Age of Product’s Food for Thought of July 25th, 2016—shared with 3,558 peers—offers a rich summer buffet of topics: Spotify wants to be good at failing, or—one of my favs in this issue—how to apply Scrum to relationships. (Better start stocking Post-Its…) And you should consider joining the revolution and kill backlogs and roadmaps, or at least be inspired to make them usable.
We also learn how to avoid being driven into bankruptcy when estimating software projects, and someone’s actually claiming that sales guys can be more than a coin-driven pain in the [fill in the blanks].
We then dive deep into marketplaces and network effects, kudos to a16z for that, and learn that customer centricity is the new Agile—courtesy of the guy who made Hubspot a unicorn.
Last, but not least, I could not restrain myself from adding at least one Pokémon Go article, and to offset this childish behavior, we end with the story of an underdog, challenging its industry’s behemoth. Will there be a happy ending? Read on and have a great Sunday!
The Stratechery): Dollar Shave Club and The Disruption of Everything(via
Ben Thompson of the Stratechery shares another brilliant analysis of a deal, that saw a truly disruptive force—Dollar Shave Club—being swallowed up the industry’s behemoth—Unilever—, unable to innovate at the same pace. A good example, how an agile underdog can outperform the market-leader.
Andreessen Horowitz): Getting Network Effects, and (via
Jeff Jordan, Anu Hariharan, and Sonal Chokshi discuss one of the biggest misconceptions around network effects: Confusing growth with engagement. So, how does one tell the difference between viral growth and network effects? And how does one create network effects in different businesses?
Agile & Scrum in Relationships
InfoQ): Spotify Wants To Be Good at Failing(via
Ben Linders explains why Spotify, according to Marcus Frödin, Spotify’s Director of Engineering, wants to be really good at getting it wrong quickly and thus optimized for experimentation. (Probably a necessity, when Apple is breathing down your neck.)
Medium): Be the Laziest Team and Win(via
John Cutler asks you to run a thought experiment: If you were to stop shipping new stuff, WHAT would happen and WHEN would it happen? Would you miss a sales goal or growth goal? Would churn increase? Would the competition trounce you? And how do you know?
Medium): 10 Tips for Creating an Agile Product Roadmap(via
Roman Pichler shares ten practical tips to helps you create an actionable agile product roadmap, from “Focus on Goals and Benefits” to “Regularly Review and Adjust the Roadmap”.
Agile Nightmare): Software Costs Estimation In Agile Project Management(via
Paul Barnes, Toptal’s Head of Projects, shares insight into planning, estimating and defining a price for an agile software project: “Follow these guidelines and you’ll be sure to find a satisfactory route to bring your software product to life”.
Medium): Running Agile Scrum on our Relationship(via
Alanna Krause shares her learnings on running Scrum on her relationship. Okay, she mentions that her partner and she are both process nerds, and that Scrum is a set of tools and vocabulary they already share anyway.
Summer Reading List
- Ash Maurya: Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth
- Stephen Bungay: The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps between Plans, Actions, and Results
- Daniel H. Pink: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
- L. David Marquet: Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
Product & Lean
Tyner Blain): Minimum Valuable Problem(via
Scott Sehlhorst explains why defining and building a good minimum viable product is much harder than it sounds. Because the MVP is a combination of solving the minimum valuable problem and all of the other things that go with it.
Andreessen Horowitz): A Guide to Marketplaces(via
Boris Wertz compiled a free handbook, that contains many of the insights he has learned from working with great marketplace companies and analyzing the industry. If your product is a marketplace, this slidedeck, or PDF, is a must-read.
Medium): How A Modern Product Team Should Work(via
David Cancel, CEO of Drift and formerly at Hubspot, shares in this podcast episode, why agile and waterfall just don’t cut it anymore, why small, autonomous teams are the future, and what this “customer centricity” model is all about.
UserVoice): How Product Management Can Work Effectively with Sales(via
Sara Aboulafia provides nine proven tactics to turn the proverbial pain in the butt—yes, we are talking about the coin-driven sales people, pushing you for new features to save their bonuses—into a valuable ally of product management.
This Is Product Management): Customer Development is Product Managementand (via
Cindy Alvarez, Director of User Experience at Yammer (a Microsoft company), shares how she advocated for Lean methodologies at her organization and how to gain meaningful insights from customer interviews.
(via Mind The Product): The Explosion of Pokémon Go: A Product Designer’s Perspective
Jenny Wanger analyzes the overnight success of Pokémon Go beyond its strong game mechanics and good brand from. (By the way, you did you invest in Nintendo prior to Pokémon Go’s launch? No? Me neither, happens to the best of us…)
UX Magazine): Calculating the ROI of Digital Prototyping(via
Nis Frome suggests how to align rapid prototyping—useful to generate feedback from users about product concepts before committing resource building them—with your company’s financial processes.