Friday, November 29, 2013

Customer Interviews, the psychology of conformity and root canals pleasures

Why Steve Jobs Never Listened to His Customers (Really?)

The idea of not asking the customers before making a product or startup reality, is an oversimplification. You don't ask the questions you don't want to ask. Sure, don't. Then ask the ones you want to ask. Don't take answers at face value. Answers help the intuition and lateral thought. Discover what you must ignore and what inspires you as a product person or entrepreneur.

One of the most analyzed company is Cirque du Soleil. They are one of the most sophisticated marketing organizations in the world. Just read   MARKETING LESSONS FROM CIRQUE DU SOLEIL with an interview of Jerry Nadal,

The creative part which does the Cirque du Soleil show like a ballet, eliminating the slapstick, animals of the classical circus, sells 140,000 tickets a week in Las Vegas. In Los Angeles the cost of a ticket is $243. However there many types of customers. One are the ticket buyers. But their real big buck customers are co-branding partners.

For example,  Cirque promoted Google’s Chrome browser by creating a game-like app, Movi.Kanti.Revo, in which the user makes his way through a surreal world, encountering Cirque characters along the way.

Microsoft hired Cirque to launch the Kinect system for Xbox with a customized performance during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. There, Cirque created a jungle-like environment including a stage where gamers battled it out on an enormous screen.

According to Jerry Nadal,
":We have a corporate marketing department that works collaboratively with our business units to help create best business practices that allow us to learn from the past to allow us to be better prepared for the future. We essentially work locally with our partners on direct sales and marketing programs and our corporate headquarters focuses on our brand, brand hierarchy and company-wide messaging."
So Cirque du Soleil thrives,  it became a $ 1 billion in revenues per year company - by talking to lots of people and adjusting the shows for advertising partners.

Something Steve Jobs did a lot. He did not ignore the customers. He did not become their blind follower, he distills what he sees and hears. To understand what Steve Jobs did, let watch some fifty year old videos

Gestalt scholar and social psychology pioneer Solomon Asch, known today as the Asch conformity experiments, filmed people in an elevator to prove his point.


It is amazing how they copied each other. From About.com:

"At the conclusion of the experiments, participants were asked why they had gone along with the rest of the group. In most cases, the students stated that while they knew the rest of the group was wrong, they did not want to risk facing ridicule. A few of the participants suggested that they actually believed the other members of the group were correct in their answers."
"These results suggest that conformity can be influenced both by a need to fit in and a belief that other people are smarter or better informed. Given the level of conformity seen in Asch's experiments, conformity can be even stronger in real-life situations where stimuli are more ambiguous or more difficult to judge."
The law of conformity is another good reason to interview customers. Because people will follow Jobs and change their conformities to Apple standards.

 I did observe this in the Bosco software  scientist user interviews.  From one side we listen to the non-power users and see their wishes. On the other side we gently influence their behavior looking at their motivations, their ability and we design triggers to subtly make them act.

There is a mentality in Academia, that the more the scientist sweats, the more he learns and discover. The interviews blew away this myth. The scientists, even Nobel grade types, want easy to use non-complicated tools just like everybody else. They prefer to sweat over their core work, not system administration scripts as easy to use as having a root canal. The next step, that of associating Bosco with pleasure, still waits to be implemented.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgiving date is calculated from the Gregorian solar calendar. The Hanukkah date is calculated from the Hebrew calendar, which is lunisolar. They fell on the same date this year, 2013

It has not happened since 1918 and won’t occur again until 2070.  It should have a meaning. Chanukah is the festival of lights, lighting a candle every day for a week.

But this week is all about Joseph adventures in Egypt. The text read in a synagogue is about Joseph who was  "sold to the royal butcher, promoted to the position of chief administrator of his master's household, incarcerated on trumped-up charges, and subsequently promoted to chief administrator of the prison." He was one the most talented businessmen of his time. Yet, he was not free.

