— George Bernard Shaw
"To fully execute on mobile identity, the OS itself has to actually care about the user’s attention in a very real and proactive way."
The strategy today is simple: In order to move fast, build what you can’t buy or risk losing control of your fate and becoming the next Palm, Motorola, or HTC. And if, in the process, you disrupt an Oracle or a Qualcomm? So be it.
There are two types of people in the world (boy, how many stories have started with that opener?!) product managers and everyone else. What’s that mean? It means that being a product manager is actually more of an attribute, than it is a job title.
- You are able to breakdown problems.
- You deal well with ambiguity.
- You are able to adapt as necessary.
- You are proactive.
- You communicate well.
- You collaborate well.
- You are able to build relationships.
- You are able to motivate.
- You refuse to suck.
- You are willing to make trade offs (but not suck).
- You are a creative thinker.
- You take ownership.
It also means you are going to know quickly if you can do this job or not because there is no middle ground, and those that embrace ambiguous situations are better positioned for success versus those that struggle in environments with little direction.
How you get there doesn’t matter, as long as you get there
There are many ways to solve a problem. Being a product manager is all about figuring it out. It’s like solving a puzzle while you’re playing a side game of chess, with a dash of politics and strategery (yes, strategery). When presented with a problem, you figure out the solution. Easy right? Um, no. Fun, yes.
Creating a product is the most difficult task you can be been challenged with because suddenly, you’re not working with 1’s and 0’s, there is no black and white, and you have to devise a plan that figures out all the steps between A and Z — and execute. A product manager is responsible for understanding the needs of the market, the design, validating assumptions, the solution, the engineering, the project management, the testing, the marketing, the sales, the relationship building and the person that fills in the gaps when needed (even minuscule tasks like data entry, anything) — so yeah, no task is too small or beneath you. You’re the poster-child for the product, so if there’s a job to be done, you do it or delegate it. You take the licks and the praises.
Learn from failure, don’t dwell on it
As a technologist and throughout my career, creating products came easy to me. No, not everything always worked out, but I learned things along the way. I attribute that to being naturally curious and always having an incredible amount of empathy for the people I’m building products for — and, here’s a crazy thought, actually talking to them!
Very early on in my career, I learned that failure sucks. Duh, right? It never feels good, but mentors will coach you, that what you do after you fail is what matters most. Did you give up or did you charge forward through the storm like an NFL Running-Back and make a come back?
It’s your scar tissue and ability to leverage your failures that makes you great, not your wins. Remember, victory has many parents, failure only one. ~ Bob Corrigan
Failure is how we grow. Understand and embrace that. It means persisting towards your goal. You must. Always. Move. Forward. No excuses. Persist!
It goes without saying, but being passionate about your work will always result in a better product because you will care more about the details, but passion doesn’t preclude effort. You have to give a damn.
When managing a product, you are managing many different elements and you have to care and give each a special amount of attention but at the same time, be willing trust them to self-manage. Team dynamics, trust and competency are very important.
Getting things done
So how do you get things done? It’s all about building relationships baby! You have to build trust between your project managers, engineers, designers, sales, marketing and most importantly, your customers. How? You’ve got to master the art of communication, influence and persuasion, which is not easy, but nothing in this job is. Is there a trick? Sort of. You build relationships before you need to leverage them.
Be Adaptable There are so many moving objects when managing a product. You must be aware of them all (managing vendors, internal politics, management structure, development teams, testers, project managers, designers, architects, businesses, customers, etc.), and like a game of chess, you must be thinking ahead several moves in order to react (or not) properly. You must adapt.
If the team is focusing on the wrong problem, take charge, correct the focus and move forward.
Understand a couple things quickly:
No one is going to be your advocate. Think of yourself as a startup CEO. Who is going to make sure [insert task] gets done? Answer: No one but you.
Never assume anything. If you don’t act, no one else will. Trust but validate.
Get ready for an amazing journey!
Finally, this is the most exhilarating role in the businsess world, so get ready for an incredible ride!
Amazing thought goes into workplace design. Guess there's something to this design thing, eh @airmilesowl? http://t.co/y1J77Sv6qi #t →
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Great read by @rohinivibha
I ran separate campaigns so as to monitor my spending on set days, but collectively, there were 84,079 impressions, 8,940 engagements, 8,555 clicks,144 retweets and 131 follows. My LinkedIn registered 535 views since Monday, and I gained 70-80 or so connections. Many people have been in touch; in fact, I’ve lost count. It’s really quite overwhelming. A few interviews have been conducted, two tomorrow, three are in the next few weeks, and I have been offered quite a bit of work experience. One big one, which I am overjoyed about, is currently being negotiated.
Really like rule #2:
The ones who should be doing the talking are the people who know the most about an issue, not the ones with the highest rank. If anyone finds themselves sitting passively while managers and executives talk over them with less accurate information, we have gone off the rails, and I would like to know about it.” (Explained Dickerson later: “If you can get the managers out of the way, the engineers will want to solve things.
The way to a great product is actually really simple (simple ≠ easy). In a nutshell you can distill it down to one thing. It is about caring. About caring more than others do, ever did & ever will.
Fantastic Products are created by people who deeply care about what, why & for whom they are building something.
There are three important “-ments” in mobile: Installment (you have to get on the phone), Engagement (you have to get users to open and use the app), and Attachment (users who use the app many times in a day). Whatsapp is one of the few apps that had all three in spades.”