Everyone has plenty of them, and sadly, many of us are not afraid of sharing them regularly. Not only that, but they often have absolutely no relation with reality. Problematically, the more authoritative your position, the more significant their effect. Yes, I’m referring to opinions. Yet ultimately, what matters is expertise, not opinions.Continue reading “It’s not your opinion, it’s your expertise that matters”
I’ve had the immense privilege of working with highly talented product managers over the years. I’ve also shared paths with others who still had a long and tumultuous path ahead of them as they struggle to master their craft. If I’ve discovered anything, it’s that product management is part art, part craft and part science.
While I’ve argued previously that product managers do nothing and there are as many definitions of the product manager’s role as there are products and companies, we all strive—or, at least, should be striving—to master our craft. The journey itself toward what I’ll call Mastery in Product Management is hugely rewarding, each product manager should have his or her own understanding of what mastery is in their field and how to recognize when they have achieved that level. This is my take on it.Continue reading “Product-Management Mastery: It takes (at least) 3”
You’ve heard the old saw: “Fast, good or cheap—pick two.” You can get good-enough quality quickly, but it won’t be cheap. You can get a great price and have it ASAP but the quality will likely be suspect. Or you can have great quality at a great price but expect to wait for it. Developing products is a lot like that. It’s a flurry of constant choices—and compromises—that are about quality, cost and speed. Living within these constraints can be challenging, but living without constraints will almost certainly result in failure. What’s a product manager to do?Continue reading “The trinity of products: Quality, Resources and Time”
When it comes to new products and feature introductions, we’ve all seen our share of successes—and flops that hit the floor with a loud and sudden THUD. Some launches were an instant hit while some got almost no traction—and certainly displayed no stickiness. But when success strikes, does all hell have to break loose? Can we prevent the process from collapsing under the heavy load? Perhaps we need to properly plan for success.Continue reading “Planning for success: What if your product is a hit?”
It’s a safe bet that within minutes of taking your first flying lesson, the thought of owning your own aircraft crossed your mind. In fact, the thought of owning one probably crossed your mind long before you ever signed up. (One thing you’ll soon learn is that you never really “don’t own” an aircraft. We like to think we are just “between planes.”)
This post is about the process I went through while joining my first partnership.
One thing many pilots do to reduce the cost of flying is to join forces with other fellow pilots. This is known as a partnership or a flying club, and it’s the road I decided to take a few years ago.Continue reading “The next step: Aircraft ownership”
Generally speaking, craftspeople take great care and pride in their work—their passion for what they do shows in the final product. Some craftspeople, however, are still remembered decades, even centuries, later. Here’s just one example. Of the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of stringed instruments in the world today, only 1,100, or so, were made by Antonio Stradivari, the great Italian luthier. Almost 300 years ago, he hand-built what are widely acknowledged as the finest violins and cellos (and a few other instruments) on the planet. His are still the standard to which all other luthiers aspire. Despite now living in the age of technology and automation, we must follow in Stradivari’s footsteps. Our #1 priority should be building products that are crafted with care and designed to delight.Continue reading “Product Managers: Dare to make products crafted with care”
As a pilot with a penchant for lifelong learning, I recently attended a seminar on Crew Resource Management (CRM—sorry, business readers, CRM in this context has nothing to do with salesforce.com) at the Rockcliffe Flying Club. Essentially, its purpose was to show us how to be a better—and safer—pilot by using all the tools available to us.
As I sat there, I realized how much this course had to offer me as both a pilot and a business leader. After all, efficient operations are important in both arenas.
Even if your business isn’t as heavily regulated as the aviation industry, some simplified versions of the methods used in aviation can apply to just about any business.Continue reading “Better decision making: Business lessons from the aviation world”
Pirates (more accurately called “thieves”) have lurked around in the background of the high-technology world since commercial software was first made available to personal-computer owners back in the olden days. When people think of digital piracy, however, they most often relate it to software. But piracy can be extended to anything available in a digital format on a local device—including mobile units—where the cost of producing perfect copies is almost zero. Even more, digital piracy may soon be found in the physical-goods world thanks to the growing popularity of 3D printers. The problem is, piracy (more accurately called “theft”) can eventually lead to a product’s development being stopped in its tracks because of a lack of funding for future versions. And that may well be the biggest reason to start paying for what you use.Continue reading “Why you should pay for the software you use”
Anyone who has earned a private pilot’s license (PPL) knows that earning the right to be the “pilot in command” is just the beginning of a learning curve that can last for the rest of your life.
From flying over the clouds or flying at night to instrument ratings and aerobatics, there are always new things to know and new experiences to enjoy. One of my favorite flying experiences so far—and by far—is learning to fly a floatplane.Continue reading “Getting my wings wet: The freedom of flying floatplanes”