The Value Behind Faster Horses

February 5, 2015

David Bland has a funny, and painful, graphic called the Product Death Cycle. It clearly illustrates one of the more dangerous parts of customer development: taking customer ideas literally. The famous line attributed to Henry Ford goes, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.” Some […]

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Lean Startup Doesn’t Need Tools

January 29, 2015

In 2012, we were testing a bunch of new business ideas for Amex and I thought, “what if we had a tool that let us capture our assumptions, our experiments, and our progress?” So over a couple weeks, we hacked something out and tried it out on a few projects. It was a complete waste […]

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Death to Clickbait

January 28, 2015

I’ve decided I’ve had it with blogger clickbait, in particular the tendency to toss a highly controversial title in front of a non-controversial post. The ones I fall for usually claim that something I believe is wrong (or “dead”). Then they proceed to explain how the idea was right after all, albeit in need of […]

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Making Innovation Unsexy

January 21, 2015

(This post was originally posted on the Neo blog) “None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison, 1929 Many years ago, […]

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Startups: Don’t Wait to Build Exit Relationships

January 12, 2015

Paul Graham’s latest essay warns of losing time and focus to “corporate development” staffers out there sniffing for companies to buy. I agree with him on the corp dev side. But I wouldn’t want people to think that you should ignore potential buyers until “you want to sell your company right now.” It’s a question […]

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What is good product management?

November 24, 2014

I gave this talk to the CTO School in NYC the other week. The focus was on three key topics: what is good product management, how can the head of engineering be a good partner, and how to hire good PMs. Enjoy: What is good product management from Giff Constable

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The Virtual Thief (and what that means for privacy)

November 18, 2014

In 2006, we created a online marketplace for virtual goods in Second Life. Our competitor had a daunting network effect advantage, but we had no intention of fighting over the existing market. The real market in our eyes was consumers yet to come (they never really came, but that’s a different story). To drive traffic, […]

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Fighting Our Own Biases

November 8, 2014

In 2010, I became minorly Internet-known as an early adopter of lean startup. I blogged as I went. I made plenty of mistakes. One was not defending adequately against my own biases. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs of any kind. That’s one of my big honking biases. Liz Crawford and I were working […]

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The Post-Lean Era

October 28, 2014

Stuart Eccles, CTO of Made By Many and early adopter of lean startup, half-seriously announced the other night after a few beers that we were entering the post-Lean-Startup era. At first I thought he was referring to something we’ve discussed many times: the pendulum has swung a little too far towards lean testing and could […]

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Enterprise Innovation – A Proposed Structure for a New Business Studio

October 15, 2014

These are raw notes for an opinion piece on how to structure an “innovation” group. Comments very welcome. You’re a senior executive. You know “software is eating the world” and you have to embrace technology and disruption more aggressively. How do you approach it? If you are gunning for sustaining innovation (i.e. optimizations and extensions […]

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