Product Leadership

The Key To Scaling User Growth Might Just Be One Little Thing

I like to say that the secret to scaling user growth is within the product itself.  It’s not in the slick marketing campaigns (although that may get you initial interest) and it’s not in the pushy calls from account managers.

Strong products have always come down to the relationship between users and product. That is, the interactions that help users feel good the first time they use a product and continue to feel confident as they continue to use it. No bling-bling is going to change that. 

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Phased Rollout Strategy

What 7 Product Leaders Want You To Know About Phased Rollouts

“Ship early, ship often” is the kind of mantra that that makes launching new products seem almost intuitive. Launch first, iterate later; move fast and break things.

But if what you’re taking on is big and cumbersome – updating from older technology to a new codebase, for example –  that kind of advice has never really cut it.

When we surveyed a handful of experienced product managers, we found that when the stakes are high, they’re busy answering bigger questions:

  • “Is the cost of taking significantly longer to roll this out worth the time we lose in market?”
  • “Are customers willing to sacrifice having an incomplete solution when there is a promise of more to come?”
  • “Are there any potential downsides to not shipping the whole feature at once?”

And when an important new feature is too big to fit neatly into one complete release, they start planning a phased rollout.

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effective product teams

What Highly Effective Product Teams Are Doing Differently

Someone asked me recently: “What makes an effective product team?”

Good question 🙂

ProdPad has been a product-focused team from the start – after all, ProdPad is a product for product managers to do their product management….built by product managers.

It’s so very meta.

But as our team grows, it’s helpful to look back at what’s helping us stay product-oriented so we can double down on what’s working for us.

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Why Every Product Manager Needs A Flux Capacitor

While we’re still waiting for hoverboards and self-drying jackets, we can still look at the Back To The Future trilogy and take away some lessons from Doc’s Brown time machine.

No, it’s not driving at 88MPH, but Doc’s flux capacitor (and somewhat interesting planning methods) has a few hidden life lessons for product managers.

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product launch

Finally, A Product Launch Framework for Product Managers

This is a guest post from Matt Bilotti, Product Manager at Drift


Getting a new product out the door is hard.

There are dependencies across the engineering, design, and marketing teams. There are limitless ways you can continue to improve something before it’s released. Then there’s scope creep – that itchy feeling when you want to work on something just a little longer until it feels more right.

But we’ve come up with a framework to make the product launch process easier. Here’s how we put all the pieces together, from customer feedback to team resources, to ship fast and ship often.

There are dependencies across the engineering, design, and marketing teams. There are limitless ways you can continue to improve something before it’s released. Then there’s scope creep – that itchy feeling when you want to work on something just a little longer until it feels more right.

But we’ve come up with a framework to make the product launch process easier. Here’s how we put all the pieces together, from customer feedback to team resources, to ship fast and ship often.

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Mind The Product conference stage

What Was Everyone So Excited About at Mind The Product Conference This Year?

There’s a reason Intercom’s Des Traynor calls it the “Woodstock for product managers.”

This year, the San Francisco edition of Mind The Product conference brought together 1200 product managers, 1 conference hall, and a slate of world class speakers.

It was wild, nerdy and passionate.

MTP is somewhat of a mecca for product people and the people who show up there tend to be there because they want to learn from the best and the brightest. This is where the best product managers are every year, swapping notes on what’s inspiring them, what they’re struggling with, and where they’d like to be.

This is our 2nd year with a booth at MTPcon SF, and we saw a remarkable shift in the way people approach us.

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Elon Musk Tesla

Elon Musk’s Gamble On Transparency Is Totally Paying Off

In 2006, before the Roadster was even available, Musk laid out his vision: electric cars for all. With its hellishly obvious title, “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (shh don’t tell anyone)” the message Silicon Valley’s rebel with a cause was sending was this: “You gonna try to steal this?”

Who was Musk daring? The naysayers? Industry experts? Other car companies? The answer is: who cares.

10 years after he laid out his exact MO, the affordable Tesla is here – and no one stole his idea.

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Is Your Boss Hijacking Your Product Roadmap? Try This.

Are you locked in an uncomfortable power struggle with a HiPPO (hilarious acronym for “highest paid person’s opinion”) over your product roadmap? Have you been taking the heat from your team for letting the HiPPOs take over? Is your HiPPO full of legitimately bad ideas?

Although I’m a big fan of the “just say no” ethos, and an even bigger proponent of using every opportunity to reference your product roadmap, neither of those applies when the person looking to throw a wrench in your plans also approves your paycheck.

HiPPOs require a different kind of finessing and after a few years of struggling myself, I discovered a fairly elegant way to protect my teams and my product roadmap from those unwanted top-down proclamations. Here’s what will help you take back control and look good doing it: Get your teams to collectively decline with you.

The little process I’m about to share with you falls squarely under product leadership, and serves as a strong reminder to everyone around you that you will only respond to data-driven arguments, not arbitrary power grabs. Let’s get that HiPPO weight off your shoulders.

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get internal product ideas

How To Get Brilliant Product Ideas Out Of Non-Product People

The life of a product manager can be lonely, especially if companies continue to believe that it’s a PM’s duty to somehow generate new product ideas and push out product updates on their own.

There’s a less lonely way, says MindtheProduct co-founder Martin Eriksson:

The bottom line is that everyone in the company owns the product, and its success or failure lie in the hands of everyone who touches it. A product manager’s job is to lead the team to tackle the product challenges together, to get the best out of everyone on the team when building the product, and to provide a gentle hand to keep it all consistent and going in the right direction.”

In other words, product management is a team sport.

But the near-universal experience of product managers who try to get their non-product teams in the game is underwhelming.

‘Let’s make that button blue!’ or ‘Can we get this new feature in?’

You can’t do anything with that.

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