MasterCard employee demonstrates ShopThis! with MasterPass which will allow consumers to buy products directly from Intel’s Virtual Shopping Experience – a fully interactive 3-D virtual fitting room app at MasterCard’s Innovation Showcase event.
“Agile methodology,” “failing fast,” “pivoting”—all concepts commonly used in startups—are increasingly being put to work inside the walls of large, well-established companies. This is because executives at Fortune 500 companies have realized that the natural limitations that face startups—limitations on time and financial resources—can actually be boons, resulting in fresh ideas and fast execution.
So a handful of large public companies, including General Electric (GE) and MasterCard, have created startups within their own mammoth companies. In 2013, GE created FastWorks, an internal startup entity. Its mission was to develop products using the “lean startup” approach, codified by Eric Ries in his book, The Lean Startup. (This means constantly experimenting and regularly getting feedback from customers to avoid building products that customers don’t want.)
Here is how it happens. You see the CEO in the hallway and he stops you. He then says, “I was thinking about this the other day—I have a great new idea for a feature.” You nod politely and walk back to your desk—feeling sick to your stomach along the way. Continue reading →
Raffi Khatchadourianis a Mathematical Economics major and incoming junior at Colgate University. A self-starter and talented entrepreneur, Raffi has established himself as the COO of indify, an emerging music startup, before many of his peers have even declared their major. Back in January, Raffi attended GA’s week-longBusiness Accelerator program in partnership with Colgate University. Since then, he and his co-founders have gone on to win $10,000 in funding fromColgate University’s Entrepreneur Weekend Shark Tank and $15,000 from Colgate University’s Entrepreneurs Fund. Read on to learn how this young entrepreneur transformed his passion for music and data into a successful early-stage startup.
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 →
If you are a great product manager, you know a secret that others ignore: managing relationships is essential to your job and overall business strategy component. 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.”
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.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what tech billionaire Peter Thiel is most famous for. Co-founding PayPal with Max Levchin? Launching Clarium Capital or Palantir Technologies? Early-stage investments in notable startups like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tesla? Or perhaps it’s his contrarian views on education, science, and technology.
No matter which of his accomplishments you deem most note-worthy — they have certainly solidified Thiel as one of the greatest entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and original thinkers of our time.
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.