Between 2000 and 2008, measles deaths dropped by 78%.
Between 2000 and 2008, measles deaths dropped by 78%.
Shashi Bellamkonda is director - social media & social media swami of Network Solutions LLC. Listed as one of Washingtonian's Top 100 Tech Titans, he is a self-described “Internet junkie” and prolific Twitterer, blogger, and is organizing the GrowSmartBuziness conference and speaks on small business, social media and personal branding.
Shashi has a nice blog post in the Washington Biz Journal. It seems that pCamps are now interesting to the mainstream media. Nice!
If you weren’t at pCampDC, you missed some great presentations, discussions, and networking.
The pCampDC team of organizers did a great job. Registration was easy. Session started and ended on time. There was plenty of food and lots of hallway networking. A big hat-tip as well to Network Solutions who provided the venue and food.
Here I am registering with my daughter Christa and Pragmatic Marketing’s Graham Joyce:
Here’s a photo of my session on The Three Roles of Product Management:
Steven Fisher and I took home the awards for best presentation:
More photos from the event
Is there a productCamp coming to a town near you? See http://productcamp.org/
Over the last month, I have been interviewing a lot of candidates for various open positions - software product managers, directors of business development and project managers. During the course of looking through resumes, interviewing candidates, I have come across many mistakes that candidates are making. Given this, I thought it is worthy of a blog post.
Whether you're looking or hiring, these tips from Gopal are pretty handy. Not the final point: a thank-you letter. HIRING managers should do this too!
I’ve just come out of another agile conversation where prospective clients confused “we want to build better software faster” with “we hope that some new processes will instantly catch us up on years of slipped deadlines and missing features.”
So paraphrasing Confucius, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but is still a thousand miles long. Even at twice your normal walking speed, be prepared for a very long slog.”
Read Rich's article for some great ideas on showing early successes in an agile project.
I remember the first cell phone bill I received and I remember saying, "What is texting and who is doing it!!!" Oh how things have changed. While today's adults are sending 10 texts per day, teenage boys are sending 30 or more and teenage girls are sending over 100!
Do you know your personas? How do they learn about new products? How important is the quality/ brand/ feature set? What features can you omit and which are required?
The class of 2014 has never found Korean-made cars unusual on the Interstate and five hundred cable channels, of which they will watch a handful, have always been the norm. Since "digital" has always been in the cultural DNA, they've never written in cursive. Dirty Harry (who’s that?) is to them a great Hollywood director. The America they have inherited is one of soaring American trade and budget deficits; Russia has presumably never aimed nukes at the United States and China has always posed an economic threat.
The class of 2014 has never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day. They don’t own watches and instead use their cellphones to tell the time.
The recent demise of Wave causes IT buyers concern. What else might Google discontinue? While it seems unlikely that they’ll stop offering Google Apps what if they did? As a result, IT buyers are reluctant to put business data on any of Google’s apps.
It once seemed logical to put all employees on Gmail instead of hassling with Exchange but now I don’t know.
Say what you will about Microsoft, it’s clear that they will continue to support the business products that they offer--Outlook, Exchange, Sharepoint--and it’s not always so clear for other vendors. Can I trust Apple’s MobileMe? Can I trust Google’s Gmail? I know I can trust Microsoft Exchange.
Your buyers are asking these questions too… about your products. Should we go with [new thing that is better] or stick with [old thing that is stable]? Perhaps that’s why roadmaps are so popular with enterprise buyers. They want to see that you have a plan beyond the current release, for at least a couple of years. See Creating the Right Product Roadmap for more on this.
I love Posterous (rhymes with “preposterous”), the tool I use to dash off blog entries with embedded photos, video, music, attachments of any kind; my blog entries are forwarded to my “official” blog at www.productmarketing.com. But what is the Posterous business model? How will they make money? How will they survive as a business? I love the tool but can I run a business on it? (I’m told they make money from adding their referral codes to product links so if you’re not getting revenue from Amazon and others, they will.)
Sure, the product is valuable but is the business sustainable?
Pricing has to do with the value that you deliver today; roadmaps reveal the value into the future. For business products, evaluators of business solutions need to understand both. Do you deliver enough value now? And will you be around after they’ve committed their business to your product?
Julie O'Dell writes,
In a new study, researchers found that while half of all Americans surveyed have tried a free web app like Twitter, zero percent of them would be willing to pay to use Twitter or a similar service.
This finding is just one unearthed by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s 2010 Digital Future Study, a study that’s been tracking online and social media behavior for the past nine years.
Do you market your products in multiple countries? If so, you need to have marketers in the local region to tailor your message in their language.
