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.

Let’s Talk about Product Management
Josh Elman of Greylock Partners

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?

Via Josh Elman of Greylock Partners

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.

Via Josh Elman of Greylock Partners

The whole post is a slide deck, so I highly recommend giving it a scroll. People will be talking about this for a while.


Venmo Five Years Ago
matt newberg of pulse.fm

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.

via Matt Newberg of pulse.fm (your typo lives on forever — I’m sorry)

Related article: “Product Pattern: Social Login” by Nic Werner of Pivotal Labs


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).

Play by Your Own Playbook” by Boris Wertz of VersionOne Ventures

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

AngelList and the F Word” by Jakub Kostecki of StartupFactCheck.com


Recommended Articles

What Sucks About Fundraising” by Christoph Janz of Point Nine Capital
Honorable mention for survey-based infographic and stories

Write Like You Talk” by Paul Graham of Y Combinator
Honorable mention for common sense in a perfect world

Getting Uncomfortable with Data” by Daniel Tunkelang of Lyra Health
Honorable mention for exploring the ethics of algorithms

Who’s Working for the Gig Worker?” by Nick Grossman of Union Square Ventures
Honorable mention for “writing the book on it” — and linking to it for free

The Ethics of Digital Disruption” by Alister Cameron of Squareweave

Outsider vs Disruptor” by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures

Your LTV Math is Wrong” by Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital

Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat? A Deep Dive Into How News is Delivered on Social Media” by Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite

5 Years Ago, Uber was Onto Something…” by M.G. Siegler of Google Ventures

The Death of The Monolithic SaaS Product” by Clement Vouillon of Point Nine 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

The Stack That Helped Medium Drive 2.6 Millennia of Reading Time” by Dan Pupius of Medium

User Onboarding in IoT and the Importance of Packaging” by Jens Nylander of Automile

Pot Bank, Use Case for Bitcoin” by Jeffrey Carter of West Loop Ventures

The Next Big Thing in (Veteran) Hiring” by Steve Weiner of Dorm Room Fund


Thank you for reading. If you like what you’ve read, please consider sharing or following me on Medium or Twitter. Also visit FWD: Outlook’s website at fwdoutlook.com.

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