A New Chapter, Musings on Meetup

Giff Constable Personal

Today is my last day at Meetup as the CPO. The journey was shorter than I wanted, but for an important reason. A Personal Note Sometimes executives say they are taking “time off for family” as part of leaving an organization, but in my case it is true. Before diving into reflections on my time at Meetup, I want to …

Talk: Solving the PM Talent Crunch

Giff Constable product management, Uncategorized

On Nov 9th, I gave a 20min talk at the NY Product Conference about a major change in how I think about hiring PMs. I now spend as much energy looking inside my company as outside. I’ve included the video below. The talk covers: a story about how I discovered a great PM in an unusual way spider graphs of …

21 Books Every Product Manager Should Know

Giff Constable book review, product management

Done right, product management is a highly multi-disciplinary role that requires a broad range of knowledge to master. The best books broaden our thinking and remind us of lessons we should have remembered. I try out (and reject) a lot of business books, but these are ones that passed my bar both at first read and over time. I have …

OKR Blind Spots

Giff Constable product management

My former colleagues Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden have been writing a lot about OKRs and outcomes. I very publicly admit to my colleagues that I have a love/hate relationship with metrics, and a slight allergic reaction to phrases like “data driven” and “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Impact goals are important, but there are times when dogmatically …

Every Critical Metric Needs a Counter Metric

Giff Constable management, metrics

The other day I tweeted, “Every critical metric at a company needs a counter-metric to prevent the wrong kind of optimization.” It got a reaction and I thought to expand on the topic. Have you seen any of these examples of metrics + reward systems gone awry? The marketing and demandgen teams are tasked with bringing on leads, so they …

“I Have No Idea What Product Is Working On”

Giff Constable product management

“I have no idea what the product team is working on!” Have you ever heard that? I did, on a recurring basis, when running product and engineering at the fintech company Axial. But hold your horses! I did lots of externalization! I was writing a bi-weekly (and sometimes weekly) internal blog post where I updated everyone on metrics, work-in-progress, and …

Seinfeld, Business Models, and Culture Shifts

Giff Constable business models, management

I recently watched an old video on the making of the hit TV show Seinfeld. What struck me is how both the creators, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, and the network executives seemed to be amazed that it ever got on the air. Network executives kept on telling them what to change and do, and the two creators kept on …

Interviews versus Experiments

Giff Constable lean

How do you choose when to do an experiment versus an interview? I received a really interesting question last week at the Lean Startup Conference. At the event, I ran two workshops—one on customer discovery (the topic of Talking to Humans) and one on experiments (the topic of Testing with Humans). The asker was trying to understand a shopper’s experience …

12 Tips for Running Effective Experiments

Giff Constable lean

This post originally appeared on Medium but I am now posting more regularly here. Before you rally a team, spend money, and move heaven and earth to bring a new product or new company into being, wouldn’t you want to de-risk your vision, timing and execution? Wouldn’t you want to make more informed decisions? There are two great places to start: …

Product-Market Fit is an Illusion

Giff Constable lean, startups

Lately, I’ve found myself questioning the concept of product-market fit. Not long after Marc Andreessen coined the term, entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs) starting asking themselves, “do I have it yet?” and often rushing to answer “yes,” with all sorts of bad consequences. I did a tweetstorm/post about the mistakes that come with getting it wrong, but the topic is still bouncing …