Japan is rather (in)famous for using English phrases that don't mean what they think they mean... if you know what I mean.
To work with other countries, first get your positioning right... in your own language. Send the result to your marketing counterparts in each country and have them tailor the message for their market. A phone conversation is probably worthwhile so you can ensure that they understand what you're saying and you understand what they're saying. Keep confirming until you're sure that you've communicated both directions.
For international product teams, positioning documents with collaboration is the best way to connoct poopie.
I am a product manager, but what that really means is that I produce software. Just like a producer in the entertainment business, my job is to understand what the consumer is going to buy, make sure that it gets built, and ensure it is done for a profit.
The producer vs director analogy is powerful. In the entertainment business, a producer owns the business while the director owns the art. The strategic product manager is a business leader while the team lead in development focuses on the art of the product--the innovation. Whether you call it a product manager, a product marketing manager, a product owner, or any number of other titles, the one who knows the market and defines the business is the product producer. It's a strategic role.
What's your role in creating great products? Are you the producer or the director... or the janitor?
My sites break a lot of rules. Someone pointed out that, although I push my clients to design sites with high contrasting fonts on a light background, our new media agency site is designed with a dark background and light fonts… much more difficult to read. Other friends have pointed out that it also doesn’t fit on a small resolution laptop.
The truth is, I don’t want to attract visitors with netbooks or older laptops. I want to get attention from people with huge resolutions. I don’t want to attract companies who won’t upgrade from Internet Explorer 6. I don’t even want people to read my site. I want them to browse it and wonder whether or not I can help them… and have them click through on a web form.
If you disagree, you’re not my prospect.
Good marketing execution should DISqualify those who cannot buy. Sales people qualify; marketing people disqualify. Those of us in marketing need to remember that it's not about impressions and number of leads, it's about impressions and leads from people who can buy our products. In my old team, once we started thinking about getting qualified leads, we stopped doing giveaways that generated tons of unqualified cardscans and focused on disqualifying leads. Our sales team was delighted to get a short stack of only good leads.
What about your web site? Is it attracting the wrong people? It's fine for the unqualified to download your white papers and read your articles but you shouldn't bother to gather a lot of information unless the inquiry has the potential to buy. Social media experts agree that you should give away your thought-leading content, knowing that the qualified buyers will return to you when they're ready to buy.
There are lots of definitions of what is and is not ethical. I have one idea; you and your company might have another.
HP documents suggest that employees pose themselves a simple test to decide whether an action is appropriate:
"Before I make a decision, how will it look in a news story?"
So, it's not what would your company say before you take the action; it's what would your company say after it hits the news.
Do you struggle with time management? With our always-on culture, it's often hard to find the time to get your work done.
Dennis Snow offers this view on the Pomodoro technique for managing his time and I think it will work as well for many product managers.
The Pomodoro technique requires blocking 25 minutes at a time to really dive into a project. Another technique involves blocking a full day for product management. See http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/topics/01/0105sj/ for more on Product Management Thursdays.
Ether way, if you don't manage your time, someone else will.
What techniques do you use for time management?
Those with the job title of ‘Product Marketing Manager’ live in a variety of organizational habitats. There are four that I see as recurring themes, each with its own challenges and opportunities. If you were to get a product marketing manager from one of each of these habitats to sit down and discuss their roles, they’d be amazed at how different they really are (even when their job descriptions are remarkably similar).
Titles are a mess. My pal David has identified 4 different roles for those with the title of product marketing manager. I've been at least three of them.
You’re invited to participate in the 5th ProductCamp Austin event, which promises to be better than ever – More Attendees. More Topics. More Networking!
Join the good folks in Austin for their 5th product camp. Our own John Milburn is offering "What to do when Your Exec Team Just Doesn’t Get Product Management." This interactive session will discuss techniques that empower you to become more effective in dealing with executive push-back.
Roz Ho is corporate vice president for Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft. She has been responsible for the integration of Danger Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft in April, 2008.
Here's the original:
On Saturday, organizers will put on the fifth ProductCamp since fall 2008 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at the University of Texas. Registration had hit 420 as of Friday, topping the 350 who showed up for the previous event in March. It's expected to reach 500 by Saturday.
Paul Young, who founded ProductCamp Austin, said many events modeled after the same concept simply petered out for lack of interest or organization. "They show up, run their cycles, then die out," Young said. "I think the reason that happens is that people are surprised for an ‘unconference' how much coordination it actually takes to put an event on.
"It's a lot less than a traditional corporate-driven conference, but it's still significant," he said.
Our newest Pragmatic Marketing instructor, Paul Young, is quoted in this article on Statesman.com