8: Empathise, empathise, empathise

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares?… He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes.”
Billy Connolly

Empathy is something every product manager needs to be able to do their job well. Without it, it’s impossible to be sure what matters most to your target market and how valuable a solution to their problems will be.

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Live on ProdMgmtTalk July 25/26 – the love/hate relationship with Sales

Love them or hate them, you won’t have a successful product without your sales force.  So if you’re at a loose end on Monday night, come join me to discuss the relationship between Product Management and Sales on @ProdMgmtTalk.

  • In the UK, if you want to share your views, you’ll need to stay up past your bedtime on a school night.  The tweet chat is early Tuesday 26 July, midnight – 1:00 AM BST.
  • For the US, it will be Monday 25 July, between 4:00 – 5:00 PM PT
  • And for Australia it will be Tuesday 26 July 9:00 – 10:00 AM ET

I hope you can join me – I look forward to seeing you there.  Detail on the discussion and background reading is available after the break.
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7: Public speaking is as much about how you say it as well as what you say

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

Closely related to presenting well is the art of public speaking.  While not everyone is thrilled at the prospect at standing up and speaking in front of colleagues or strangers, it is a skill that you can acquire.  As you become more proficient, you’ll be able to control your nerves better before a presentation and you may even come to enjoy it.  Here are some suggested tips:

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6: Good presentation skills are not the same as good PowerPoint skills

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

It is inevitable that you will need to stand up and give a presentation at some point during your career as a product manager.  Some people dislike presenting more than others; that’s natural.  Whether you love or hate the sound of your own voice, try some of the following tips to ease some of the stress of presenting.

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Lean, green, micro machines

Back in October, I needed to get rid of some large, unsightly and power-hungry beige boxes from circa 2002 that were running my home office network, MP3 server etc.  Eight or nine months on, I’m pleased to report that the project was a success.  My Acer Revo server and external hard disk are sitting quietly making no discernible noise and taking up minimal space.  The power consumption has dropped through the floor in relative terms as well.

I’m still hunting for a replacement firewall server and some low-power desktop machines, without necessarily compromising on performance.  Mind you, I’m looking for a Linux-based firewall, not a gaming machine, so ‘performance’ may be overstating things.  A quick hunt on the internet later and I’m amazed by how quickly the micro PC market is continuing to evolve.  I thought I’d share with you a couple of the most desirable green machines I’ve found so far.

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