Deep Product

Insights and advice from the deeper layers of product leadership

How To Manage People Who Are More Experienced Than You Are

Product management requires so many diverse skills that most likely your people are more experienced than you at least in some of them. When these skills are core to what your team needs to achieve, it can become confusing. If the people reporting to you know better how to do their job, what is your role as a manager? Don’t worry, you are still needed. Here’s why and how.

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Your Problem Isn’t the Leaky Bucket, It’s the Clogged Pipe

The leaky bucket is a known metaphor in sales. If your funnel isn’t converting well, there is no point in adding more leads into it, since they will not convert and there is no gain here. But the truth is, that not only will it not result in a positive impact, it can also actually cause you harm. To understand why, we need to switch to another water-related metaphor: the clogged pipe.

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3 Ways To Educate the Market That Actually Work

Everyone knows educating the market is hard to nearly impossible, but people always bring up examples like Facebook or the iPhone whenever I discuss it in my lectures. So what can and cannot work when you want to educate the market? It’s all about what you want to educate them on.

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The Four Components of Product Success

Strategic product thinking is hard. Especially when done as an afterthought – when the product is already in the market – it is nearly impossible to rise above specific features and metrics. Here is a framework that will help you do just that.

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Are You a Real Problem Solver?

Problem-solving is one of the core characteristics of product managers. But the ability to solve customer problems does not always translate into the ability to solve problems for your own company. It is a slightly different skill to master, but very important for your ability to succeed.

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The Right Questions To Ask Your Customers

The strategic process requires you to interview potential customers to better understand what they need. Talking to customers is important also on an ongoing basis, to make sure you are staying in touch with the market. But what do you need to ask in these interviews? There are a few common pitfalls to avoid, so here is a quick guide.

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Leadership Without Authority on Steroids

Leadership without authority is product management 101. You must master it to succeed, in most cases with developers. But as a product executive, you must take it to the next level – and this time use it with the entire management team.

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The Product Cannot Be Your Only Tool

When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. As a product leader, other people, and maybe you as well, will lead every conversation with you towards features and product capabilities. While this is where your direct ownership is, as a product leader you don’t have the luxury to focus only on that.

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3 Ways Your Metrics Can Help You Even if You Never Use Them

Fully applying a data-driven approach to your product is hard. You need to invest a lot in building the infrastructure that will allow you to measure everything you want, see it clearly in a dashboard, and take action based on it. But metrics are a very powerful tool that you don’t want to give up on, even if you will never measure anything.

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How To Be Strategic Even if You Can’t Set the Tone

When the CEO sets the strategy, what is your role as a product leader? How can you be strategic when the strategy is set by someone else? Surprisingly, there is no contradiction there, and in most cases, there is more room for you than you think. You just have to know where to look for it.

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