What To Do If Your Product Isn’t Growing
Instead, early startups should start with actionable top-line metrics to measure each step of the Journey. Start with two metrics: One user acquisition metric at the top of the funnel that measures how many new users are signing up and taking their first action. And then one user engagement metric further down the funnel that measures how often these new users engage with the product over time. Together, these two metrics define a product’s activation rate in how it graduates new users into becoming active users. From here you can add additional top-line metrics that are specific to your product and user journey.
Why Yammer Believes the Traditional Engineering Organizational Structure is Dead
Yammer’s biggest rule of thumb is two to ten people, two to ten weeks — which means they generally don’t do projects that are larger or more complicated. There is a non-linear relationship between the complexity of a project and the wrap-up integration phase at the end. If you go anywhere beyond ten weeks, the percentage of time in the wrap-up phase becomes disproportionate.

If you employ the two to ten rule, it’ll also force you to release often, test your assumptions, and not over-invest in mistakes. It’s sort of the lean startup mentality, and if you're going to try and do that, you have to codify it in your organization.
management  culture  engineering  team 
Crafting The First Mile Of Product – Positive Slope – Medium
Your product may get lots of downloads or sign-ups, but very few customers get on-boarded and primed to the point where they know three things: (1) why they’re there, (2) what they can accomplish, (3) and what to do next (note: users don’t need to know how to use your product at the beginning, they just need to know what to do next!). Once a new user knows these three things, they have reached “The Zone.” Fantastic businesses are built when the majority of users that express interest in a product are able to get on-boarded and into The Zone.
onboarding  blog 
2 days ago
Product Manager vs. Product Owner / Melissa Perri
If you want to build products that create value for your businesses and customers, you need good Product Management foundations in your company. If you want a career path for your people, you need to give them this foundation so they can grow into more senior roles. So remind your people they are all Product Managers. They may be playing the role of a Product Owner on a Scrum team most days, but we still need them to think like a Product Manager and validate that we are building the right things.
28 days ago
The Benefits of Taking a Slower Approach to Innovation
Slow culture — or, in this case, slow innovation — is the realm of pattern recognition: searching for emerging developments outside the organization’s immediate line-of-sight or that may be happening steadily, but not rapidly. Slow innovation focuses on changes that you see coming but that may not be ready to transform your business immediately. It’s understanding, for example, how automation and self-driving cars will slowly but radically transform job markets and proactively building new strategies to address those changes.

The major benefit of slow innovation is prescience; if you’re patient and committed, slow-innovation projects could alert you to an idea, trend, or gap in the market that would have otherwise appeared to “happen overnight.”
28 days ago
The Customer Letter
The idea is that rather than communicate the benefits in a press release format, you describe them in the format of a customer letter written from the hypothetical perspective of one of your product’s well-defined user or customer personas.
An imagined letter sent in from a very happy and impressed customer explaining to the CEO why he or she is so happy and grateful for the new product or redesign. The customer describes how it has changed or improved their life. The letter also includes an imagined congratulatory response from the CEO to the product team explaining how this has helped the business.
29 days ago
The New Moats – Greylock Perspectives
In all of these markets, the battle is moving from the old moats, the sources of the data, to the new moats, what you do with the data. Using a company’s data, you can upsell customers, automatically respond to support tickets, prevent employee attrition, and identify security anomalies. Products that use data specific to an industry (i.e. healthcare, financial services), or unique to a company (customer data, machine logs, etc.) to solve a strategic problem begin to look like a pretty deep moat, especially if you can replace or automate an entire enterprise workflow or create a new value-added workflow that was made possible by this intelligence.
6 weeks ago
A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction - The New Yorker
This spring’s blighted crop of dystopian novels is pessimistic about technology, about the economy, about politics, and about the planet, making it a more abundant harvest of unhappiness than most other heydays of downheartedness. The Internet did not stitch us all together. Economic growth has led to widening economic inequality and a looming environmental crisis. Democracy appears to be yielding to authoritarianism. “Hopes, dashed” is, lately, a long list, and getting longer. The plane is grounded, seat backs in the upright position, and we are dying, slowly, of stupidity.
scifi  dystopia 
6 weeks ago
Cory Doctorow's 'Walkaway' Argues Disasters Don’t Have to End in Dystopias | WIRED
The belief in other people’s predatory nature is the cause of dystopia, author Cory Doctorow says. Angus Greig My new novel, Walkaway , is about a world where…
9 weeks ago
Can Snapchat Survive If Facebook Copies All Its Best Features?
To be successful, a company needs to provide something customers want. It must be able to do so for less than they’re willing to pay. And there must be some…
10 weeks ago
Is Political Correctness a Virtue? | RELEVANT Magazine
At its core, the notion of political correctness isn’t meant to silence opinions or attitudes. It is concerned with preventing groups who find themselves in the minority or the targets of discrimination from be further stereotyped. It’s about making people who may feel like outsiders experience inclusion. It’s not about not “offending” people or groups—it’s about valuing their dignity and their humanity. These are all noble—and even biblical—values.

