How To build an MVP in 60 days

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James-photo

After a failed attempt at starting a carpool company between 2011 and 2013 in Beijing, I found myself back in the States job searching for startup gigs in the Greater Seattle Area.

Having graduated from the University of Washington with a non-computer science degree, many technical positions were often out of reach.

So during my job search, I started working on a side project to brush up on my technical skills; and I decided that if I was going to build something, it had to fit the following criteria:

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What Does it Take To Be A Product Manager?

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Agile-Product-Management-With-Scrum

Despite how common the product management role has become across numerous industries, there has been a lot of debate and discussion about what a product manager actually does and how to do the job effectively. It doesn’t help that the responsibilities often vary from company to company, and even within a particular team.

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Top 10 Quotes from Peter Thiel’s Book, “Zero to One”

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Peter Thiel

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.

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The Best Blogs for Product Managers

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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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Top 3 Tech Skills To Get Hired In The Digital Age

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Building-A-Brand-Centric-Business-Strategy

When you graduate from college, you have a degree in some specific subject(s). But it is becoming increasingly important that you have practical skills when you enter the workplace, in addition to the specific knowledge you gained during your college career.

When you enter the workforce, no matter who you work for, there will be some learning curve as you learn how they do business, what tools they use, and their processes and procedures. But wouldn’t it be great if on day one when you arrived at that sweet new job, you were teaching them new tricks?

If you learn these three digital age skills, there’s a good chance that you will blow their doors off when you start work on Monday.

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How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile More Recruiter-Friendly

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Getting-The-Most-Out-Of-LinkedIN

By this point, you probably have a LinkedIn profile and are familiar with how to use the site. You’ve filled out the profile requirements and made sure your LinkedIn presence is professional and polished (and if you’re super on top of it, you might have added a cover photo!), but can you say your profile is recruiter-friendly?

It’s a great idea to invest some time in optimizing your LinkedIn profile specifically for recruiters, because many companies use a tool called LinkedIn Recruiter to search for candidates via keywords, location, industry and a number of other parameters. I know this because I was a recruiter  for a number of years, and LinkedIn Recruiter and I were BFFs. Plus, with 250+ million users, you can see why recruiters use this tool A LOT.

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‘Lean’ Product Management: Past, Present, and Future

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Building-Great-Products-The-Lean-Startup-Way

The lean movement has become the rallying cry of entrepreneurs everywhere, keeping enterprise product managers on their toes as they try to understand how, or even if, they should be implementing the iterative learning methodology into their processes.

But beyond supposedly leading to ‘more innovativeness’ more efficiently, what does lean mean for today’s product managers? By understanding where the term came from, I think product managers can better understand where it’s going, and how it impacts them.

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Expand Your Library: Announcing Our New Book Series

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GA_Books_FrontsAt General Assembly we’re always finding new ways to evolve our offerings and grow our global community of individuals empowered to pursue the work they love. To that end, we’re thrilled to announce that the first two volumes of our new, original book series, The Practitioner’s Guide, have been published.

In this series, you’ll get an introductory overview—including first-hand accounts, lessons learned, and useful advice—from seasoned professionals working in the most relevant fields of the 21st century.

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Opportunity Fund Fellow Mentors Teens in Tech

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allstarcode

Jarret Sims, back row, third from the right.

As a recipient of General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund Fellowship, it is a privilege to fulfill my responsibility to give back by volunteering 100+ hours of my time to the tech community. Working in partnership with All Star Code, a non-profit initiative that prepares qualified young men of color for full-time employment in the tech industry, I look forward to assisting in their efforts to provide mentorship, industry exposure, and intensive training in computer science.

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The 3 Marketing Skills that Every Entrepreneur Should Have

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Marketing essentials for entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, I wear many hats. I’m my company’s chief accountant, salesperson, strategist, and product-builder. I’m responsible for making sure that my business stays thriving six months and six years from now. It’s exhausting, scary, and highly rewarding — all at once.

The biggest challenge that I face is that there are only 24 hours in the day. With 8 hours spent sleeping, I have very little time to be everything to everyone. I’m constantly in the trenches, working with my existing customers, which means that I have very little time to build marketing campaigns, guest blog, and build the infrastructure that I need to keep my business growing sustainably.

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