Reduce bias and resentment with a transparent salary and skills matrix

(Originally posted 0n Medium as I experiment with the platform) As employers and employees, we have a choice as to how we conduct ourselves. We can choose to “get away with what we can,” or we can set our values and live by them. I believe that most people want to work in fair, meritocratic,… Continue reading

How your team’s qualitative metrics act as the canary in the coal mine

There are three qualitative metrics I find interesting to use with a product team to help spot, and deal with, changes that could be opportunities or problems. 1. Retrospectives: scoring the “sprint” My former colleagues from Edgecase used to have every product team “score” how things felt since their last retro on a 1 to 10… Continue reading

Getting Tactical: the experiment design studio

If you are trying to get your team to think more creatively in terms of experiments, this exercise might be useful. Why? When it comes to creating new products (or even features), experiments help you make more informed decisions. Ideally you make your experiment as small as possible to get believable insights, but they come in all… Continue reading

Getting Tactical: Product Team Working Agreements

We talk a lot about how assumptions in business can kill you. But assumptions on a team can do the same. One of the best way to preserve a transparent, low-politics culture is to keep everything as visible and explicit as possible. This applies to strategy, vision, and values, but also to working methods. We… Continue reading

How to interview a product manager

This is part 3 of a talk given to the CTO School in New York, covering how to interview for a product manager (Parts 1 and 2). While I continually iterate my approach in the hunt to spot talent and minimize disappointments, this is my latest structure. I think of interviewing product managers as having… Continue reading

How engineering leads can work well with product management leads

This is the second part of a 3-part talk given to the CTO School. Part 1 covered good vs bad product management. Here I want to share ten ways an engineering leader can best partner with their product management counterpart. 1. Think strategically about the pressures on the business, not just the pressures on engineering… Continue reading

Good vs Bad Product Management

A while ago, I gave a talk to NYC’s CTO School on product management (good vs bad, working with, hiring). The deck has existed on Slideshare, but I wanted to break it out here into 3 posts. Product management, like “business development” and “UX” means many different things depending on the organization. But it does… Continue reading

Early Stage Lean: Running Weekly Decision Meetings

At Neo (recently acquired by Pivotal), we tried to put lean startup ideas into practice. Several years ago, Time Inc was our first client where we got to dream up and rigorously test new ideas over a period of several weeks. During that initial project, I realized that we needed a weekly ritual that helped us… Continue reading

A fair vesting system for a bootstrapped side project

A friend and I are bootstrapping a side software project (called Jotto), and we wanted a way to equitably share ownership of the project. We knew that we were not always going to be investing the same amounts of time and effort, and wanted to take that into account to prevent any negative feelings. The… Continue reading