Product Managers: Dare to make products crafted with care

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.read more >

Product Managers: Doing nothing is a lot of work

It’s a question every product manager faces: What do you do, exactly? I got it from a newly appointed Executive Vice President of Marketing, to whom all the Product Managers reported, about eight years ago. After a short reflection, my answer was simple. Sort of. They do nothing—but it’s a lot of work.read more >

Passion and care: Business lessons from the top chefs

Check out the Netflix show, Chef’s Table or the PBS series, The Mind of a Chef (also on Netflix), and you will witness some of the world’s top chefs and how they achieve stardom by focusing on passion, customer care and a deep attention to detail. You will see how the whole experience they deliver is crafted with care. These are techniques that can be used by just about any business, large or small, in their own strategies, culture and operations to achieve their success in their own fields.read more >

Start with the media release, not the MRD, when developing new products

When you develop a new product, you must make sure the customer is front and centre throughout the development cycle. The standard document in most product-management methodologies is the market-requirement document (MRD). While this is useful, you should really start with an internal “media release,” complete with the kinds of reviews you would like to see. This release will show both how you want to present the product and how you want it to be perceived by users. More importantly, it will enable anyone working on the development to see—even feel—the product and—and this is the whole point—make sure it is crafted with care.read more >

Microsoft’s transition to a customer-centric company

When you think about a large customer-centric technology company, you will almost certainly think of Apple. One that almost certainly didn’t make it to the top of your list was Microsoft. Yet, it is clear that the Redmond, Washington, giant is undergoing a massive transformation and is reinventing itself as leader in customer delight, crafting every product and service with care.read more >