product management Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

How Hybrid Jobs are Driving New York’s Tech Economy



Over the past few months, we’ve been working with Burning Glass Technologies to study today’s most in-demand jobs, the skills required to land them, and the places in which these opportunities are most available. Our new report, “Blurring Lines: How Business and Technology Skills Are Merging to Create High Opportunity Hybrid Jobs,” concludes that many of these roles—in fields like web development, data science, and digital marketing—demand both technical and business acumen.

Marketers are analyzing more complicated data sets, developers are building websites and apps that are functional and drive the bottom line—business and technology do not function in a vacuum, and skilled professionals are expected to develop both sets of skills.

These hybrid jobs are among the fastest growing and best careers in today’s job market—more than 250,000 positions were open in the last year alone, and the average starting salary is upwards of $100,000. Continue reading

3 Ways TripAdvisor Stays Ahead of Customer Needs


Due to the rapid evolution in consumer behavior when browsing travel destinations online, TripAdvisor is a brand that is constantly working to stay on top of their customers’ desires, expectations, and digital behavior.

In the video above, Ravi Meta, VP of core consumer product at TripAdvisor, highlights three key methods for staying ahead of customers through both quantitative and qualitative feedback: Continue reading

How Staples Learned to Build Better Products, Faster


The team at Staples Advantage, the B2B arm of Staples, recently had an idea to roll out a new feature for their mid-market customers that would simplify their buying process. The hypothesis behind the product feature was that a virtual buying assistant would provide a superior customer experience when compared to the current process of interacting with Staples specialists over the phone.

To validate this idea, Staples leveraged rapid prototyping methodology to begin testing the idea and a minimum viable product. In the video above, Matt Leitao, Director of Strategy for Staples Advantage, explains how Staples would have typically approached this new product feature in the past, “We would have done some market research. We would have had marketing involved. We would have had a slew of teams and it would have been about 6 months later where we might have had a good solution to go out to the marketplace with, with one key component missing: understanding if our customers actually wanted this, how they would respond, and how they would react.”

After training with GA’s corporate training team, the Staples team took a completely different approach to quickly test and validate their new product feature. “We said what can we use off the shelf? What can we use today to start doing this,” explained Leitao.

Watch the video above to hear Matt Leitao explain how the Staples team quickly tested and validated their minimum-viable-product.

Interested in incorporating rapid prototyping methodology into your product team’s workflow?

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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

Product Management Consultant Shares His Advice in the Classroom


2015 - PDM12 Class

Shane (second in from the right) celebrating the last day of his latest Product Management course.

Shane Williamson is a Lean Product Management consultant who assists entrepreneurs and organisations with change management from being business-centric to customer-centric by utilising lean product management processes and tools so they focus clearly on delivering value to their customers. He came to GA to teach the part-time Product Management course in Sydney. 

Follow Shane on Twitter:@shanewilliamson

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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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How to Build a Brilliant Visual Product Roadmap



As Product Managers, building roadmaps is a crucial part of our job. Yet most of us still use outdated tools for roadmapping — Excel, PowerPoint, wikis, etc. — to try and keep several 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 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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Navigating the Product Maze



When I first got started building products I relied on random inspiration. Most ideas started with me thinking “Wouldn’t it be cool if ______?” and never went much deeper than that. As you can guess, the products I built were hit-or-miss, and I often felt lost in my own head, as if I were wandering aimlessly in a maze.

Now that I’ve been working on products for 5 years (most notably Product Hunt and Dash), I’ve started to notice patterns in product design, and those patterns have given me a set of mental tools that allow me to think much more clearly about solving product problems than when I first started.

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New Startup Makes The Most Comfortable Dress Sock You’ll Ever Wear

By and

From social media strategist to co-founder, Anthony has experienced a journey most people only dream about. Since completing our Product Management course in New York City, he’s been working on his own business venture. His blossoming startup, Hand & Terry, provides affordable, high-quality socks made from only the best raw materials. 

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In Defense of Product Documentation



A decade ago when I started my career in product management, most tech shops gave this role an ambiguous label like consultant or analyst. At the time, besides being a source of an existential crisis my job description had two other problems: I couldn’t explain it to my mother, and it involved authoring specifications – the kind that made its author and readers want to die!

Now, most tech teams either include a product manager or are wondering if they need to. And while my mom still doesn’t get what I do, she is generally pleased that my title says “manager” of something. Also the artifacts that product managers need to produce have evolved to match the personality of the creative people who are typically attracted to this profession. (More on this in a forthcoming post.)

Still, on many days, I have to sit at my desk for hours.

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