Timing is Everything

Timing is everything. You’ve likely heard this said many times before, but a clear explanation of why is rarely forthcoming. And, since timing is so important, how can you identify and take advantage of good timing? New opportunities typically arise because of new innovation that either inspires or enables others to enter a market. With […]

Creating New Value

Why is it that some products take off while others fall flat? There are many tactical reasons we can point to such as timing, competition, or product-market fit. Fundamentally though, there is one consistent truth regardless of the reason we may determine: some products create value for the market they’re serving, and some simply do […]

Product Team Charters

The Product Charter is similar to a project charter but assumes a different ownership model and end-goal – and thus a different set of inputs and outputs.

Transformative Opportunities in A.I.

Artificial Intelligence is a major transformational shift in technical capability that will bring a major shift into the digital product landscape, by making an entirely new class of products possible. I anticipate this will set a wave of innovation that dominates the digital product landscape for the next generation.

Evaluating Market Dynamics

How do you know whether a product idea is going to succeed if you build it and take it to market?  If you’ve ever been part of a startup, or if your organization has launched a new products, you know how precarious the effort can be. Sure, there is Lean methodology for discovering product-market fit, […]

The Artisan & The Opportunist

What is likely to happen if an engineer starts a consulting business? What if the person were in business development instead? I’ve seen this story play out more than a handful of times and the pattern has become predictable. To illustrate the outcomes, I’ve written a fable: Once upon a time, there once was a […]

Why Are Some People Lucky?

You are not imagining it — some people truly do have better, more predictable outcomes than others. Some serial entrepreneurs may have several successful hits in a row, and others may struggle through several businesses and never get traction. The popular thought is that if you work hard, you will succeed. This may be true […]

What is a Product?

A product is a solution to a common problem that can be taken to market.  It can be tangible or intangible. It can be for something that satisfies a practical need or an emotional desire.  At its core, it is a generalized solution to a common problem, that can be produced at scale

The Hacker and The Hustler

Common wisdom among the technorati and tech Accelerator elite, is that any startup needs to have 2-4 co-founders to be viable.  At a minimum, you need one hacker and one hustler. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack are perhaps the most famous example. If you have the luxury of building upon that, add a designer and […]

Product vs Project vs Program Management

Too many teams struggle with the nuanced differences between Product Manager, Product Owner, Program Manager, and Project Manager.  To that end, I’ve created this chart to capture the key differences between them. 

The Role of Product Management

Product Management is fundamentally about understanding the needs and desires of the customer segment you’re serving, figuring out the right product to build to optimally address those needs, and working with developers and designers to continually build and refine that product to ensure its maximally successful in the market. 

Startup Elevator Pitch

Defining the vision for you startup is the first step to taking action. At this stage you’re not implementing anything yet, just clarifying what you’re building and why. You’ll want to account for the critical strategic details and when you’re done, it should be easy to put together a concise 3-5 sentence elevator pitch.

Technology Alone Is Not a Strategy

 “As information technology’s power and ubiquity have grown, its strategic importance has diminished. The way you approach IT investment and management will need to change dramatically … It is difficult to imagine a more perfect commodity than a byte of data – endlessly and perfectly reproducible at virtually no cost.” ~ Nicholas Carr I was […]

Dharma of Entrepreneurship

In Sanskrit, Dharma means being in harmony with the laws of nature.  I’m sure we’ve heard to “follow your passion”, but why?  I heard an interview with Donald Trump once where he talked about passion being necessary for you to go that level deeper than your competition will, and to feel content when working the […]

Usability Heuristics

Usability Heuristics are a set of principles from Human Factors and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) that provide guidance on creating user interfaces that are naturally intuitive, efficient and satisfying. Jacob Neilson proposed a set of 10 principles that can be used for guiding and evaluating the creation of new user interfaces. Those principles are as […]

The Future Is the Semantic Web

I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily […]

Product Innovation Isn’t Everything

This article was originally posted on Inc.com. How was Starbucks able to build an empire in just 35 years by charging premium prices for what is essentially a commodity? The coffee purveyor’s legions of loyal patrons seem to find significant value in what it offers, to the point that it has become one of America’s […]

Adapt or Die: The New Technology Landscape

This article was originally posted on Inc.com. A decade ago, building a website was difficult and expensive. WordPress didn’t exist, nor did the tens of thousands of free plugins and low-cost design themes that can be installed at the click of a button. Today, when someone creates a “brochureware” website or blog, there’s a good […]

Helping Others Is Good Business

This article was originally posted on Inc.com. When you decided to become an entrepreneur, what reasons motivated that decision? For some people it is the opportunity to make a lot of money, the freedom to live by their own convictions, or to live a certain lifestyle. While these are great personal goals, too much focus […]

ProductCamp.LA Was a Success!

Los Angeles hosted its first ProductCamp this month and by all accounts the event was a success! Despite being held on the rainiest weekend in 3 years, we had a full house 200 digital product managers and entrepreneurs join us.  The event was jointly hosted by Shopzilla and Fandango who share a floor in West […]

Network Effects

Metcalfe’s Law states that the power of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users connected to that network.  It was originally calculated in the 1980s by George Glider regarding telecommunications networks and later attributed to Robert Metcalfe.  It has been referenced extensively for social networking sites during the web 2.0 […]

Five Pillars of SEO

For anyone who has been involved in SEO for any amount of time, we know that simply creating a page of great content is not going to get you any traffic from Google.  Unfortunately, the relentless Coyote-vs-Roadrunner game that webmasters play with Google has escalated to such a point that it requires a pragmatic appreciation […]

Lessons Learned In Entrepreneurship

I have gone through the entrepreneurial route twice now, and both times I was able to build a product and sell it in the end.  My first attempt I was fairly successful in driving traffic and sales but second attempt however was more of a challenge.  In that second venture, I invested quite a bit […]

Web 3.0 Has Already Begun

This article was originally published in ACM Interactions Journal. A lot has changed since the release of Apple’s first iPhone in 2007. We have witnessed a profound shift in user behavior, away from desktop computers in favor of new form-factor devices. The enabling technology has also brought about an entirely new class of Web-enabled applications […]

7 Business Model Personalities

This article was originally posted on Inc.com. A well-defined business model should clearly articulate your function in the market, including how you make money, what inputs you depend upon, who your target customers are, and what value you are creating for them. It is a structural representation of how your business functions that concisely articulates […]

Fast Load Makes For Better Experience

Improving the load time of your user interface can have a direct impact upon the user experience of your application as well as an indirect impact in competitive search engine rankings. We’ve all experienced websites that took multiple seconds to load and required numerous page loads to complete a sequence.  The wait time in aggregate […]

Web User Interface Accessability

When website content is properly structured, it is easily consumed by all devices, whether it be a desktop browser, mobile device, screen reader for the visually impaired (e.g. JAWS, NVDA, Window Eyes),  or a crawler bot. Designing with the degradation of experience to support the least common denominator of a search crawler bot,  your content […]