Working for a butcher or a prison, he had a fragile, illusionary security. He had to submit to whims of others, people less talented, who had power over him. He was in exile from what he really was, from what he really was meant to be.

What is Exile? We read in this book:
"The essence of exile is living under the control of some power that deprives us of the freedom to live our lives as G-d would like us to. It is immaterial whether that "power" is political, social, or psychological; whether we submit to it unwillingly or willingly; whether we are physically located in our native country or not. Whatever the case, exile is the mentality that we must constantly seek the approval or bend to the will of an authority whose values are inimical to ours. Being in exile is thus the single most challenging obstacle to living up to our Divine potential, fulfilling G-d's will, and following our life's true calling.
How many of us did not feel like this in the jobs we had or still have, or we don't have, but we dream vainly  one day will bring us illusory salvation?

In my blog entry The illusion of employment, the longest employee tenure is 6.4 years at IBM, the shortest at Google and Amazon, 1 year.

By contract Joseph "employment" in prison lasted 10 years.

Yet he ended "once again promoted, this time to viceroy of Egypt. In contrast to his previous promotions, this time he remains in his prominent post until the end of his life, and is granted full control over his own life."

As this is special day or both  Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, we should erase our egos.  When we say thank you,  we wonder how we can help, as a little as we can, others to escape their exiles.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Yes inside the No

A teenage boy in the autistic spectrum greeted everyone in the social skill class with the same words: "You are all such wonderful people! Only I am a loser!". He repeats the phrase many times a day.

You readers of this blog,  probably you felt at times the same as this boy.But you could get it over by yourselves.

The Child Mind Blog, Brainstorm, has an entry about Jennifer Lawrence, the movie star

 ...for many it might come as something of a shock to hear that she struggled with social anxiety as a school-age child. Lawrence's mother, the actress confides to a French magazine, "always told me there was like a light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly. When I entered school, the light went out." 
  And as new struggles surface, self-esteem often plummets. For many kids, the key to recovering their confidence is to have an experience that instills a sense of mastery—a reminder that a child is in charge of her trajectory. It should come as no shock that for Lawrence that experience was stepping on stage.
 To be clear, not everyone is destined for Hollywood, and not everyone has access to transformative talent. But still, her message rings true: With effort and support, any kid can thrive. She gives credit where it's due, too. Lawrence says that her mother fought for her to be an actress because she "saw the change that was taking place in me. She saw my anxieties disappear." 
One of the mornings I woke with the big question:
How can I get at least one Yes from He who always listens? Most of time He says No. There is nothing we can do, but hope.
The young kabbalist and freelance writer from Yeshiva University, Yonatan Gordon responded:
maybe these "no"s are in actuality higher levels of "yes"'? Chassidut teaches this, but we still work to see revealed good

The entire Silicon Valley was built by people who managed to see the Yes that exists inside  every No



Monday, November 18, 2013

A conversation with SOASTA

I met Peter Galvin at Cloud Expo West in Santa Clara. He is the Senior VP of Marketing of SOASTA (pronounced Sosta, for some reason). SOASTA Raises $30 Million to Expand Cloud Testing is headline from August 2013 in the media.

SOASTA test clouds and web architectures of any size

MIHA: How long have you been with SOASTA?

PETER GALVIN: I have been with SOASTA for the last 18 month, to run the marketing for the company

MIHA: Did SOASTA have any marketing before you joined?

PETER GALVIN: Marketing was done from Santa Barbara before. The management wanted someone local in Bay Area. I live in San Mateo.

MIHA: How many people are in SOASTA?

PETER GALVIN: We are about 140 people. We are growing. We started with our product CloudTest® in 2008. Then we had a small group of people led by Ken Gardner as Chairman and Tom Lounibos as CEO try to figure out how to leverage Cloud Computing to do large scale load and performance testing - not available before. You mentioned you did work for Sun Microsystems?

