Echostar Communications yesterday embarked on a bizarre publicity stunt by offering free satellite television to all households in the first US town willing to change its name to Dish. It's embarrassing! This seems a silly dot-com-type publicity stunt that will never affect revenues. Will anyone buy a second-rate system because of Dish, Colorado? Read more.
Companies, in the drive to produce new capabilities in their software product and roll them out to the market, run into conflicting priorities. One priority is to keep Development producing new features, where the key is meeting announced dates and moving on to work on the next version. The other priority is for Production to move customers up to the newest software, where the priority has to be doing it at the right time, and doing it right.
Read more for a discussion of how these two priorities push and pull you in two different directions and how to handle them.
How can you tell if you're too obsessed with urgent? Smart organizations ignore the urgent. Smart organizations understand that important issues are the ones to deal with. If you focus on the important stuff, the urgent will take care of itself.
Technology brokers have discovered how to bridge the disparate worlds they move among outside their boundaries, and how to build new ventures from the technologies and people they come across. In the process, they have developed four intertwined work practices that help them do this: capturing good ideas, keeping ideas alive, imagining new uses for old ideas, and putting promising concepts to the test. Although the markets and settings of different brokers are diverse, their approaches are not. Indeed, the four intertwined processes are remarkably alike across companies and industries.
"Ten years ago, Netscape's explosive IPO ignited huge piles of money. The brilliant flash revealed what had been invisible only a moment before: the World Wide Web. As Eric Schmidt (then at Sun, now at Google) noted, the day before the IPO, nothing about the Web; the day after, everything." Read Wired historical view of the web in We Are the Web.
I've gotten a couple of emails from folks lamenting that their developers are pushing for a complete rewrite. Before you and your company make a commitment to such a project, read Joel on Software - Things You Should Never Do, Part I: "They made the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make: They decided to rewrite the code from scratch."
"Working on things that don't make sense is the single biggest source of job dissatisfaction. Directives from top management shouldn't end with employees going back to their desks, heads down, grumbling all the way. So why do intelligent, well-meaning managers make stupid decisions?"
Read "The higher they go, the stupider they get" and other articles in the new issue of productmarketing.com posted online. Articles include:
Product Management is not a job that people can go out and get a degree in. You can get a degree in Computer Science that covers the knowledge you need in order to start out as a programmer. You can get a degree in Marketing that gives you the basic foundation to get started in Marketing or Advertising. But there's no college level degree that I know of out there in Product Management.
This makes it a real challenge to find, evaluate and hire good Product Managers. With so few objective external indicators, you have to define the Product Manager position very clearly and scrutinize candidates to see if they are a good match.
So what do you look for when you want to hire an ace Product Manager to champion your product and move forward relative to the competition?