An In Progress Product Manager Onboarding Guide

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few talented Product Managers who are new to the discipline. So I decided to capture a few of my thoughts on onboarding in hopes that at it will be useful to others.

It’s still very much a work in progress, full of typos and incomplete thoughts, but please check it out even in this raw form and please share your thoughts.

Most accountable party.  Product Management has accountability for defining what we deliver to our customers. However, what is a highly-opinionated question. Take for example a successful product like the fitbit…

In Progress Product Manager Onboarding Guide

Why we read

The core asset an organization gains from seniority in the Product Management discipline is experience. Prior knowledge that is ready-to-hand for today’s problems as well as the unforeseen opportunities of tomorrow.

To grow in an organization — you must grow in experience. Most people think this is simply a function of years on the job or a function of how well you are excelling in your present job.

It’s a mindset that betrays us all:

Person: I’m really doing well at my role, I think I’m ready to get promoted.

Organization: The role you’re seeking requires a different mix of skills than the ones you’re using to succeed.

Simply put — you can be successful in a role without developing a breadth of experience. An organization gives raises for successful performance, an organization promotes for experience. Continue reading “Why we read”

Business lessons from a Baltimore childhood

Growing up in Baltimore, I got in a lot of fights – more than I’d like to admit, but probably fewer than my memory serves. One particular fight, at age twelve, stands out in my memory.

In my neighborhood there was a pecking order. And I, a skinny kid with an undersized stature, needed to cement myself at the top of my crew Continue reading “Business lessons from a Baltimore childhood”

Game Theory: How a CES Announcement Provided PS3 Another Year of Profits

Way back in the 20th century, 1994 to be exact, a price war was raging between the Daily News and the New York Post for the price of New York’s Daily Tabloid Newspaper. The lessons of this exercise in game theory provides insight into the ongoing console wars between Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. In addition,  Sony’s CES announcement that it will not be launching PS4 at the 2012 E3 conference (E3 is the video game industry’s largest conference) is one of the best illustrations of game theory seen in recent years.

Continue reading “Game Theory: How a CES Announcement Provided PS3 Another Year of Profits”

A closer look at the Freakonimics pay for grades study

A few weekends ago, I watched the movie version of Freakonomics (available on Netflix instant streaming here). Except for the film’s final section, “Freakonomics: The Movie” covers exactly the same topics as the first book in a more digestible format.The final section covers a test conducted at a Chicago Heights High School, exploring the question: “Can a ninth grader be bribed to succeed?”. (Note: in discussing the ideas presented, I will discuss a few ‘spoilers’ from the movie).

Without going into too much detail, the test identified underperforming students and enlisted in a program which enabled them to potentially win Continue reading “A closer look at the Freakonimics pay for grades study”