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I typically say to my team “do not ask people if they like or would buy something, instead find out why anyone cares and what they care about”

Two types of Statement

You can start by dividing what people say into two categories; that which is future/conditional based or quantitative-in-nature (I would definitely buy this, I like this page) and that which is past-tense. If you focus on the past tense, what they did last time, how did they purchase last time, when some incidents happened last week, what did they do, what solutions did they use — you get reality. And then the…


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We product people can get very precise. We may describe how something should be built, what features our software must have, what colour a button should be.

But precision can be your enemy.

If you specify detailed requirements, this assumes that you know at a very deep level what the customers problem is, what their daily life is like, what they spend hours doing that they hate, what keeps them awake at night and what would really improve their lives and businesses.

If you don’t know that, then why are you insisting that the button is blue?

If you have…


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One of the most challenging parts of being a product manager is being tasked with finding out what customers really value. Of course, Steve Blank rightfully told us all to “get out of the building”, meaning that we need to actually talk to customers and not only that, but observe them ethnographically (that is to say, in their natural habitat, doing the things they are doing).

But, in reality, it’s more complicated than getting face time with a customer because:

  • People don’t want to hurt your feelings and will be polite (i.e. lie to you. …

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I’ve been thinking about this recently with Outsourcing Hub. To be able to scale to a truly global size tomorrow, what do we need to be doing today.

As I reflected on the list, I thought it was something worth sharing. I think it reflects who we are and want to be as a company but it also highlights some core competencies that we have some of today and will need more of tomorrow.

From my time at Yahoo! I saw why many of these are important. When your company size is over 15k people, you cannot communicate with everyone…


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A blog post about Early Adopters.

Like Mythical creatures such as centaurs or unicorns, authors speak with such certainty about Early Adopters; what their adoption curve is like/how many of them you see in the early days; how to leverage them for information once you find them.

But that’s the million dollar question: how do you find them? Do you just build products and then there they are; using the product as if by magic, appearing in just the right place at the right time? Of course not.

You can’t just pay for traffic acquisition and then the users that end up engaging are ‘early adopters’…


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Lean Cycle

It’s Not Technical

Being a product guy for over ten years now, I have seen countless times how a picture is worth a 1000 words. The real challenge in building software isn’t technical; everything can technically be built. The real challenge is in communication.

Gojko Adzic describes it beautifully when he describes the process between the stakeholders, the product team, the developers and testers as being akin to a game of chinese whispers. Each time you pass on a message, it gets translated and interpreted. People interpret what you tell them by relating that to something in their past experience. …

Patrick O’Malley

Blog on product learnings and lessons from Patrick O’Malley, CPO @ www.outsourcinghub.nl

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