What is good product management?

Giff Constable management, technology

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

What Pixar Got Right

Giff Constable innovation, management

Pixar is an inspiring place. In addition to prioritizing storytelling, they got a lot right when it came to process and human interactions.  Fast Company has a nice piece interviewing Pixar alumni, and I pulled out my favorite bits: “There’s still a back and forth between creative and the audience, and you can’t be like ‘if I build it, they …

Hiring an Intrapreneur Team

Giff Constable innovation, management

Let’s say you’re a leader at a Fortune 500 company. You know you need to move faster and take on more risks with your digital products. How do you conquer your “innovator’s dilemma”? You need the right structure and the right people. Today, I wanted to talk about the people. You need dynamic, passionate, multi-skilled, highly talented people. In other …

The Intrapreneur’s Team

Giff Constable innovation, lean, management

Neo spends a lot of time working with large companies on new product innovation. One question we often get is how to best structure roles and teams. Here are a few high-level bullets: Senior Executive’s Role: define the vision and desired outcomes allow the team to explore and define the solution create funding structure and timing “gates” provide physical infrastructure …

Aging into Obsolescence

Giff Constable management, startups, technology

The structure of modern business forces people to become stale as they age. The economic incentives of most creative industries, including tech, all point in this direction. When you are young, you *make* stuff. You code, you design, you write, you execute. You constantly get to practice and improve your making skills. The normal definition of success implies moving up …

Stop Pretending You’re Not a Tech Company

Giff Constable management, technology

I keep on running into large companies who say they are not a technology company. All I want to do is shake them and say, “Don’t you get it? We’re all technology companies today.” But instead, software gets treated as “IT” and outsourced or managed as a utility. Too often, they don’t hire for creative people; they don’t differentiate creative …

Firing yourself up, and firing yourself down

Giff Constable management, startups

Joel Gascoigne has a thoughtful post called “The maker/manager transition phase“. He grapples with the shift from early-stage startup “maker” mode to scaling-startup management mode. It is a major mental shift to go from doing to delegating. Joel includes a great quote from Joe Kraus: “If you’re a founding CEO, I believe that you are doing your company a disservice …

The Zuck Highlights

Giff Constable innovation, management

Like many, I just read Mark Zuckerberg’s S-1 letter. There are two things I really appreciated: the focus on long-term value, and the results-oriented innovation culture it espoused. The letter states that the company wants to embrace risk and focus on long term value, not “maximizing investor returns” or quarterly performance. I’m glad to see more companies resisting Wall Street’s …