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 …

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 …

“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 …

Product Q&A: Additional questions

Giff Constable product management, startups

First Round Capital has a wonderful online network, basically a white-labelled quora, for people at their portfolio companies. I answer questions now and then. Here are some of the Q’s I have answered over the last year or two: What are best practices for including and leveraging the design team in your product development process? I boil it down to …

Product Q&A: Creating an inclusive culture for a remote team

Giff Constable product management

First Round Capital has a wonderful online network, basically a white-labelled quora, for people at their portfolio companies. While I was with their portfolio company Axial, I answered a number of questions. I’m sharing some of the Q’s I have answered over the last year or two: How does your company create an inclusive culture for those that work remote? …

Product Q&A: That first VP of Product hire

Giff Constable product management

First Round Capital has a wonderful online network, basically a white-labelled quora, for people at their portfolio companies. While I was with their portfolio company Axial, I answered a number of questions. I’m sharing some of the Q’s I have answered over the last year or two: What do you look for in your first VP of Product or Head …