless from the online world and vice versa.
How do you know that you have build the right product? I have a couple of check points to cross validate on the products which I have worked on in my professional life. Continue reading How to Build the Right Product but not New Product

How to be a good product manager with business background

Geometric_Stacker_from_Melissa_&_Doug_for_my_daughterHere is an opinion I have held for a while: technical product managers in technology companies with scientific and engineering backgrounds are genuinely more superior against product managers who have come up from the business track. The only drawback is that the technical product managers lack three essential skills: business knowledge in sales and marketing, flexibility to deal with business constraints and management experience. Yet, those skills can be learned far more easily against a business product manager who simply do not have the technical know-hows. Even if this is so, it is not the end of the world for the business product managers. A few MBAs or startup founders with no technology backgrounds have posed this question to me, “If I want to be a good product manager in a technology, how can I become one given that I have no technology background?” Continue reading How to be a good product manager with business background

New is Easy but Right is Hard: Hacking Product Management

Eastern_CowboysA great product is a synthesis of technology and business thinking. How do we decide what goes into the product and determine the roadmap of the product? How do we establish the balance between the business and technology of the product? In this post (based on a talk with the same title I gave in Hackers & Painters on 15 Nov), we discuss some interesting lessons learned on product management and why both business leaders and technologists don’t get it. Continue reading New is Easy but Right is Hard: Hacking Product Management

The Signal & the Noise

Signal & NoiseIn the customer discovery phase of a startup, the startup team typically encounter a phenomenon called the signal and the noise. The signal answers the question whether your startup is genuinely gaining traction and generating viral user growth. The noise shrouds your vision with all the drums banging about the promise of your startup. Both signal and noise constituted both marketing and public relations (PR) portion of a startup. How do you build a proper marketing and PR plan while relentlessly focused on delivering the minimum viable product? I shared some insights on working with users, media engagement and crisis management with the JFDI 2013b class. Continue reading The Signal & the Noise