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Interviewing Designers and PMs: The Design Challenge

Giff Constable design, management, product management

It’s really hard to interview product designers and product managers. The most effective step I added to my cycles several years ago is a design challenge. The challenges themselves are a 2-hour take-home challenge, and then a 1-hour presentation with cross-functional members of the team. Because of the time commitment, it is best saved for late in the interview cycle. …

Dual Thinking and the Limitations of Hypotheses

Giff Constable product management

Alex Danco publishes an excellent newsletter Two Truths and a Take and today’s thought provoking essay is all about the limitations of having hypotheses: they can close our minds off to creativity and discovery. Danco writes, “when we analyze the results of an experiment, our mental focus on a specific hypothesis can prevent us from exploring other aspects of the …

Public versus Private Roadmaps, Lessons from Trello

Giff Constable product management

Should you make some or all of your roadmap public? If yes, then what are some of the considerations? I had to answer this question recently. To hone my thinking, I reached out to Justin Gallagher, who’s been the head of product management for Trello since their earliest days.  As a general rule, enterprise software companies have typically maintained a …

Team Comms for Product Management

Giff Constable management, product management

Like many of you, I’m constantly playing with how to run and scale effective communication across multiple product managers, cross-functional teams, and a broader organization. Here’s a quick take on some of my current approaches. Across PMs I typically run a weekly hour-long meeting for all PMs. The agenda typically looks like this: 20 min on goals/OKRs, 30 minutes on …

Financial Fluency: Understanding Valuation

Giff Constable finance, private equity, product management

If you want a strategic seat at the table as a product leader, you need to have an intimate understanding of how product metrics turn into financial metrics and business value. This post is an attempt to help more product managers understand the connection their work has to finance and, in particular, business valuation. I’ve got a few cautionary tales …

first principles roadmap questions

Roadmapping: First Principles Questions

Giff Constable product management

This post roughly mirrors a talk I gave about a month ago to two product manager communities (Product School and Product Faculty). If you prefer watching video, a recording of one of the talks is here. Roadmaps are an important and necessary part of the product manager job. They allow us to refine our own thoughts, set expectations inside (and …

Do we really need PMs?

Giff Constable product management

I gave a talk on roadmapping recently to a large group of product managers, and one asked the question: “Do companies really need product managers or is it just a facilitation role between the different other roles that can go away if they get better at collaboration?” It’s an understandable question, and one I’ve heard for years. Indeed, modern product …

A New Book: First Principles Product Management

Giff Constable product management

I have this theory that product leaders can and should copy best practices, but you can’t copy someone else’s playbook. The job is way too context-specific. In addition, I believe that any good product manager can get to really good answers as long as they ask the right questions. The book I wanted to see in the world was a …

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A Decentralized Metaverse Architecture

Giff Constable virtual goods, virtual worlds

I spent much of mid-2000s working on virtual worlds and virtual economies. I got to work on fascinating problems with wonderfully creative people (shout out to you Electric Sheep alumni!). Brief tangent: here’s a few of the colorful characters I got to know, from a photo book I published back in 2007 called Avatar Expression: By 2010, I had moved …

Book Review: Forever Employable

Giff Constable book review

I had a talented friend once say, “This is the last time I want to apply for a job. Instead, I want the jobs to find me.” That’s a great concept in theory, but tough to pull off. The only way to do it is to build a personal brand. I had ringside seat watching Jeff Gothelf build a personal …