How To Be A Good Product Manager

Tips on product management and product marketing for product managers. By Jeff Lash

Apple’s Gaffe; Taking Personas; and Zombies vs. Product Management

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Jeff Lash · No Comments

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Welcome to the first post in the new How To Be A Good Product Manager blog format. Please email me your feedback or leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the format! Now, let’s get on to the good stuff…

Learning from Apple’s mistakes

Over on the SiriusDecisions blog, I posted on Five Lessons for B-to-B Marketers from Apple’s iOS 6 Maps Gaffe. If you’ve used iOS6, or been following the news, you know that the iPhone 5 launch has been overshadowed to some extent by problems with Apple’s new Maps app. What can you learn from this? Though it’s geared towards business-to-business audiences, it’s really applicable to product managers and product marketers regardless of the type of product.

From the How To Be A Good Product Manager archive

Speaking of Apple’s mistakes, I wrote about how product managers could Learn from the mistakes of the iPhone 3G S back in 2009 when it was released. It’s interesting to go back and read that post now (and the comments) and see what Apple has (or hasn’t) changed since then.

Product Management Talk: Personas

My SiriusDecisions colleague Marisa Kopec was the speaker/leader of this week’s Product Management Talk, focused this week on The Persona Based Approach To Effective Product Marketing. If you’re not familiar with it, #ProdMgmtTalk is a weekly Live broadcast with Twitter Chat. Here are some of my favorite tweets:

  • From @jefflash (that’s me!): Personas should be based on actual research with lots of buyers/users vs. stereotypes (gut feel; anecdotal example; relatives) #prodmgmttalk (permalink)
  • From @repossibility: Well-designed personas are the sales person’s best friend by showing what prospects think BEFORE they contact sales people #prodmgmttalk (permalink)
  • From @Convo_Craig: Targeting a specific persona and a well-defined problem they need solved aligns #prodmgmt #marketing and #sales… #prodmgmttalk (permalink)
  • From @jefflash (me again!): Big mistakes people make w/personas: thinking job title = persona; that personas are automatically reusable across products #prodmgmttalk (permalink)
Elsewhere on the web
Fellow product management blogger Christopher Cummings blends pop culture and product management in his entertaining blog. I especially liked this quote from his recent post Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies Vs. Product Management (and that title alone gives you a good idea of his writing style):

If you’re reluctant to kill a product because you’re in love with it, remember … Every product that hangs on beyond its shelflife represents loss of opportunity, loss of momentum, loss, loss, loss. And that’s if you’re lucky.

You could be giving your competitors an opportunity to gain market share and mindshare within your segment. Which could be the kiss of death.

In other news, Jason Brett’s presentation The 60 Second Business Case won Best Session at ProductCamp Atlanta 6 on August 18, 2012! If you were like me and weren’t there in person, you can still see what all the fuss was about and see the slides on SlideShare. I commented on Twitter that it really wasn’t as much about business cases as it was about portfolio management, to which Jason replied: “agree. It’s precisely about doing the most important things and explaining why those things are important.” If that’s not the essence of product management (and of a lot of work — and life), I don’t know what is.

In closing…

For more regular product management and product marketing thoughts and links, follow me on Twitter: @jefflash. And don’t forget to email me your feedback or leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the new blog format.

Until next time,
Jeff

How To Be A Good Product Manager features tips on product management and product marketing, written by Jeff Lash (@jefflash on Twitter), Service Director, Product Management at SiriusDecisions.

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