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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m often approached by young, aspiring entrepreneurs who ask some variation of the following:
I’m interested in starting a company in [Industry] that does [Laundry list of features], so where do I start?
They usually want introductions to investors and developers – rarely are they seeking advice. So I respond with a question in turn, something I know they can relate to.
Nearly five years ago Luke Wroblewski, formerly the Chief Design Architect at Yahoo! Inc, advocated a radical new concept. Shocking the audience of web developers at An Event Apart in Seattle, Wroblewski announced that it was time for ‘mobile first!’ Given an undeveloped app market for the 700 million people with mobile devices globally at the time (that number has since more than doubled), he believed that mobile offered an opportunity for explosive growth that products for PCs could not match.
He also underscored the importance of constraints and capabilities that mobile realities enforce and provide for product managers, a critical factor for innovation that Peter Sims has detailed in Little Bets.
Have you ever been stuck using an app and wished you had a live person to help? Showkit will do just that. A finalist at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in May, ShowKit founders (and LA’s Product Management graduates) Emily Sipchen and Anthony Kelani are revolutionizing how companies are interacting with their customers. Since their debut, they’ve been making waves. Up next? They plan to roll out versions for Windows and OXS web plug-ins.
Keep an eye on this team; They’re going places.
Photo Credit: Indiegogo
Arsh Shah Dilbagi is a 16-year-old from India who may be revolutionizing the way people with disabilities communicate. He is one of 18 finalists in Google’s Global Science Fair for his proposal for Talk.
Image courtesy of Dafne Cholet on Flick
Wall calendars and paper planners are out; agendas that fit in the palm of your hand are in. Calendar apps are not only less clunky than traditional means of scheduling, they also offer loads of features to keep you on task and on time.
If you head over to the app store on your mobile device and type in “calendar,” you’re going to come up with a lot of results. In fact, I just tried it, and my phone gave me 2,199 options — eek. You could spend all day going through each app one by one, but if you want to maintain your sanity, you should probably just take our advice and try one of the calendar apps below. These are some of the best of the best, the crème de la crème, and after finding your favorite you may wish you had more commitments to fill it up (may I suggest yoga?)
Without further adieu, here are 4 of the best free calendar apps for your mobile device.
It’s no secret that there is a lack of women in tech; but Product Management grad, Mia Otte, always wondered if a “room full of women could talk about something other than the lack of women in tech for more than 5 minutes.” To test her theory, Mia started Techfest Club, a monthly event hosted by General Assembly where female professionals in the tech industry come to network and talk tech.