15 Articles about Building Great Products - TruVoice from Corporate Visions (Formerly Primary Intelligence)

15 Articles about Building Great Products

15 Articles about Building a Great Product

At Primary Intelligence, we listen to product feedback from buyers every day, and so can confirm: building a product is pretty easy; building a great product is another matter. Luckily, there are plenty of product managers and leaders willing to share some of their secrets. Here are exceptional ideas about building great products, pulled from our 15 favorite blog posts.

Getting (the Right) Stuff Done

By Steven Sinofsky

“Two important realities represent a constant balancing act when leading a product. As a PM you are applying finite resources to market needs in the march towards product-market fit or are working furiously to maintain a competitive lead. In addition to the new features there is the work that sales or customer success needs and together those greatly exceed what can be delivered by engineering.”

What distinguishes the Top 1% of Product Managers from the Top 10%?

By Ian McAllister

“A 1% PM grinds it out. They do whatever is necessary to ship. They recognize no specific bounds to the scope of their role. As necessary, they recruit, they produce buttons, they do bizdev, they escalate, they tussle with internal counsel, they *.”

Maximizing Your Minimum Viable Product: How to Get High Results without Releasing a ‘Minimal’ Product

By Jerry Cao

“But why go through all that extra trouble when the general public can ‘test’ the product faster and without wasting company resources? Because you always want to impress your customers, and releasing a ‘minimum’ product might essentially scare them away.”

Becoming a More Thoughtful User Experience Designer

By Jake Lee Haugen

“When a user has an amazing experience it means they’ll choose that product over others. They’re going to talk about it and recommend it to friends. It’s truly a win for everyone involved (product owners, designers, and users).”

Three Common UX Mistakes Killing Good Design

By Jerry Cao

“You’re dealing with competing priorities: sales teams usually want more lead information, while designers fight for the best user experience (which indirectly meets business needs). The only way to strike a balance is to test.”

5 Benefits in Thinking About Revenue Models Right From the Start

By Saeed Khan

“If you can’t identify the kinds of people who might pay for your product or service, how can you decide how much value it is to them and how much to charge?”

Your Best Agile User Story

By Alex Cowan

“Most of us hate to admit we don’t know things, particularly in a professional setting. Yet there is so much we don’t know, particularly if we’re innovating. The Lean Startup movement is at its core a way of saying ‘There is a lot we don’t know yet but here’s how we’re going to work through that with a minimum of waste so we can take multiple shots at a successful outcome’.”

The New Patterns of Innovation

By Rashik Parmar, Ian Mackenzie, David Cohn, & David Gann

“For some years now, information technology has been expanding away from its traditional role of automating and reducing the cost of operational and managerial processes. Of course, IT will continue to serve this function. But it’s becoming a stronger force in the quest for new business opportunities. The faster technology advances, the more opportunities seem to open up. It’s time companies took a structured, systematic approach to examining these advances, carefully considering how IT can enable not only better products and services but also innovative business models and platforms.”

Creating a Strategic Product Plan

By Bill Thomson

“Who is actually concerned with profitability and the balancing short and long-term goals? Who is ensuring that every key decision is being made with key business goals in mind? In short, who is minding the store? For most functionally-aligned technology companies comprised of sales, marketing, operations/support, development, and finance, the lowest level of management where accountability exists for profitability and long-term strategic issues is amazingly the COO, if one exists, or the CEO if not.”

The Art of Decision Making as a Product Manager

By Sachin Rekhi

“When you are in the middle of making a critical decision, it’s important to make sure the team understands the decision making process. If you’re still in the phase of gathering potential recommendations, make that clear and solicit ideas from the team. If you are waiting on additional information before making the call, it’s important the team understands that as well so they know why a decision is taking additional time. And when the decision is eventually made, make it clear to the team what the decision is, the reasoning behind it, and that it’s time to move on to the next challenge.”

This Product Prioritization System Nabbed Pandora 70 Million Monthly Users with Just 40 Engineers

Summary of a talk by Tom Conrad

“90 days is the length of one quarter. That’s how far you can reasonably think and plan ahead when you’re in hyper-growth, Conrad says. And there’s a question you have to ask yourself at the start of every quarter: What would be stupid for us not to do in the next 90 days?”

Going from Meh to Awesome

By Shiva Rajaraman

“Every product out there has been hacked, extended, or reused by its users in some way, and it’s important to embrace these random uses as they are a strong signal that your community of users is truly passionate about the product. As a product manager you need dive into this community of users, know how your product is being used and encourage these emergent behaviors.”

The Only Metric That Matters

By Josh Elman

“When I meet new companies today, I often hear things like ‘We have 10M uniques with 30M page views per month.’ Or ‘We have a 25% DAU/MAU with a 2-cent ARPDAU’. All of these sound pretty interesting in the abstract. … While big numbers are a nice signal of, well, big numbers, I don’t think they are an indicator at all for whether a product is really working.”

Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager

By Ben Horowitz

“Bad product managers have lots of excuses. Not enough funding, the engineering manager is an idiot, Microsoft has 10 times as many engineers working on it, I’m overworked, I don’t get enough direction. Barksdale doesn’t make these kinds of excuses and neither should the CEO of a product.”

How to Work with Designers

By Julie Zhuo

“The most direct path to a designer’s heart is to care about the details. Seriously, want to send hearts fluttering ablaze with joy and delight? Implement a mock with every pixel in place. Set a high quality bar that doesn’t permit jankiness. Go the extra mile to get a small design detail right. Or spend an extra night building something for the express purpose of delighting a user. Every single designer I know loves to work with engineers and PMs that value design—would gladly give up nights and weekends just to sit together and make stuff happen because everybody believes in it.”

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