MIHA: Yes, I did

PETER GALVIN: I was then with company called Inktomi, we needed to test our caching product. We went to the Sunlabs, utilized all their computer power, to prove the scalability of our product. Unfortunately we did not have CloudTest® in those times

Miha's Note: Inktomi is the company that Google killed almost overnight. It was sold to Yahoo in 2003 and has been in use until 2009


PETER GALVIN: We could have used servers from Amazon, RackSpace and GoGrid as a service to try load and scale test. Essentially, you can do real world production testing, as well as testing behind the firewall.

MIHA: When a customer comes to you, and she knows of SOASTA's products only vaguely, what is the most common reason?

PETER GALVIN: Usually they want to test their web sites, clouds and mobile applications for scalability.

MIHA: How do you do scalability on mobiles devices?

PETER GALVIN: We test all of the back end mobile services at the same time. You simulate a browser based test of the mobile applications. For example at the Olympic Games in London 2012, we tested the ticketing system. Visitors from all over the world came bought tickets. The system worked without a glitch during the games.

MIHA: What about Obamacare web site?
PETER GALVIN: They did not test the whole environment, just pieces, and when going live the whole website misbehaved. The Obamacare exchange is now the poster child on why performance testing is so important, because it has a major effect on the Obamacare brand. People judge Obamacare based on the fragility of their web site, rather than the content of the whole program. This is not only true for the Healthcare.gov, this is true for any large commercial enterprise. If a commercial website does not perform, the consumers will look to buy somewhere else and this is why performance and scalability testing is so important.

MIHA:  At what point will a user decide to switch?

PETER GALVIN: We do have a product called mPulse. It will give information about when will a visitor leave a site. For example we can analyze all data through mPulse and user monitoring to decide, for example after 3 seconds, the percentage of users leaving increases dramatically. We correlate the web performance to these business metrics. All this data correlate to the lost revenues.

MIHA: Cool.

PETER GALVIN: CloudTest® was introduced in 2008, last year we introduced mPulse.

 MIHA: Who are your investors?

PETER GALVIN: One is Canaan Partners, They were an early investor in the company

MIHA:  Do your VC's add value, in addition to money to your company?

 PETER GALVIN: Actually we have a very good relationship. They have given us very helpful strategic advice and perspectives of what happens outside the company. Recently one of the partners of Canaan - Maha Ibrahim - was on Bloomberg TV. She talked about SOASTA as a company. It is good example how they helped us expand our brand and articulate what we do for other companies to make their web sites perform properly.

 MIHA: Where are your customer located. Mostly US?

PETER GALVIN: Yes, the majority are in US, but we have a solid presence in China, Japan, Europe (we have offices in the UK and partners in Germany and Scandinavia). We are expanding rapidly outside the US. We do a lot of business in the area of e-commerce: Internet stores, financial services. MIHA: Where do see the company one year from now?

 PETER GALVIN: In the last two years we added two new products; Mpulse and TouchTest, so we are not a one product company anymore. Our products are complementary. We expanded outside North America. There is a huge opportunity for us, based on our growth in the last two years.

MIHA: There is move from the private to public IaaS. How are you prepared to meet this challenge?

PETER GALVIN: AWS and RackSpace are our partners and refer business to us. I think the people will have in the future public, hybrid clouds architectures as matter of routine. This require a look on how applications behave into different types of architecture. Our cloud offering can be on-demand, from AWS and other public clouds providers, or you can buy a license and use it inside your own organization. As a company, we follow the best practices, on where it makes the most sense to distribute our software.

MIHA: Who is doing this analysis: the customers or you?

PETER GALVIN: The customers. We gave them the initial orientation. We  identify how many times they test their environment - four times a year, maybe.  But most of the big retailers are doing continuous testing. We learned from the Obamacare web site that this is a necessity.

MIHA: Who are your smallest customers?

