FWD: Outlook — October 26, 2015
The top two stories in tech from around the web
Editor’s note: Mondays will always be a fat envelope. Happy reading.
This is a great, visual post that’s been two years in the making and can’t be easily summarized. It answers the questions, “What does a product manager do?” by beginning with the question, “What doesn’t a product manager do?”
Product managers are not the “CEO of the product,” Josh writes. Instead, he looks to them as leaders of a specific team with a very specific—if yet to be defined—goal. Product managers set the cadence for the team. They brainstorm effectively — this means collecting feedback more than directing ideas. And they manage product relations, acting as the go-between for business, tech, and UX.
The whole post is a slide deck, so I highly recommend giving it a scroll. People will be talking about this for a while.
This is like looking at history through a telescope. Matt posts a video with founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail and early-employee Shreyans Bhansali from a college meet-up when the company was in its infancy. The highlights many of the aspects that made Venmo successful early-on. For anyone looking to build an app that has any kind of social element, this is an inspiring piece to read.
People Are Talking About: Valuations and Unicorns
“Don’t be Fooled by Unicorn Valuations” by Adam Lashinsky of Fortune
Ali Hamed (below) has been writing extensively on this topic recently. Private valuations are private “assessment of a small number of investors operating outside public scrutiny.” Are we propping them up to fail? Or does the number not matter at all?
“Homejoy at the Unicorn Glue Factory” by Christina Farr of VentureBeat
Eye-opening article on the downfall of a billion dollar company. Related to “Negative Gross Margins” by Fred Wilson (as seen in last week’s FWD: Outlook).
“AngelList: The World First On Demand VC-as-a-Service Platform” by Ben Levy of Bootstrap Labs
“Times Are Changing and We Live in a Brave New World” by Ali Hamed of CoVenture
“The Ethics of Digital Disruption” by Alister Cameron of Squareweave
“Your LTV Math is Wrong” by Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital
“SaaS Startups, What Do You Do When a Customer Churns?” by Steli Efti of Close.io
“What a Deep Neural Network Thinks About Your #selfie” by Andrej Karpathy, PhD Candidate at Stanford University
“Most Company Culture Posts are Fluffy Bullshit — Here is What You Actually Need to Know” by Eric Jorgenson of Evergreen Project
“User Onboarding in IoT and the Importance of Packaging” by Jens Nylander of Automile