Food For Thought #14: Y Combinator Playbook, AI & Unemployment, How To Say ‘No’

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of November 8th, 2015 covers: Y Combinator (Economist reporting and Sam Altman’s startup playbook), artificial intelligence and mass unemployment, unhealthy Scrum obsessions, Tim Ferriss’ How to say ‘No’, e-commerce trends and the black box of product management.

Continue reading Food For Thought #14: Y Combinator Playbook, AI & Unemployment, How To Say ‘No’

Scrum: The Obsession with Commitment Matching Velocity

The Fine Line Between Risk Mitigation and Falling Back into Covering Your Butt

The team hasn’t met its commitments once. Not once.

The atmosphere was becoming thicker by the minute. The management was displeased with the progress of the project and was looking for answers, starring at a bunch of Jira charts, I prepared earlier. “How can we claim that we are working in Scrum mode if the team is not sticking with the rules?”

Throughout the majority of projects I have been working on I could observe an obsession with burn-down charts and other Scrum metrics, mainly team commitments. And as a consequence, a side product of backlog grooming, estimation, and sprint planning is elevated to the most important management indicator that “Agile” works: The team’s commitment is matching or outperforming its average velocity.

Continue reading Scrum: The Obsession with Commitment Matching Velocity

Food for Thought #13: Disruption, Permalancers, ConvertKit & Persuasion Lessons

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of November 1st, 2015 covers: The future of work Uber-style, product design lessons with ConvertKit, persuasive product design, whether Uber is disruptive or not (spoiler alert: nope), the failure of Ebookmakr, company culture BS and why organizations don’t learn.

Continue reading Food for Thought #13: Disruption, Permalancers, ConvertKit & Persuasion Lessons

Ebookmakr Failure: The Fallacy of Knowing What to Build – The Post Mortem

Executive Summary – Lessons Learned from Ebookmakr’s Failure:

  1. Love the problem more than your solution.
  2. Don’t push too far your dreams of China in your hand.
  3. Use prototyping tools such as Marvel when running user interviews. (More here: Four Lessons Learned From Making Customer Value Your Priority.)
  4. Be careful with the selection process for user interviews: You might end up picking those that will support your vision – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy trap.
  5. Beware of false positives in user interviews.
  6. Never start writing a single line of code before an appropriate number of customers signed up. (For clarification: Customers are paying users.)
  7. Never spend money on developing a prototype when you’re not working full-time on growing the user-base and increasing customer value.
  8. Be patient and give your product the time it needs.
  9. Always make branded t-shirts and wear them later regularly to preserve the recollection of the disaster. (See below.)
Continue reading Ebookmakr Failure: The Fallacy of Knowing What to Build – The Post Mortem

Food for Thought #12: Holacracy, Customer Value, What Is Success, The Feed

Age of Product’s Food for Thought on October 25th, 2015 on: Holacracy w/ Tony Hsieh of Zappos, customer value driven product design, what is “success” w/ Jerry Colonna & Brad Feld, slaves of the feed, how Bigcommerce started, 2015 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey, Software Eats Healthcare and how Expensify doubled its customer base.

Continue reading Food for Thought #12: Holacracy, Customer Value, What Is Success, The Feed

Four Lessons Learned From Making Customer Value Your Priority

TL;DR: Four Lessons Learned From Making Customer Value Your Priority

Building a valuable, usable and feasible product does not happen overnight. These are my four core learnings from focusing on customer value, looking back at the projects I have been pursuing over the years.

Continue reading Four Lessons Learned From Making Customer Value Your Priority