PETER GALVIN: Verbalize It is startup of two smart guys who were trying to offer human, not machine translation software over the Internet. They were invited to the wildly popular show on ABC television, Shark Tank where entrepreneurs get funded live on TV. They were expecting four to six million people to watch and visit their website. As they have maybe 20 employees, a small company and they did a test - using SOASTA - to see what happens if their web site will stand 8x the traffic they usually handle. This is an example of a small company.

MIHA: This is a nice story. How did Verbalize IT found out about it?

PETER GALVIN; From our friends at Amazon. They are running on the Amazon cloud.

MIHA: Is there any question I did not ask, and I should have asked?

PETER GALVIN: (Laughs) I think we need new standards for testing high traffic web sites. We have outages like NASDAQ at the Facebook IPO, we have seen healthcare.gov. A website is the face of the company and we have to develop best practices: continuous testing, testing across environments and testing at a scale . Be sure you test your site at the speed you want to 'drive'.

MIHA: Who is your competition?

PETER GALVIN: HP is a competitor. They acquired in 2006 a company called Mercury Interactive for $4 billion plus and they are one of the leaders in enterprise quality software. The product is called HP LoadRunner  In 2006 the predominant architecture was client server. HP solves this problem well. But the new predominant architecture is the web. SOASTA has been designed for cloud from scratch

MIHA: So the customers of HP are prime prospects for SOASTA?

PETER GALVIN:  Yes.
Gartner famous Magic Quadrant July 2013
So what is the future of SOASTA? They are in the top quadrant of Gardner Magic Quadrant. Their neighbors are Microsoft, IBM, HP. Last time HP made an acquisition in this space (Mercury Interactive)  they paid four billion plus dollars.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An interview with Jonas Falck, the CEO Halon Security.

According to Per Stenman, a  VC at Chalmers Innovation Seed Fund,  Halon Security  solutions are considered the best alternative also when compared to the giants in the field. If everything runs according to plan, you can count on hearing more from Halon Security in the future as a big player on the world stage

Jonas Falck is the CEO Halon Security a Swedish software  company that opened the US operation in San Francisco about three month ago. We chatted at Cloud Expo West in Santa Clara, California  last week
JONAS: I am always interested in technology . It is always good to build things. Like other technologies in other markets, or newer, that can be incorporated into our own products. With the right support, Halon Security is a given worldwide success,

MIHA: What are the products that you have?

JONAS: We developed a security software platform for hosting providers. We provide (1) a security router (SR) which is a network operating system and software distribution based on OpenBSD , (2) a secure load balancer and  (3) an email security product. We offered these capabilities as part of appliances, but today, 90% of our offerings are software only.

MIHA: What the customers say about your product?

JONAS:  The reflections we are getting from the customers are amazing. We sometimes get questions  like "Where have you been?",   "Why didn't get here before?" We are grateful for these clients who found us, outside Sweden and outside Europe. When talking to hosting providers, they like the idea of a security platform, rather than individual products

MIHA: Do you have these testimonials on the web site?

JONAS: Most of our testimonial are from Europe. Since August 2013 we have some documented user cases  in US with VMware customers, who like the combination  our firewall and load balancer for virtual nodes

(Miha's Note): Here is a sample testimonial from the company web site
 “ A typical customer  with our old solution, which was based on SpamAssassin, handle up to 100 spam messages a day. Now the same client, has at most one spam mail per day.” — Anders Aleborg, CEO Binero., Sweden's leading hosting provider
MIHA: I see you use open source software...

JONAS: Very much so, we are a BSD shop, and our engineers make frequent contribution to the code. We use OpenBSD , FreeBSD as flavors. But in addition we develop mixed Open - Proprietary  code for our products. 

MIHA: How do balance the Open Proprietary development, and why?

