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4/24/2017 » 4/25/2017
The Product Bootcamp

5/18/2017
Defining Success and Measuring Value

Humor: The Cranky Product Manager

QUORA: Why is having biological children usually a couple's first choice, rather than adopting a newborn?Open in a New Window

My answer to a question about adoption on Quora:

Q: Why is having biological children usually a couple's first choice, rather than adopting a newborn?

My Answer:

Because the adoption process is:

  • Potentially very long & uncertain. You might not get matched to a child for years, or maybe you'll

 

Yes, Product Manager, you too can (help) acquire companiesOpen in a New Window

Let's say that you're a junior-ish Product Manager. Your product is NOT killing it (not yet, anyway). You have stiff competition. Your product is missing key capabilities that the market demands -- perhaps because this technology looks to fundamentally disrupt your product's market or because a competitor already (or imminently)

 

The (ahem) "Art" of PricingOpen in a New Window

Originally published in 2010. Updated and republished in May, 2015.

A reader asks: "Can you please enlighten me on the art of pricing?"

At the risk of misinterpreting, I believe the reader is asking specifically about enterprise software, where price lists are usually secret, transaction volumes are relatively low, and

 

A Dangerous Combination: Sales People and the External Product RoadmapOpen in a New Window

This is my youngest son. He's 4 years old and is a total goober. Let's call him "J".

J is probably going to be a sales person when he grows up. He is extroverted, charming, funny, naturally positive, and when he wants something he goes after it with dogged persistence

 

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sinister Sales EngineerOpen in a New Window

Ah, the Sinister Sales Engineer. Many companies have one. Early in my career, when I was not even a "Senior" Product Manager yet, this guy scared the bejeezus out of me.

Let's just say that this guy was from the Bronx and had an, ahem, "way with words." Especially four-letter

 

Lessons I Learned from Co-Founding a Tech StartupOpen in a New Window

Once upon a time, when I was a wee lass (25 years old, to be precise), and not yet a product manager but a code warrior-ess (or whatever it is that you call female warriors), I did that clichéd, hackneyed Silicon Valley stunt: co-founding a tech startup with three other

 

Quora: Options for adopting from abroad as a single womanOpen in a New Window

I answered the following question on international adoption on Quora:

Q: I'm a single female in my 40s, and would like to adopt a child internationally. Which countries should I be considering?

I'm based in UK, but for various reasons I'd like to considering international options. Russia has recently blocked

 

Quora: Is it fair for men & women to have different criteria for Y-Combinator, MIT & Caltech?Open in a New Window

Summarized from a discussion I had in the comments on Quora.

Original Question: How could Y Combinator be more female-friendly?

This isn't so much about how YC treats women once they get in, but about ways to balance the gender ratio.

The Discussion

One answerer suggested setting up processes that

 

Why Product Management is so misunderstoodOpen in a New Window

I've encountered lots of software startups that want to start up a Product Management function, even though they don't really understand what the Product Management role is or its activities. (I guess that's why they ask for my help).

I've learned this is really common. Software is full of people

 

What is Product Management? (the core, the over-extended, and the totally dysfunctional)Open in a New Window

Sometimes I help companies (usually startups) kickstart their Product Management function. These companies often know they WANT Product Management, even though they often don't have a clear idea of what Product Managers actually do.

In another post, I speculate about why this widespread ignorance of Product Management exists. But for

 

Quora: A parent's love for adoptive children vs biological childrenOpen in a New Window

Originally posted to Quora.

The original question was "Do parents love biological children more than adopted children?"

Someone who was a biological father without adopted children, who was therefore speculating, posted:

...I think that we derive a certain fulfillment and gratification from natural children that we don't get from adopted

 

Quora: How should paternity leave be arranged for a gay man with an adopted child?Open in a New Window

Orignally posted to Quora.

Q: How should paternity leave be arranged for a gay man with an adopted child?

Should he get paternity leave, which is usually shorter, or maternity leave? If he gets maternity leave, doesn't this suggest he is the 'mother' in the relationship, which is offensive to

 

Battlecards - Cheat Sheets on Your Competition. (A Template)Open in a New Window

Sales people are known for having a short-attention span -- they are always focused on the needs of their in-progress deals. Many won't put in the time to learn all about the competition until they absolutely need to.

So, you need a way to get them up-to-speed on the competition

 

Quora: What do MIT admissions interviewers look for?Open in a New Window

My answer, originally published on Quora.

Q: What do MIT admissions interviewers look for?


My Answer

I used to interview applicants to MIT, and the biggest things I looked for were:

  1. Deep intellectual curiosity and a passion for learning that goes far beyond the norm. This was best demonstrated by

 

Escalations: What to do when product issues are critically affecting a customerOpen in a New Window

What do you do when you have an important customer who is experiencing serious issues with your software -- issues so serious that they can't successfully use the product?

I'm not talking about customers who need a little hand-holding and training. Customer Support can handle them. I'm talking about situations

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