Joining Wise

Before I get started, I wanted to mention that I struggled with the decision to post this, given the health and financial crises. I remain grounded and aware of how many people are out of work. I’m incredibly grateful for the position I’m in and feel for those less fortunate. I ultimately decided it’s worth…

What eBay, Napster, and Banks have in common

Me. And sorry– that was the most clickbaity title I’ve ever published. I published a post last month about the acqui-hire experience, and as we approached the new year, I wrote a post reflecting on changes that took place in my life in 2019. I often wonder where the line between reflection and ‘too much’…

A Product Manager’s best friend: DevOps

As a young product manager without an engineering background (like myself), you’ve undoubtedly heard of the word “DevOps.” You also think it’s completely different from product management. However, I think DevOps and Product Management have more commonalities than product management has with most other areas of the company. About DevOps I’ll share GitLabs definition because there’s no…

A Product Manager’s best friend: Legal & Compliance

“Legal and Compliance.” “Legal.” “Compliance.” “Compliance and Legal.” “Law.” “Lawyer.” “Counsel.” “Compliant.” If you’re young and new to product management, then those people, teams, and words are probably pretty scary to hear. “Who are they?” “Why do I need to meet with them?” “What are they going to be wearing when we meet?” “How many…

A Product Manager’s best friend: Blogs & Twitter

So while I think there’s a lack of practical, straightforward advice for young product managers who aren’t working somewhere with a strong product program, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great resources out there. You’re going to need to do a lot of reading. You’ll find yourself going back and re-reading the same posts for years….

A Product Manager’s best friend: Customer Feedback

End user feedback is extremely valuable. It’s highly likely that you could and should create open lines of communication between yourself and end-users. This is true in the majority of environments you’ll find yourself in as a new product manager. I say ‘create’ because you’ll quickly find that it takes a lot of effort and planning actually…

A Product Manager’s best friend: Drawing

I’m not great at most things. However, at some, I’m good enough. That’s often what it takes to move a project, product, and team forward. Sketching is one of those things. And surprisingly, it’s a handy tool for a product manager (assuming you work on products with front-end interfaces, and even sometimes when that’s not the case)….

A Product Manager’s best friend…

This post and ensuing series was inspired by a thought I had last week: Although “secret weapon” was appropriately clickbait-y, it was dramatic and incomplete. I was going to write specifically about DevOps (save the ‘DevOps’ phrase bashing for the actual DevOps post; I’ll try to do it justice) and specifically my friend and colleague, Jeff. Of…

Product Announcement Playbook

Laura Spiekerman of Alloy APIs tweeted a question regarding information sharing at startups that spawned some really interesting responses. As a product manager who has worked in organizations of various stages (seed at Blispay, mid-size high growth at Millennial Media & Bill Me Later, and large-cap at PayPal), I’ve needed a simple process for communicating updates of high…

Answer to What are your top books or resources for tech product managers?

https://www.quora.com/What-are-your-top-3-5-books-or-resources-for-tech-product-managers/answer/Jared-Franklin Product Manager You Are… Outliers: The Story of Success: Malcolm Gladwell: 9780316017930: Amazon.com: Books Top Hacks from a PM Behind Two of Tech’s Hottest Products SVPG Blog Articles Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love: Marty Cagan: 9780981690407: Amazon.com: Books Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster (Lean Series): Alistair Croll,…

A thread on Career Choices

I posted the above thread on Twitter and figured I’d cross-post here: 1/ I’ve been working as a Product Manager for a decade now. The word ‘decade’ makes it sound like a long time. It doesn’t feel like it, but it’s a good time for some reflection. 2/ I started as an intern at a company…

Why I’m excited about Remote work

I recently moved from Maryland to Florida. That was one of several big changes that took place in 2019 for us. I lived in Maryland for most of my life, including all of my adult working years. I’ve had a pretty awesome career so far, working for exciting companies like Bill Me Later (acq’d by…

A thread on the early days of a Startup

Crossposting this short Twitter thread: 1/ That feeling in the air & your body just prior to releasing your startups first product to the 🌎 is 1 of the best you’ll ever feel professionally. A unique (& kind of amazing) element for me was not needing to juggle the upcoming launch w/ existing production or…

Top 10 Reasons for Weak Product

From SVPG Lack of product vision.  Probably the single biggest source of weak product is that so many teams are just feature chasing.  They have no real vision for their product, they are not thinking strategically.  “Think in leaps; iterate in steps.”  See http://www.svpg.com/product-strategy-in-an-agile-world/ Stakeholder-driven roadmap.  Another very common source of weak product is the stakeholder-driven…

‘The Age Of The Platform’ by Phil Simon

Feel free to check out my highlights after reading The Age Of The Platform. How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business. Some excerpts: Definition of a Platform: “An extremely valuable and powerful ecosystem that quickly and easily scales, morphes, and incorporates new features (called planks in this book), users, customers, vendors, and partners… Today, the most vibrant…

Product Development at Spotify

I love reading about how @Spotify builds products. Check out a few of the links below: How Spotify Builds Products Scaling Agile at Spotify Spotify architecture Predicting Response Types for Spotify Backend

‘Shipping Greatness’ by Chris Vander Mey

Feel free to check out my highlights after reading Shipping Greatness. Some favorites: “If you’ve uncovered a big problem that many users share, you’ve completed the most important step of your product definition process.” “Remember that the time to maintain your cool is when others are losing theirs!” “About 90% of the time, the root cause for your…

FORTUNE – The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time’ by Verne Harnish & the Editors of Fortune

Feel free to check out my highlights after reading FORTUNE – The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time. My 5 favorites: Henry Ford doubling workers wages Nordstrom’s extreme customer services Boeing betting on the 707 Johnson & Johnson saving Tylenol Softsoap boxing out competitors