JONAS; We have our own script language and APIs that talk from the Kernel to the administrative interfaces of our products. We believe not only  our products alone protect the  customers, but also the design , the architecture are meant to enhance this  protect ion. Many competitors'  product, once they are hacked, there is free way wide open into the Kernel.  We have three layers of protection , before a hacker can reach the kernel, and so far no hacker was successful, as far as we know.

MIHA: This is terrific. Do you say as a testimonial?

JONAS:  We are very careful to keep an undertone and protect our customers privacy. But we are confident to say that  so far our support did not handle any situation where hacker got through

MIHA:  I am trying to be the devil advocate, Why should a US based customer buy Halon Security software, when there are so many US based security software vendors? What is the point of difference in Halon? Not all decision makers are at ease coding.  They are impatient to listen to technical descriptions.

JONAS: Scalability is something we touch when we speak with our clients. We are very open, very honest.. We are not addressing very often the CXO's , we are talking  to the engineers and technologists

MIHA: That's a geek to geek sale?

JONAS: Pretty much.. Halon does not have - yet-  the recognition as a brand in US. Our points of contacts are the people who understand the technology we offer. I am not saying it is easy. But that  is what it works best for us. The CTOs understand what we are doing , they like what we are doing and we are getting a lot of traction.

MIHA: Nice.. How hard,  or how easy is to use your product? How do you make the customers to love your product? 

JONAS: This is a good question. I think you mean: "How can you have usability, yet at the same time deliver a pretty powerful technology underneath the hood?" You can download our products and install them in less than 5 minutes. We have a live demo showing it how to do it. We provide different types of hypervisor images for most popular cloud and virtualization product, we can also provide you with experimental ready to use hypervisors that can adapt via scripting and integration to your specific hardware. Out Getting Started section on the wiki is very clear and easy to follow.

MIHA: Do you provide training courses?

JONAS:  It is easy to get started, as we provide a default configuration that  works for most customers. But some clients want to do more. For example integrate Halon with a couple of LDAP servers.

MIHA: Do you offer this as a service?

JONAS: We are talking with Hosting Providers and they are able to do these customizations themselves. We do have savvy resellers with their own internal technical resources who help customers without  in-house engineering.

MIHA: How do you price your products?

JONAS: We offer license-only products (no support included),  subscriptions, and free community edition versions of our software. All products are available for a free trial. The most common way  is by user with an annual subscription , but for the ISV (hosting providers)  we negotiate a special annual subscription  which is not user based. All updates and support are included in the price.  We can work also with monthly or quarterly licenses. We try to adapt to the needs of each customer, whenever  possible.

MIHA: Do you have any investors?

JONAS: The company was founded ten years ago  by my brother Peter and I. In March  2013, Chalmers Innovation Seed Fund and AlmiInvest Western Sweden have invested in Halon Security to support our growth on the international market.

 (Miha's note:  see the Chalmers Innovation press release  here)

MIHA: Where do you see company in a year from now?

JONAS: We already have a couple of thousands of customers in Sweden, Europe, Brazil, Australia and Asia. US is a very important market for us and we see already some traction. We did our homework and we identified a number of champion accounts. We know exactly who they are. Our initial target are hosting providers. We will start with tier 2 and tier 3, before we get to tier 1.

MIHA: How many people will work in San Francisco office

JONAS: We plan to hire more staff for the San Francisco office.. US is a new world  for Halon. We need to get some orientation and decide how to best operate in this huge and dynamic market, - while making some sales at the same time.

MIHA: Do you sell person to person?

JONAS: Yes, as part of many other approaches. We have a lot of experience from our Swedish office and we know what it works. We use resellers and distributors, We will create a sales team specific for the US market.  We select the Hosting Providers, because we developed from the beginning our solution working closely with them.

MIHA: Are you cash flow positive from revenues alone?

JONAS: (Smiling)  Yes.   We do not have cash flow problems and we manage our finances to stay that way. We have been successful doing this for ten years.

