March 11

Getting Greedy, Building Debt and Needing More Budget

Fixing Twitter. Companies that have benefitted from their visionary CEO sticking around oftentimes have a much more powerful product definition and strategy. Just look at Facebook, Amazon or Netflix. Although Jack Dorsey has probably been given a disproportionate amount of credit as one of the founders of Twitter, it’s obvious that he has a clear view of what the product should be. This valuable perspective has been sorely lacking over the past few years as Dick Costolo transformed it (pretty successfully) into an ad revenue powered business. But “products must emphasize user experience over revenue. If a company gets too greedy and ignores what users want, that company is dead. Users are a fickle bunch. Just ask Myspace.

On Product Debt. In a fast-moving product development environment, it’s the product manager’s job to juggle priorities. Inevitably, as a certain product or feature improves, others will be left behind. Paul J believes that there are two types of debt — an accumulation of unnecessary features and the discrepancy between different products in your ecosystem. So occasionally, we must reflect on where our product debt stands and take time time to pay it down.

Product Management Insights. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest wishes for product managers in this year is for more budget. So reports Alpha UX in their annual survey of 150 product professionals. It’s a wonder then how many of these respondents are doing their jobs correctly. Shouldn’t a good product manager be satisfied working within the boundaries of the resources that are available and, if not, be able to justify further investment using market data?

 

Paul McAvinchey

About the author

For over 15 years, Paul has been building and collaborating on digital products with fast-growing startups and global brands, including AOL and WMS Gaming. Currently, he's a co-founder of Product Collective, a worldwide community of product people. Members collaborate on Slack, meet at INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, listen to Rocketship.fm, learn at Product Interviews and get a weekly brief that includes best practices in product management. In recent years he led business development at DXY, a leading product design firm in the Midwest, and product innovation at MedCity Media, a publishing startup acquired by Breaking Media in 2015.


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