Working at startups can often feel as an exercise in balance. With so many things happening at the same time, and with multiple forces pushing to different and often opposing directions, one can easily feel quite disoriented. This digital vertigo is further exacerbated by the fact that any member of the team usually wears more than one hat, and so juggling becomes the de-facto national sport.
All these conditions often translate into a mentality of ‘let’s just do it’, which might seem as the only modus operandi available given that traditional processes just don’t work at this environment. …
In previous posts I have discussed Eric Ries’s well-known The Lean Startup theory, going through its core elements and key takeaways. I also provided my own personal impression, working in and with many startups, of some of the key mistakes or misinterpretations that are often made in practice.
Today I want to shed some light on another angle, often missed, of this book, that personally strikes me as the most troubling one. It is not something that Ries openly discusses, but it is implicitly present throughout many of the techniques that are given as a way of learning and experimentation…
In my previous post, I gave a brief overview of The Lean Startup theory of innovation by Eric Ries, and walked through its key concepts. As Ries describes in the introduction part to his book, his motivation to write it came mostly from his observation of the troublesome rate by which startups all around him were failing .
According to him, these are the two key reasons why startups fail:
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is approaching its 10th anniversary; published in September 2011, the book has been a tremendous success, selling over 1 million copies. The book has gave birth, or at the minimum popularized, terms, concepts and methodologies that have become the cornerstone of the day-to-day conducts of startups. Specifically, the term Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which is associated with Ries, has become one of the most popular terms governing discussions of innovation and early-stage execution. …
Remember the days of the old schoolyard
We used to laugh a lot, oh don’t you?
Remember the days of the old schoolyard
When we had imaginings and we had
All kinds of things and we laughed
And needed love, yes, I do
Oh and I remember you
Remember the Days / Cat Stevens
Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. We all have our moments of reflecting fondly on the past, and how things used to be so much better (or at the minimum ‘simpler’). …
We go about our lives as consumers making transactions. Think of the last time you bought a pizza slice or a pair of shoes. A brief engagement with the merchant at the point-of-sale and an exchange of money for value. Transactions are transient and ephemeral; the value you pay for is provided then and there. Whether you will return in the future to the pizza parlor or shoes’ store, depends just as much on factors of chance and circumstances as it depends on your satisfaction with the product.
Ok … I’m going to piss some people off with this post; to make things worse, some of them are my close friends. Would it help if I start by saying that I, myself, am a software engineer that has practiced product management through large parts of my career?
Secondly, I’m sure to make some wild generalizations here which will do injustice to many great product managers who happen to have a background in engineering, but I’m trying to make a statement here, and you can’t make a statement without highlighting insights which are based on generalizations, and you can’t…
Medium, the publishing platform, has recently launched an overhaul of its application. Its founder, Ev Williams, has written a post on the company’s blog, where he gives the rationale behind the change.
It is titled “Toward a more relational Medium”. He writes:
“Among other ways, the internet has changed media consumption along a spectrum that you might call relational to transactional. Think of (or imagine, if you’re not old enough) when you got your morning newspaper or your favorite magazine and read articles because they were in that newspaper or magazine. Sure, you didn’t read all of them, but what…
In part one of my post series, I argued that by thinking of Software as Products, analogue to manufactured goods, we have subscribed ourselves to an engineering-driven mindset that fails to capture the customers’ expectations and results in failures in market-product fit. Part two introduced three modern approaches to innovation and software development that could help reduce the gap between what we develop and what customers want.
Both the Job-to-be-Done theory and the design-thinking movement make a strong case towards innovation that considers the entire dimension space of customers’ challenges including aspects of technical, psychological, social, and emotional nature. The…
My previous post discussed how the industry of PC software has evolved based on the analogy of physical goods; I argued that we have been using the wrong metaphor in referring to software-based offering as products. I also pointed out how advancements in technology have removed traditional constraints in a way which is gradually changing the software medium to introduce what I referred to as “streamed software”.
And yet, for the most part, too many companies choose to adopt a highly conservative engineering-thinking approach when they address the challenge of developing software. The mantra of “if you build it, they…
I’m passionate about product, strategy and innovation.