Blog Post: Determining #Product Value

One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is the exchange of ideas. There are practical exchanges with my team, colleagues and customers that impact the work we do on a daily basis. Then there are the theoretical exchanges that happen online with other product people that either enforce or correct current mindsets I have about being the best that I can.

I think it’s important for anyone, regardless of your profession (including stay-at-home parents), to have those kinds of conversations. You can improve performance, discover new developments, and be encouraged to stay the course.

All of those reasons are why I enjoyed this read from Ken Norton, who is a former product manager at Google.

Reading the post reminded me that value is determined in a number of ways. Being so close to our product, it is easy to be blinded by the glaringly obvious. The feature or fix you thought previously so important could actually be of little value to the end user.

“Our wish list approach also created false equivalence. There was a huge chasm between what #1 meant to us and what it meant to our users. For us, it was first amongst equals. To them it was a painful tumor overdue for removal.”

What chasm am I missing in my road map between two features? Do I have something ranked inappropriately?

Often, I am presented with “quick win” ideas by business. In the development team room, this notion is sometimes scoffed at because it can seem like we are placating to the customer instead of telling them what is really important. What I think Mr. Norton posits is that in reality, regardless of however “quick” the “win” is, the request holds real value to the customer.

Sure, the possibility exists that the customer is asking for unnecessary items. Opinions can always be shaped. The important thing to remember is to weigh all of the opinions and make the best decision with the data you have.

Only then can you posit that your product has the highest value to most of the users.

Blog Post: Determining #Product Value

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Blog Post: #Apps Can’t Be Governed

I knew this would happen. I warned that this would happen. Just didn’t think it would happen this fast. The Food and Drug Administration has now begun cracking down on medical applications that offer “medical diagnosis”. Biosense Technologies’ product uChek is now in the cross hairs of Big Brother with a formal inquiry underway by the […]

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Blog Post: Welcome Serendipity

That was the big takeaway from this fine post from Gary Vaynerchuk when discussing why he takes random meetings. There is simply so much good that can come from having an early morning meeting on a Wednesday that it is worth the time. Sure, not every gathering is pure gold, but you will never know until you try.

Where I think many will lose the entrepreneur is they don’t work for themselves. If they do, it may not be in an industry or market that lends itself to “welcoming serendipity”. Dont worry, you still can.

When I started at my current company a few months ago, I volunteered for everything I could. I spent the first few weeks solid in meetings and conference calls. I walked the halls shaking my hands asking if I could help. People thought, and still do think, I am nuts. They told me I would get run over, and extend my team to far.

While that may happen someday, I think what it did was show I was ready to help. Change things for the better. Find real solutions.

Another thing I volunteered was to get on the phone with customers. I wanted to hear from them: what they wanted and why they wanted it. I gave them an actual voice with someone who could do something about it. I then went about finding a way to make it happen.

If you already do either of those things, find something else off the wall to try. Find a meet up and network. Start posting in LinkedIn groups. Write emails to companies you admire. Ask for help in accomplishing your goals (or fining out what your goals are).

We don’t actually grow when we are comfortable. So stop reclining and welcome a little serendipity into your life.

Blog Post: Welcome Serendipity

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The camera has become my most important smartphone feature

The camera has become my most important smartphone feature

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Blog Post: @Twitter Looks To Be Second Screen Of #Advertising

The validity of this product concept needs a little time and public endorsement to succeed, but I really admire Twitter for really putting themselves out there.

Concept is simple: advertisers buy ad space on TV. You tweet about a show. Ad people see the tweet and have the chance to see if you liked their commercial on the social network. Simple right?

Twitter hopes so.

The chance for user engagement is huge. The platform proved as much with TV watching in general, why wouldn’t it work for product integration and commercials?

Maybe so. The possibility exists, though, that the audience that uses Twitter might also fast forward through commercials on DVR. They could also watch online, maybe even torrent.

Time will tell. I think this is a great idea, one that can result in additional revenue for my social network of choice.

Blog Post: @Twitter Looks To Be Second Screen Of #Advertising

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How To Develop Taste

I love this article, because instead of accusing some of not having any it inspires us all to develop some. Points 3 & 6 are my favorite in the bunch.

How To Develop Taste

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Blog Post: The Internet of Things In Action

This is a fantastic read from The Next Web about just how many devices are connected to the Internet and how that can affect our lives in a variety of ways. Maybe we aren’t thinking big enough when we say the words “mobile device”.

Think about it. Can an alarm clock be considered one? What about your thermostat? Or your shoes?

The possibilities are endless. If something is connected, transmits and receives data, and is aware of your surroundings…you get my drift. Before we know it, we will lament the days where we once thought just our phones and tablets were mobile devices.

Blog Post: The Internet of Things In Action

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Blog Post: Will M-Commerce Replace The Cash Register?

I have been reading many of these kinds of articles lately, and each one seems less effective than the previous. For every article where a writer posits the end of cash and the retail machine that stores it, another is written about the challenges mobile payments have. Regardless, the idea of cash registers being replaced for good certainly makes for a good headline.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the idea can be a reality for some time.

It’s not paper money itself that is the biggest roadblock to m-commerce right now, it’s plastic. Consumers are showing a reluctance to ditching their credit cards in favor of mobile devices currently, and with current security flaws in phones it is no surprise. 

Just don’t pay much attention to the idea of cash machines dying off right now. While there are huge advantages to Square and Google Wallet, I think mass adoption is further off than most people think.

Blog Post: Will M-Commerce Replace The Cash Register?

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