Learning Product Excellence From Others

Over the years I’ve read a lot of articles and books about product management and business. These are great resources for honing your craft and for thinking more widely about your career and impact. In my personal email I have a folder called “PM Resources” where I send myself articles and tidbits to keep and refer back to. The oldest saved message in that folder goes back to February 15th, 2008.


MAKING RANK: ENLISTED, CORPORAL, MAJOR, GENERAL

Your title matters; don’t be convinced otherwise. Like military ranks, established companies and start-ups use titles to establish role and expectations. Title is a key component, and effectively part of your compensation package. Companies at different lifecycle stages handle titles differently however. In order to get the title you want, you can’t wait until you’re in a promotion cycle or interviewing a new company to advocate for a role promotion. You must be a great employee to start with. …


The attention economy moat just got significantly wider

I’ll begin by acknowledging we are in painful times not seen for more than a decade. Many are ill or worse, many have lost jobs, and many companies have closed temporarily or will soon cease to exist. We are already seeing this in spades. What we’re also seeing is that the Coronavirus pandemic has tipped the scales on a global economy poised to falter after 10 or more growth years.

For those of us who have been working for 15 years or more, this is not the first time we’ve hit rough patches. The dot-com crash hit within months of…


This is the second in a series on product roadmaps. The first post, “The Roadmap Battle Royale,” covered the purpose, importance and impact of roadmaps.

This post goes into how to start building a roadmap. The privilege to build a product roadmap comes with great responsibility. Drawing the future is a lot of fun. A future that produces no product or outcomes, however, will be seen as a waste of time, opportunity and resources. That outcome also will not be good for your PM career longevity.

If you need to produce a roadmap from scratch, you may not fully understand…


NAVIGATING THE NATURAL TENSION AMONG STAKEHOLDERS

This is the first in a series on product roadmaps. The first post describes why roadmaps matter and who relies upon them. The roadmap is much more than a directive document that tells teams what to do by when. It is ideally a galvanizing document to drive vision, bring teams into alignment and commitment, and lead them and your customers to your future, promised destination. The numerous parties to the roadmap have different motivations and needs which you as the PM must be weighing in order to achieve a higher success probability. The roadmap…


source: pixabay.com

Over the past 20 years, I have been both a product management job seeker and a hiring manager more than a few times. Having experienced both sides of the hiring process, I can now recognize many of the common interview process mistakes. In this post, I want to focus on those common hiring mistakes made on the candidate side.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of people for product manager (PM) roles. Surprisingly, many candidates take themselves out of the interview funnel by making fundamental mistakes that are completely avoidable. My goal is to help you identify and avoid these common mistakes and…


DISASSEMBLING COMMON BARRIERS TO ENTRY

For the past few years I’ve been volunteering on career advice channels including LinkedIn Career Hub and Santa Clara University Network Advisor, answering questions for younger career professionals looking to transition into the PM career track. While also writing on this blog for the past few years, there has been a clear trend among the people who have reached out for guidance. They universally want to know, ‘How do I break in?’

This inspired me to reach out to Product School and volunteer to be a featured speaker to share the summarized advice I’ve been giving on a 1:1 basis…


THE QUESTION

Should I get a MBA (Masters in Business Administration) degree? Many times over the years in Silicon Valley I’ve been asked to give advice as to the value of a MBA. Often the person asking is in the first 5–10 or so working years of their career and has reached a decision crossroads, but occasionally they are older. I did this myself, starting when I was about 28, and feel that it has been net positive for my career.

Having recently again shared my insights with a colleague, I decided to summarize an overview from the perspective of…


SUCCESS TAKES TIME

Product Management career entry and long-term success can be challenging. Careers are long and can be filled with ups and downs. Like many, I’ve read the articles and seen the videos of the ten or so genius tech founders we all hear about repeatedly. However these overnight hero stories can hide the long path that many of the rest of us take to build successful and fulfilling careers.

I’ve held product roles for 14 years across 5 companies in Silicon Valley. In that time, I’ve been lucky to work for some of the great technology companies in…


CONNECTION REQUESTS SPAM

This year I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of LinkedIn connection requests hitting my inbox from people I don’t know, never met, and who seemingly have no identifiable education or work history overlap with me. This is not a new phenomenon, but it seems to be on the rise, making most of my LinkedIn requests spam. These generic invitations include no introduction or description of why someone would want to connect with me. As a result, I ignore these requests most of the time. This is unfortunate, because I really do like meeting and helping people.

Luke Congdon

product guy | home chef | coffee drinker

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