Lauren Maffeo, Author at General Assembly Blog

How to Build a Brilliant Visual Product Roadmap



As Product Managers, building product roadmaps is a crucial part of our job. Yet most of us still use outdated tools for product roadmapping — Excel, PowerPoint, wikis, etc. — to try and keep multiple teams on track toward the same goals. It’s painful. The good news is that there’s a better way.

We understand that building a strategic product roadmap is not easy and that your business colleagues always want to know what’s coming next. It’s time to lead your product with conviction. Take a radical new approach to roadmapping because your company needs it and you deserve to build the future and enjoy what you do.

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How To Have an Awesome Product Launch



It feels invigorating to build awesome products. If you are a product manager, you have the unique chance to lead an idea from conception through completion. This opportunity inspires product managers to get out of bed excited each day.

A major achievement for any PM comes on the day that they launch their product. This is the day when months of hard work is placed into customers’ hands. There is little more rewarding than watching an idea come to life for end users.

But make no mistake — product launches are stressful. Product managers are pulled in several directions at once and have endless people to please. In the lead-up to launch, this can cause burnout.

Before you get in over your head, take a moment to step back and reevaluate. Product launches are most successful when you plan ahead for them from the start — well before your product goes to market. Continue reading

3 Components of Every Great Product Strategy



If you are a great product manager, you know a secret that others ignore: managing relationships is essential to your job. As the “mini-CEO” of your product, sometimes it might seem like your main job! Teams from sales to engineering all have a stake in your product. And they often want to see updates presented “their way.”

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4 Must-Have Attributes of Amazing Product Managers



On a January day fresh out of grad school, I was transitioning into the world of work. I had accepted a role overseeing a B2B video web series run by a small consultancy. I was this project’s first full-time hire, which involved everything from growing subscribers and HTML editing, to scripting interviews and analytics management. When it came time to figure out a title for my new role, I suggested that I be a digital strategist.

The boss considered my idea for a moment. “How about ‘product manager’?” he concluded. “Because AppBeat is the product.”

Without a clue about what product management was, I had suddenly become one. My story is not uncommon; product management is a career people often fall into, without formal training or education.

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Top 3 Tech Skills You Should Learn in 2015


top 3 tech skills

When Gartner shared its top tech trends for 2015, we learned that the number of Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer roles have doubled since last year – and are expected to double again. As one might imagine, this will rock the c-suite’s world:

  • 75% of IT execs say they need to change their leadership style within the next three years;
  • By 2017, 50% of total IT spending will occur outside of IT;
  • Also by 2017, 70% of successful business models will be deliberately unstable

In short: Silo-ed roles are out, blended skills are in. As more businesses use data to scale, employees must be agile enough to switch tactics on a dime. Gartner says, “This holistic approach blending business model, processes, technology and people will fuel digital business success.”

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The Best Blogs for Product Managers


blogs for product managers

There’s a reason product managers (PMs) are called “mini-CEOs.” They must drive an idea from start to finish. This road from conception to user acquisition is fraught with red lights, stop signs, and detours – so PMs need all the support they can get.

The right blogs can be a PM’s best friend — and these seven will get you started.

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The Best Apps For New Web Developers


Apps on a phone

2014 was a bad year for paper. When CareerCast released its list of the year’s most endangered jobs last June, it was clear that tech advancements were (at least partially) to blame. Newspaper reporters face growth prospects of -13%, while printing workers face job “growth” of -5%.

But for those who can build apps and websites, the future looks grand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that from 2012-2022, web developers have projected job growth of 20% – “faster than average for all occupations.” And your entrepreneurial spirit is in luck – a quarter of all web developers were self employed in 2012, earning an average of $30.05 per hour.

If you love to solve tough problems, can think systemically, and break complex ideas into solvable stages, web development could be your dream career. How can you tell if the work is for you?

Check out these apps to help you test the waters:

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