There may be times when political correctness overreaches, effectively censoring unpopular opinions, but that doesn’t mean the entire notion should be disregarded.

In Romans, we are called to “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse ... Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited … If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” In Acts 10, Peter told members of the early church, still grappling with the new Church Christ had established on earth, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean ... I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right.”

Peter wasn’t interested in perpetuating labels or cultural taboos—even ones the law had previously condoned. Despite being “right” by the letter of the law and customs, God called him to lay aside stereotypes (“unclean” or as the ESV puts it, “common”), because that’s not how God sees other people.

Though the Bible is clear that Christians are called to teach and preach the truth of the message of Christ, it’s also clear that our lives should be an embodiment of it. Sometimes living “at peace with everyone” means not speaking in ways that we know will unnecessarily insult or offend offend someone, as long as we’re not compromising our values.
10 weeks ago
Why I’m a Politically Correct Christian (And You Should Be Too) | Sojourners
One common accusation is that people who urge political correctness are just whining about being offended. And yes, sometimes the truth is offensive. But that does not mean one’s rhetoric has to make it more so — political correctness is as attempt to make how we talk about something more inclusive, even as we still work to make underlying structures themselves inclusive. There is an incarnational aspect to this: “speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way…into Christ” (Eph. 4:15).

The nature of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message about civil rights, alongside other civil rights activists, was (and still is) offensive to many. Today, people decry the message of Black Lives Matter on similar grounds. Scripturally, Amos’ message against the social injustices committed by the upper class in Israel’s Northern Kingdom was offensive to many, including the High Priest Amaziah (Amos 7:10). Speaking truth to power will offend those who hold privilege in society.

Political correctness is about how an individual orients themselves to segments of the population who experience oppression. It is refusing to go along with societal norms and “values” which seek to erase identities, ignore those with no voice, or trample the powerless.
10 weeks ago
Is There a Better Way to Fight 'Political Correctness'? | Christianity Today
Conversely, and perhaps more troublingly, when people want to challenge “political correctness,” they often believe that the answer is to be offensive. There is a cottage industry built around intentionally offending liberals as an act of aggression against political correctness. Steven Crowder, Milo Yiannopoulos, and about a hundred thousand Twitter accounts and right-wing Facebook pages churn out a continual flow of outrageously offensive memes and commentary.

The prime example of this is Donald Trump, whose rise has been tied to his explicit anti-PC attitude and statements. In each of these cases, those attempting to fight political correctness are weaponizing language in order to browbeat the opposition into accepting verbal abuse as a right.

