45: Three ways you’re DEFINITELY doing MVPs wrong

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

If one were to heft a half-brick down Old Street in London, there would be high probability of hitting someone currently engaged in building a minimum viable product (MVP) of some sort or another. There’s also almost as high a probability that they’re doing it wrong.  Allow me to explain.

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30: Reserve time for housekeeping

I’m writing about 100 things I’ve learned as a product manager.

Like doing the washing-up, vacuuming under the sofa or cleaning your windows, housekeeping tasks with your product can get neglected because they’re tedious, not as interesting as new features and so on.  However, if you’ve ever found yourself eating breakfast cereal out of an oven tray with a serving spoon because every single item of cutlery and crockery is festering in a pile in your sink, it should be apparent there is inherent value in tackling housekeeping tasks bit by bit over time.

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Big Data – Big Deal?

Everyone seems to be hyping Big Data right now.  I think we’ve reached that slightly scary point where CEOs are aware of Big Data and are beginning to think it a panacea for all business ills.  But I’m asking the question: what’s the big deal with Big Data?

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16: You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone – Joni Mitchell

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

People value something most when they’ve just lost it or come close to doing so.  If your product prevents this happening, you need to save your client this ball-ache by helping them remember how much they value what they have now so that they don’t take it for granted.

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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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How to get your sales team selling value instead of discounting

Does your sales team sell your products (like, in exchange for money), or does it give them away as generous sweeteners to guarantee the sale of something else that will hit their targets?  Or to put it in another way, does your sales force truly understand the value of your products and can it articulate the benefits to the customer?

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The thorny issue of pricing

Ah, pricing. Always a thorny topic for product managers as it’s one those more subjective areas of the job. I’d love to have some kind of oracular spreadsheet that foresees how much customers would be willing to pay for my new product. Ironically, I would pay good money for such a thing…

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4 key ways to spot a successful product manager

How’s my driving?

As a product manager, how do you know you’re doing your job well?

Depending on your personal motivations you may want to know for your own satisfaction, to give your boss evidence at your next pay review, or to give your résumé some teeth for your next job.  This article outlines the problem with traditional metrics for product managers and offers some better alternatives for measuring success: communication, ideas, roadmapping, launch and end-of-life.

Simon, courtesy of GraphJam

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