 Forrester research predicts the"cloud computing industry could lose as much as $180 billion by 2016 due to the spying disclosures." There is enormous amount of money to be made, simply stopping this staggering  predicted loss.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Age of Algorithms and the Rebbe

His name is Thomas Thurston.

He is probably one of the MOST gifted human beings on the planet. He grew up in Honduras, Bolivia, India, Nepal and Indonesia. He is  BA, MBA and Juris Doctor (yes he is a licensed attorney). He is the resident fellow of Harvard Business School.

He recently wrote an article for Gigaom, Venture capital in an age of algorithms . Let me quote what he says:
Data is an ever-more important element in business decision-making, so why isn’t venture capital keeping up? When will the industry move from intuition to algorithms?
 My company, Ironstone gives investment candidates an answer in two weeks and uses a “hybrid” strategy combining human and mechanical processes, rather than a 100 percent algorithmic approach. If the data science says “no,” there’s no deal. If the algorithms say “yes” there’s a second layer of human screening. Ironstone uses data from a startup questionnaire, along with inputs harvested from a variety of other sources and is willing to be the sole investor or to lead a funding round.
For those of you who watch the Showtime "The masters of Sex"  Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson discovered that human subjects wired with electrodes during sexual intercourse did not find the answer to happiness, although their lives were more interesting and perhaps more pleasurable.



But the outcome could not be predicted. Algorithms create only an illusion of certainty, as outcomes depend upon initial hypotheses, associated with some probabilities

A Calculated Uncertain Future
While I respect the impressive credentials of Growth Science and its founders, we are only human.
If I can predict something, will be the creation of new type of consultants who will doctor your VC Business Plan or Synopsis to pass any VC's algorithm.

One does not need to be observant to understand this:
People call me “old-fashioned” for my belief in an ancient and timeless teaching and for my faith in G‑d.
In truth, it is they who are old-fashioned; for they cling to an idea that failed decades ago. The Age of Reason, of Enlightenment, of Humanism—when Knowledge and Intellect were worshiped as the Redeemers of Mankind—all this died and was buried..
Humanity, to survive, must accept, feel, stand in awe and connect to That Which Is Above us.
Rabbi M. Schneerson 
Mr. Thurston asks
VC resistance to data science may come from lacking will, skill, or a combination thereof. ... there’s no denying it’s the dawn of a new era. The age of algorithms is here. Is venture capital ready?
No. The age of algorithms is a veiled return to worshiping idols



Friday, November 01, 2013

My Product Management Manifesto

We live in California. Silicon Valley is in California. We must think big, because people with great aspirations came here from all over the world. They can make software even better than us.  Here are some things we can do to stay ahead of the game

Go for breakthrough, high risk, highest possible reward products

The product portfolio definitions are

  • Breakthrough products. High risk extremely hard rewards. Think Google, Android, Windows
  • Platform products. Medium risk medium reward. Think me-too office apps
  • Derivative products. Low risk and low reward. New version releases of the same product 


Do NOT do this:
Fig, 1 What  most established organizations or aging startups do
This is what we shall do:

Fig 2: Portfolio for forward looking organization, ahead of the game


Or  even better:
Fig 3: Portfolio of the new startup with nothing to loose  and who plans to be a billion dollar company
The charts  above summarize what I learned in UC Berkeley seven years ago. Berkeley is always at least ten years ahead of other people time.  We have to liberate ourselves from the chains of numerical Return on Investment (ROI) and forecasts. Financial numerical decision makers do not work in Breakthroughs, Companies should change the culture and invest more in breakthroughs than in the past. Their reliance on what you see in Fig. 1 will not lead to real competitiveness, real differentiation, particularly when engineers are available not only in US  but in Lithuania, Czech Republic, and the entire Asia, just to pick some countries from hundreds who learned how to code impeccably

You may ask   how the hell to get approval without financial goals approved in large companies. My feeling is this: guys you do your beans accounting and get ideas, but do NOT become the slaves of those things. