Respect Your Competition; Innovation Strategy; Lean Start-Up

Respect Your Competition
Product managers and marketers are naturally competitive. They want their products to win in the marketplace, and they want to beat the competition. However, there’s a difference between being a champion for your product and being blind to the market, customer needs and perceptions. Successful product managers and marketers walk a fine line between being completely objective and being a die-hard super-fan supporter. In my latest blog post — Respect your competition — I present two simple tips on how to respect your competition when it’s natural to be focused on how much better you are than them.

SiriusDecisions Innovation Strategy Framework
SiriusDecisions recently held our eighth annual Summit, which drew a sell-out crowd of 1500+ attendees for three days of discussion of b-to-b marketing, sales and product issues and best practices.

I was proud and honored to present on the main stage to talk about research we recently completed on best practices for investing in product innovation — a topic I’ve mentioned here before. We introduced our Innovation Strategy Framework, a decision support tool designed to help b-to-b product leaders ensure that decisions around innovation and investment are aligned with their growth strategy.

You can read a recap of my presentation on the SiriusDecisions blog: Summit 2013 Highlights: A Balanced Approach to Innovation Investment

Hot topic: Lean Start-Up
One of the most popular articles in Harvard Business Review for the past few weeks has been Steve Blank’s “Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything.” Certainly within entrepreneurial circles, the lean start-up approach is taking hold. However, it’s starting to be adopted widely by many non-start-up organizations, and it’s a concept worth getting familiar with if you’re not already.

The article is now available as free PDF even to non-subscribers. It’s worth noting that some of Steve’s points in the sidebar on “What Lean Start-Ups Do Differently” aren’t entirely accurate. For example, the new-product process for “traditional” product management is said to “prepare offering for market following a linear, step-by-step plan,” while the lean process focuses on customer development (a term Steve coined), where the focus is to “get out of the office and test hypothesis.” Well, in “traditional” product management, that’s what good product managers have been doing all along!

Slight quibbles aside, it’s a good introduction to the lean start-up philosophy and how it can be applied in companies of all sizes.

What’s Hot on Twitter
Here are a few of my tweets which have generated the most interest over the past few weeks; to get these in real-time, follow me at @jefflash: