Article archives

Here you can find links to all the articles published on this website.

Link of the Day: LaunchRock

Set up a “Launching Soon” page in minutes. Collect interest, increase sharing and build your audience. Take a look at LaunchRock! Get articles when they’re published My articles get published irregularly (erratically, some might say). Never miss an article again … Link of the Day: LaunchRock Read More »

Read more › Link of the Day: LaunchRock

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?

Read more › Big data – big deal?

17: Remember your manners

My folks brought me up to remember my manners. I consider I’ve perhaps taken this a little too far when I find myself apologising to people in London who have just shoulder-barged me into the path of an oncoming bus. But manners are important, especially for a product manager, where your success relies on the help of many others.

Read more › 17: Remember your manners

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

People value something most when they’ve just lost it or come close to doing so. If your product prevents this happening, take some advice from Joni Mitchell: you need to save your client the heartache of loss by helping them remember how much they value what they have now so that they don’t take it for granted.

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

Drowning in product documentation? Start swimming – Part 2

We’re looking at the kinds of information that specific groups of people need to know during the lifecycle of your product and why they’re so interested in the first place.

Last time we covered the steps from idea through to convincing people to part with some cash to build it. Now we’re going to look at building it and onwards through launch to review.

Read more › Drowning in product documentation? Start swimming – Part 2

14: There is always more work to do. Don’t burn yourself out

One of the easiest ways to spot a product manager in the wild is to look for the slightly frazzled person with the longest to-do list and a determined look in their eye.

While I think we generally enjoy keeping ourselves busy, I’ve often noticed over a beer with colleagues that we (myself included) also quite enjoy having a bit of a moan over how much there is to do and that the work is never-ending.

Read more › 14: There is always more work to do. Don’t burn yourself out

12: Keep it simple, stupid

I’m writing about 100 things I’ve learned as a product manager. Don’t make things any more complicated than they need to be.  Keep it simple. (That is all) Get articles when they’re published My articles get published irregularly (erratically, some … 12: Keep it simple, stupid Read More »

Read more › 12: Keep it simple, stupid

Drowning in product documentation? Start swimming – Part 1

Do you spend more time writing documents about your product than actually managing it?

Many companies with some kind of product management function become all caught up in the process, drowning themselves in increasing numbers of documents. These rapidly become overwhelming to manage, contain duplicated detail and ultimately obscure the real objective of product management, namely to create successful products.

Read more › Drowning in product documentation? Start swimming – Part 1

10: Give yourself time to think in a straight line

One of the many personal challenges I’ve faced in my working life was to overcome my natural tendency towards being erratic. I’m not talking about endearing (to me at least) eccentricities, more about practical things such as a rubbish memory for dates and poor time management. Throw in a crisis and I could generally be found running around with my head on fire.

Read more › 10: Give yourself time to think in a straight line

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

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

7: Public speaking is as much about how you say it as well as what you say

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 can be acquired. 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:

Read more › 7: Public speaking is as much about how you say it as well as what you say

Lean, green, micro machines

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.

Read more › Lean, green, micro machines

3: Know your subject matter

So much of being a product manager depends on successfully persuading and influencing others. Whether you’re presenting your product strategy, presenting a business case to the Board or talking with your customers, you need to know your subject matter: to demonstrate a good knowledge of your products and market to ensure that you come over as authoritative and credible.

Read more › 3: Know your subject matter

Painting the Forth Bridge

There is a popular myth that in order to protect its metalwork from the salty ravages of the nearby North Sea, the Forth Bridge needed to be painted to keep it proofed against corrosion. The task took so long that, by the time the painters finished one job, it was immediately time to begin over.

Read more › Painting the Forth Bridge

New WordPress theme

As you may have gathered, I’ve been tinkering with the WordPress theme of this site. Still early days yet and I’ve a bit more tinkering to do, but I think it’s an improvement.

For those who are interested, I’m using Duster by Automattic.

Read more › New WordPress theme

Pre-empting customer churn

How much would you invest to prevent a mass customer exodus? Everything Everywhere, the merged T-Mobile / Orange behemoth, was happy to spend £150 per customer to shore up its customer base following the post-merger restructuring.

What did it gain? A reduction in monthly churn from 1.7% to 1.3%, significant given their customers number well into the millions, plus an additional 300,000 customers locked into long-term contracts in place of short-term pre-pay contracts.

Read more › Pre-empting customer churn

DIY Eco Linux Fileserver (part 2)

Earlier this month, I was attempting to appease my wife by reducing my server’s power consumption physical footprint. In this follow-up, I’ll give you an update on how I got on and pass on a few tips if you’re planning to do the same.
Normal I Manage Products service will be resumed in the next article!

Read more › DIY Eco Linux Fileserver (part 2)

DIY Eco Linux Fileserver (part 1)

Every now and again, I undertake a DIY tech project. I think it’s because I’m a geek at heart and I like to think to myself a little smugly, “still got it”. This time the brief actually came from my lovely wife: shrink the physical footprint and electricity consumption of the servers running 24/7 in the home office. The beige boxes are going green!

Read more › DIY Eco Linux Fileserver (part 1)

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…

Read more › The thorny issue of pricing

Net Promoter EU Conference 2010

A few months ago, I co-presented a short speaking slot at this year’s SatMetrix Net Promoter European Conference. I’ve reproduced an excerpt from their official blog of the event for posterity.

You can see the full article in its original form at Net Promoter – Blogs – European Conference Blog 2010.

Read more › Net Promoter EU Conference 2010

Ill communication

Ah, emails. How did we manage without them? Personally, I think quite well. Now we appear to be unable to tear ourselves away from them.

They taunt us in our inbox, begging for attention. They follow us on our mobile devices, so there is no respite. Most importantly, they’re categorically not suited to all situations. Move a bit closer to the screen – I have some valuable advice for you…

Read more › Ill communication

“Why the heck should I upgrade?” – 4 things you’re probably missing

You expend a lot of effort getting people to buy your product and they’re happy with it.

Time passes.

You then go back to your satisfied customers and tell them what they have is now mediocre, so they have to move onto your latest and greatest product version. You see this everywhere, from washing powders to family cars, so it must work for enterprise software, right? So why are your no-longer-happy customers now chasing you with pitchforks and burning torches?

Read more › “Why the heck should I upgrade?” – 4 things you’re probably missing

Positive procrastination



Everyone but the most tirelessly(and tiresome) self-motivated has at one point or another procrastinated in the face of some worthy activity. I think I’ve found a way to use procrastination for profit and gain; read on to see whether I have…

Read more › Positive procrastination

Context is everything

Your developers may be happiest when they’re hacking gnarly code, leaving you to get on with engaging with the market, but this doesn’t mean you can ignore their need for context – the ‘why’ of their project.

Read more › Context is everything

Hello. I’m new.

I remember once starting a product manager job where it took me two hours to establish where my desk was.
On the plus side, I gained a valuable insight into how NOT to manage a new starter. Here are three basic lessons I’ve learned, so that hopefully you won’t be the subject of a similar blog post some time down the line.

Read more › Hello. I’m new.

By way of an introduction

Why write a blog? Up until recently if someone had suggested that I start writing a blog I would most likely have unfurled my ‘To Do’ list with a flourish, watched the unrolling end bounce off the floor and gestured vaguely into the distance. So what’s changed?

Read more › By way of an introduction

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