This is merely another kind of language policing, an approach that accepts the liberal premise that language is essentially violent and that dialogue is coercive. All that has changed is the target. Intentional offensiveness may feel like the opposite of political correctness, but in reality, it is merely another form of language as violence.
10 weeks ago
America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People
You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to…
11 weeks ago
Performing a Project Premortem
View more from the September 2007 Issue Explore the Archive Loading... Executive Summary Reprint: F0709A In a premortem, team members assume that the project…
12 weeks ago
302 Found
Illustrations by Todd Proctor / YouWorkForThem The new availability of huge amounts of data, along with the statistical tools to crunch these numbers, offers a…
april 2017
Quick Take: IFPI Revenue Numbers | MIDiA Research
Quick Take: IFPI Revenue Numbers Posted on 25th April, 2017 by Mark Mulligan in Music and Streaming Today the IFPI published their annual assessment of the…
april 2017
Meet the Warm Tone, the Software-Controlled Record Press Fueling Vinyl's Comeback | WIRED
In the mid-20th century, when the LP was the medium of choice, massive hydraulic-powered vinyl pressing machines—manufactured by long-forgotten companies like…
april 2017
Environment as Politics
Living among diverse neighbors can reduce fear and resentment, as everyday interactions break down stereotypes and misconceptions of ‘the other.’
urbandesign  politics  sociology 
april 2017
What Jobs to be Done taught me about our users, our product and our company
When speaking with our users, I learnt a lot about the solutions they stopped hiring once they started using our product and the solutions they would fall back on when they struggled with our product. These are predominantly Excel and Google Sheets to keep track of the board orders and payments as well as pen and paper to log work (typically factory workers get paid “piece rates”, i.e. by work step completed).
Knowing our real competition, especially compensatory behaviour and existing habits, also helps us understand where our product falls short and where we need to improve. For example, scanning QR codes printed on the production order form, i.e. the A4 paper that details the surfboard’s specification, is a smart technology solution, but if pen and paper do a better job for workers to record their completed work step so that they get paid, then they won’t fire pen and paper.
april 2017
The Pulse of The Planet, Flatlined: Why Twitter's Is Failing to Grow
The seeds of Twitter’s stagnation were planted the day Dick Costolo decided that Twitter was a media company in the advertising business

More than any other single factor, Dick Costolo’s conclusion that Twitter was a media company in the advertising business is responsible for all of the struggles with revenue growth and profitability Twitter is experiencing today.

Because once you’re in the media and advertising business, your entire strategy–across product development, hiring, marketing, and sales–revolves around harvesting your users’ attention, maximizing their engagement, and selling pieces of that attention and engagement to advertisers.
twitter  advertising  business 
april 2017
The Big Idea: James S.A. Corey – Whatever
As you read today’s Big Idea, don’t be concerned when James S.A. Corey starts discussing himself in first person plural. He’s neither royalty nor confused; “he”…
april 2017
Five More Lessons from Scaling Pinterest
The Pinterest team when we first moved into our SF Office (July 2012) Five More Lessons from Scaling Pinterest I recently published five lessons I learned…
scalibility  systems 
april 2017
Product Discovery: Pitfalls and Anti-Patterns | Silicon Valley Product Group
Article: Product Discovery: Pitfalls and Anti-Patterns By SVPG Partner Chris Jones SVPG works with lots of product teams from lots of different companies. Many…
april 2017
Forget the MBA. Here’s the fastest way to become a product manager
You already have the core skills you need As a process, product management varies from company to company. Consumer product management is generally data-driven…
march 2017
Does a Product Manager at a High Growth Technology Startup Need To Be Technical? - Mattermark
Do product managers at high-growth early stage technology companies need to have a technical background — or does it just not matter? Those in product…
prodmgmt  engineering 
march 2017
The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life
Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. 'Tis profitable for us both, that I should labour with you today, and that you should aid me tomorrow. I have…
march 2017
The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness. - The Boston Globe
LET’S START WITH THE MOMENT I realized I was already a loser, which was just after I was more or less told that I was destined to become one. I’d been summoned…
march 2017
What We Need in a VP of Product Management – Product Coalition
Most line organizations focus on deliverables, not business results or coherent product offerings. That keeps product managers in the minutia: templates and process flows and presentations and release planning meetings. Our internal customers notice timeliness more than coherent strategy. (How often do we rush market analysis because our developers are idle? Ship a product with poorly considered pricing?) Prompt — but purely tactical — product management is just filling out forms.

The VPPM must politely (but relentlessly) push for strategic clarity and intended business results. Tie what-we-are-doing directly to why-it-matters.
prdmgmt  blog 
march 2017
How I Wrote Arrival (and What I Learned Doing It) - Talkhouse
My mother read to me when I was young, like mothers do. But instead of Dr. Seuss or Betsy Byars, it was Heinlein. Bradbury. Asimov. Stories of new worlds, new…
arrival  movies 
march 2017
Get Out: the film that dares to reveal the horror of liberal racism in America | Film | The Guardian
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out. ‘The villains here aren’t southern rednecks or neo-Nazi skinheads, or the so-called “alt-right”. They’re middle-class white…
getout  movies 
march 2017
How speakers went from statement furniture to unseen tech - Curbed
In today’s wireless age, most want their sound system to be out of sight and out of mind. “If interior designers had their way,” says Scott Orth, director of…
audio  design 
march 2017
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