As product managers, we’re told to rely on our intuition to make decisions only in the rarest of occasions. Instead, our primary objective is to investigate the data, listen to the voice of our users, and uncover consumer-centric insights that lead to right-fit decisions that can be further tested.

In reality, gathering the amount of data required to make the “right” decision every time is expensive and takes time. Very few companies have the luxury to wait until new insights are formed before decisions can be made. …


One of the most profound articles I’ve read recently is this one about the differences between tactical performance and adaptive performance, published in HBR. It’s profound because the findings are, in hindsight, so obvious. People who are more adaptive tend to perform better. People who follow strict processes and rules (rather, tactics) tend to perform reasonably average.

If there’s one thing every product manager should care about, it’s high performance. Without that, every measurable outcome of your product will suffer.

So, if adaptability leads to higher performance than process and tactics alone can, why do product managers spend so much…


One of the most enjoyable parts about my day job is helping companies come up with new product ideas or ways to enhance existing products. While coming up with new ideas is definitely enjoyable, the most fun part of the ideation process is inventing or adopting new methods for helping others create their own ideas, seemingly out of thin air.

In my world, the way these ideas often come to life is through some kind of “strategy workshop.” Before I became a facilitator of these strategy workshops, I participated in them as a client or product stakeholder. My first exposure…


I’ve been rereading The Lean Startup (👈 a link to Eric’s talk at Google, not the book) again, this time taking copious notes, as I hope to apply the principles one-to-one to a venture I’m kicking off soon. At its core, the Lean Startup methodology is all about eliminating waste. The most impactful way to eliminate waste is to make sure that what you’re building will actually get bought.

You can spend all of your time building a high-quality product, but that time is wasted if no one uses it when you’re done.

A few chapters in, my brain has…


When mobile app developers talk about engagement analytics, we’re usually talking about what kinds of things users have been doing inside the context of our apps. This conversation about engagement started to change when Apple launched app extensions with iOS 8. Rather than asking, “What are users doing in our app,” brand leaders started asking, “How are our audiences experiencing our brand on mobile?” But why the change?

iOS app extensions enable brands to provide content and functionality to users outside their core application.

Back in 2014 when extensions were launched, app developers flocked to create Today view widgets (those…


The internet is full of advice for enterprising and aspiring product owners. There are graphs, charts, and visualizations to help readers comprehend the diverse responsibilities of the modern product manager. Scores of blogs posts written by some of the world’s best product managers hold the product manager in high esteem.

“Product manager,” they say, “you are the CEO, the defender of users, and have the last word on product quality.”

But for all the romance the product manager attracts, most product managers really aren’t the CEO of anything, regularly get exhausted by the constant cat-herding, and do have day-to-day tactical…


Using technology to automate the boring parts of daily life is awesome. Generally speaking, we’re pretty lucky to live during a time when so many people are developing mobile apps and chatbots to help us make life simpler and more fun.

About this time last year, I attended a conference in San Francisco that was all about companies doing cool things with chatbots and artificial intelligence. I learned a lot and got exposure to some really unique reasons why I might want to use a chatbot to automate some part of my life.

Until that conference, I really hadn’t used…


There’s an abundance of articles about what the best CEOs do on a daily basis, how CEOs run their businesses, and what characteristics make a great CEO. But, at the end of the day, actually becoming a CEO is just as much about politics and setting the right professional trajectory as it is your skills in leadership, development, and strategy.

This post originally appeared on Catching Daydreams, my other, other blog.

If you have aspirations of leading a company, it can be daunting to think about all the pieces that will need to fall into place to turn your dream…


Snapchat, SketchAR, and Trickpics also made waves in AR yesterday.

If you remove pun-based jokes, the phrase “geek out,” and disclaimers about The Fate of the Furious, the most talked about topic during the first Keynote of Facebook’s F8 developer conference was Augmented Reality (AR). The first few months of 2017 have passed with very little fanfare thrown in the direction of AR. Today, that all changed. And, while it may represent the loudest party championing the future of AR (and Virtual Reality), Facebook’s announcements on day 1 of F8 were hardly the only voices shouting for attention.

Snap Inc.

We’re going to be reading stories about feature-sparring between Facebook and Snapchat


When drafting an RFP for a new digital product, there are a number of questions that you’ll typically want to include. What kind of development process does the vendor employ? What is the experience level of the consultants on the project? What will the price and timeline be for the expected feature set, and when can we expect the product to launch?

But beyond the necessary details are the qualitative questions that separate a great product development partner from a lousy one — the questions that will identify whether a vendor relationship will be enjoyable or frustrating. …

Billy Collins

Strategy chief at a wicked cool software design and development agency. Believer in the animated gif.

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