Why Amazon Echo & Alexa really matter, by Anil Dash.
In Summary: Alexa is the artificial intelligence service that Amazon runs and Echo (alongside Dash and Dot) is the brand name of a device that connects to Alexa. This combination creates a new breed of touch-free (or 'screenless') interactions destined to have far-reaching consequences for Product Managers.
Echo as a product doesn’t have a category name, but it's the first popular smart device that’s connected to a place rather than a person.
Being hands-free matters. It turns out there are a lot of times when our hands and eyes are otherwise occupied. Except for Google’s own products, all the next-generation voice-activated search devices rely on Microsoft’s platform, which could be a meaningful advantage for them in the future.
Mario Queiroz is planting the seed of Google’s artificial intelligence.
In Summary: Mario Queiroz' insistent focus on letting your phone ‘cast’ video got Chromecast to market faster and in larger scale than any hardware product Google has shipped. His current venture is Google Home.
Advances in data processing mean voice may soon be a widespread computing interface so Google, Amazon and Apple are racing to own it.
Revealed in May, Google Home fuses its search database with deeply personalised intelligence. Google sees it as the next big evolutionary step for search, its foundational product.
By handing Home to Queiroz, Google is endorsing his strategy of going cheap and simple.
Find someone with their hair on fire, says Y Combinator's Michael Siebel.
In Summary: Product Market Fit is a term that is often used wrongly. The experience of true PMF, best described by Marc Andreessen, is 'when customers are buying the product as fast as you can make it.'
PMF is characterised by a Product Team frantically trying to keep pace with ever-growing numbers of happy customers. Until this happens, you should stay lean, keep burn low, and keep iterating. Many founders and Product Managers try to scale prematurely, wasting precious resources before they need to.
The likelihood of reaching PMF is influenced by the nature of the problem your product solves. The best products tackle what Sequoia Capital call 'hair on fire' problems: circumstances so dire that users are willing to try half-baked, v1, imperfect solutions.
Stop talking like an annoying engineer and start talking like a great Product Manager, says Alex Bartlow for Aha!
In Summary: Some Product Managers feel excluded from the cult of software development. In response, it's common for them to begin using 'dev speak' (or excessive technical language) to try to connect with their engineers.
But, contrary to popular myth, only bad developers use jargon to exclude others. Great Product Managers are the eyes and ears of developers, indicating what’s coming on the roadmap and why it’s coming, so they can prepare for what’s ahead.
Instead of using jargon, Product Managers should focus on the 4 pillars of communication: vision, respect, trust and excitement.