Archive of posts with tag 'product management'

Notes on Operating Well

June 27, 2022 • #

Sam Gerstenzang wrote an excellent piece a couple weeks ago with operating lessons for growing companies, driven by his learnings from the product team at Stripe. Personally, I’ve got a decade or so of experience as an “operator” at a “startup” (two words I wouldn’t have used to describe my job during most of that time). Since 2011 I’ve led the product team at Fulcrum, a very small team until the last few years, and still only in the medium size range. So...

Product is Hard

April 5, 2019 • #

I linked a couple weeks ago to a piece from Marty Cagan. That led me to this talk that covers a lot of his thoughts on approaching product issues. Wide ranging and thought provoking stuff for product managers.

Entering Product Development: Geodexy

March 27, 2019 • #

I started with the first post in this series back in January, describing my own entrance into product development and management.

When I joined the company we were in the very early stages of building a data collection tool, primarily for internal use to improve speed and efficiency on data project work. That product was called Geodexy, and the model was similar to Fulcrum in concept, but in execution and tech stack, everything was completely different. A few years back, Tony wrote up a retrospective post detailing out the...

Starting in Product Management

January 29, 2019 • #

This is a brief series for those interested in getting into product management, in four parts. This first post is about how I got into this line of work and the beliefs I’ve formed over the years on the discipline. Enjoy!

I never set out of college to get into product development. I was a geography guy with a penchant for maps and wanted to learn how to make them. I bounced from an engineering major over to geography early in school because I was passionate about it, with no clue what the ultimate career destination might look like. After...

Weekend Reading: Railway Logos, Meditation, and the Next Feature Fallacy

December 8, 2018 • #

🔩 The Next Feature Fallacy

The vast majority of features won’t bend the curve. These metrics are terrible, and the Next Feature Fallacy strikes because it’s easy to build new features that don’t target the important parts.

This certainly rings true for me from experience over the years. It turns out that a single feature itself is far from the main problem halting people part way into on-boarding with a product. This falls into the category of focusing on what we know how to do already, rather than what’s important to do. What’s...

Right-sizing and Product Scoping

October 31, 2018 • #

In product teams you’re continually faced with the challenge of scoping. When you build something directly for a customer, for a fee (consulting), the scoping process is explicit and has built-in constraints — customer expectations, funding, timelines, deliverables. Even in that scenario, agreeing on a firm scope for an effort isn’t simple, but it’s even harder when working in a product company. The same constraints still exist, but in a more nebulous, undefined form. Constraints aren’t imposed and enforced externally by a single client dangling the paycheck. The demands are dispersed amongst thousands of users with sometimes-competing desires, paying varying...

Economics & Product Management

October 10, 2018 • #

A continuous challenge in product development (perhaps the ultimate challenge) is the balancing of many wants and needs with an inability to have everything. You never have the resources to build everything you want into your product — be it labor, capital, or time.

All this year I’ve been studying economics, some foundational resources, different philosophies, and the history of economic theories. I think what attracts me to the subject is how its fundamentals can be applied to so many other areas. I just finished Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics a few weeks ago, which is a great...

A Product Origin Story

September 11, 2018 • #

Fulcrum, our SaaS product for field data collection, is coming up on its 7th birthday this year. We’ve come a long way: from a bootstrapped, barely-functional system at launch in 2011 to a platform with over 1,800 customers, healthy revenue, and a growing team expanding it to ever larger clients around the world. I thought I’d step back and recall its origins from a product management perspective.

We created Fulcrum to address a need we had in our business, and quickly realized its application to dozens of other markets with a slightly different color of the...