Bolt's Ben Einstein on what Product Managers can learn from the failure of Coin.
In Summary: Coin was an ambitious attempt to combine all credit cards into a single solution that meant you only needed to carry one card. In 10 days, Ben tried to use Coin 54 times. It succeeded only
Product risk is the possibility that a product will fail to live up to the expectations of a consumer. The easiest way to understand this is to inspect the user experience when the product fails. Either it’s not that big of a deal (low-stakes failures) or it cripples the user experience (high-stakes failures).
Most products we buy have low product risk. These are products that routinely fail in small ways which we view as mere annoyances. Fitbit may count 95% of your steps but if it’s a little off few people notice.
Startups can take on technical risk and they can take on product risk, but it’s exceptionally difficult to take on both at once.
Beware unintended consequences, says Jonathan Kohl.
In Summary: Micromanagers tend to be overly obsessed with outcomes and/or just deeply insecure. Either way, the behaviour they manifest is the same: distrustful, overbearing and overly concerned with metrics and updates. The results are usually disastrous.
Jonathan has many stories to tell about his experiences with micromanagers, the latest in his series on PM anti-patterns.
PMs who don’t allow product teams the freedom to make decisions about most aspects of their work will prevent them from being creative and the product will suffer. If they feel that you don’t trust them, they'll resent you and will only do the minimum required.
Vote and arrange, says Smashing Mag's Jonathan Courtney.
In Summary: Most Product Managers employ some degree of post-it driven process in product development. But traditional brainstorming has been criticised of late for being unstructured and time consuming whilst delivering little tangible value.
In this post, Jonathan outlines a product ideation technique he's devised called applied user story mapping (applied USM), a versatile and flexible exercise that can be used in the ideation process for any product or service.
Done properly, it should leave your Product Team with a pile of ideas, feature suggestions and solutions that everybody in the room has both created and voted upon.