December 3

Favorite Posts of the Year – Part 1

As we wrap up another year, we wanted to share some posts that resonated with us this year. These posts may have come out after we covered that particular topic, or didn’t fit neatly in a topic but we thought you’d still be interested. So please enjoy this end-of-year post potpourri.

Selling problems (and then solutions) instead of philosophy. Internal company issues can be just as complex or misunderstood as external customer problems. Getting agreement about solutions usually requires us to agree first on underlying problems. Rich Mironov explains that when framing up core product/development issues for less-technical audiences, we need to focus first on root causes and then on tangible business outcomes.

(via @RichMironov)

It’s time to fight for a dual product management career path. Ken Norton points out that product management has matured and is long overdue for the same treatment that our technical colleagues have received for decades. Most importantly, one’s base compensation, bonus, and equity should be comparable no matter which path one follows. Nobody should have to sacrifice earning potential if they forgo the people management track to focus on product leadership. And most importantly, no one should ever feel like they have to give up doing what they love in order to advance in their career.

(via @kennethn)

Discovery hand-offs kill momentum: Here’s what to do instead.  Good discovery establishes a direct communication line between the team who is building the product and the customer. There’s only one problem. Products aren’t built by trios. We typically have additional engineers, sometimes a second designer, maybe a product owner, a scrum master, and any number of additional roles depending on the organizational context. Teresa Torres explains how to avoid hands-offs between the product trio who is leading discovery and the rest of the team.

(via @ttorres)

Big disrupted enterprises vs. “The Best”.  John Cutler is tired of people putting Silicon Valley on a pedestal. There’s a lot to learn from Silicon Valley AND a lot to avoid. John suggests we need more empathy. Less blame and shame. And more appreciation for the hard work people are doing … especially in government, healthcare, and at disrupted mission-driven companies.

(via @johncutlefish)

2021 Financial and operating benchmarks report. OpenView Venture Partners recently released their 2021 Financial & Operating Benchmarks Report. This report was designed specifically to enable operators to compare themselves against their direct peers across the metrics that matter most in a SaaS business.

(via @OpenViewVenture)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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