The Endogenous Product Manager

Babies are born with exogenous attention.  This means that the external world dictates what they pay attention to.  A baby could be playing with the best toy ever, but when another toy drops next to them, their attention uncontrollably shifts to the new shiny object. In  The Philosophical Baby, Alison Gopnik says that babies can “becomeContinue reading “The Endogenous Product Manager”

A Product Manager’s Responsibility (A General Description)

Now that we’ve explored the product network, white space in the product network, and tension in the product network, we have the necessary context to describe how product management fits into the puzzle. It is first worthwhile to note what product management does not entail. While some product managers also can wear the hat of a developer, the role ofContinue reading “A Product Manager’s Responsibility (A General Description)”

Tension in the Product Network

We’ve discussed white space in the product network signified by regions A, B, and C in the Product Management Triangle. As a company matures, these regions become filled with bands connecting the elements together. A designer may be hired to form a band connecting users and developers or a head of business development may be hiredContinue reading “Tension in the Product Network”

White Space in the Product Network

It is possible for a product to exist in a network with only the minimum set of elements in The Product Network. A company can be founded with developers, some form of financial persistence, and a dream of building a user base. But this leaves white space. “White space” connotes missing links in the productContinue reading “White Space in the Product Network”

A Map of White Space for Product Managers

In reading Facebook (now Instagram) product director Peter Deng’s answer to the Quora question, How Can I Learn to Be a Good Product Manager?, I was struck by this idea: I once heard an analogy that product management is like filling in the white space between the different roles. I think it’s a really important attitude toContinue reading “A Map of White Space for Product Managers”

Why I Created the Product Management Triangle

Product management is a role that most software companies recognize to be critical.  Yet, it is surprisingly hard to define “product management” in precise terms. The people who call themselves “product managers” do very different things from organization to organization. They work on different types of products,  with different types of teams, within different company structures.  The variance in product managementContinue reading “Why I Created the Product Management Triangle”

The Product Management Triangle

(Also available in Japanese and Russian) Introduction Product management is a role that most software companies recognize to be critical.  Yet, it is surprisingly hard to define “product management” in precise terms. The people who call themselves “product managers” do very different things from organization to organization. They work on different types of products,  with different types of teams, withinContinue reading “The Product Management Triangle”

How Uber Could Grow Even Faster (The Second Half of an Idea)

An insightful answer on Quora by an anonymous user provides a convincing argument that Uber has a massive untapped opportunity to achieve “crazy organic search dominance” through executing SEO fundamentals. While searches including the term “Uber” are growing and driving leads, they are ranking poorly for high volume unbranded terms like “Taxi cab,” “Chauffeur,” and “Taxi SanContinue reading “How Uber Could Grow Even Faster (The Second Half of an Idea)”

Why a Philosophy Major is Excellent Preparation for a Career in Product Management

Studying philosophy is often ridiculed has having little pragmatic value. When I chose to major in philosophy as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I was not thinking about my career at all: I was trying to resolve questions about the world I was deeply confused by.  After I graduated, through luck, I stumbled myself intoContinue reading “Why a Philosophy Major is Excellent Preparation for a Career in Product Management”

A Product Management Strategy for Technical Debt

In 2003, Martin Fowler explains the metaphor of technical debt as follows: You have a piece of functionality that you need to add to your system. You see two ways to do it, one is quick to do but is messy – you are sure that it will make further changes harder in the future.Continue reading “A Product Management Strategy for Technical Debt”