Good vs Bad Product Management

Giff Constable 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 feel like the overall field …

Early Stage Lean: Running Weekly Decision Meetings

Giff Constable lean, product management, startups

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 keep our feet to the …

Get Explicit with a Risks Dashboard

Giff Constable lean, product management

At the start of mentoring an entrepreneurship class the other day, I realized: “This group has no consensus or specificity around their belief system.” If you don’t know what you believe, how can you check if you are right? Working blindly leads to working harder, not smarter. There are lots of ways to get specificity and shared understanding around your belief system, …

A Piece of Advice for Junior Product Managers

Giff Constable product management

I was in a discussion with a group of experienced product managers and someone asked, “What’s the best piece of advice you could give a junior PM?” My first response was, “Surround yourself with people smarter than you, and push appropriate decisions to them (while not chickening out on the hard decisions you need to make).” But I realized that …

Lessons from a Restaurant Kitchen

Giff Constable product management

The world around us is full of inspiration. I was reminded of this last night when I ate at Cockscomb, one of my now-favorite places in San Francisco. Unlike my last visitation, I was alone. Thus I found myself eating at the bar, watching an incredible orchestra perform in front of me in their open kitchen. I couldn’t help but …

Planning Poker for Innovation Ideas

Giff Constable innovation, product management

I’m currently in the middle of a project where we are helping a large company test out an innovation lab based on the “innovation studio” ideas. We are now in week 4. The beginning of the project was focused on learning, tons of custdev, and ideation.  We’ve winnowed down our ideas to 6, and need to choose our first prototype to test …

Playdoh and Silly Putty

Giff Constable design, product management

Why do we like working with our hands so much? What is it about making something tactile, that gets the brain engaged? Whenever there is a complex decision to be made, and usually nothing is more hairy than prioritization debates, I like writing things out on index cards (one item per card, bonus if I have time to draw icons …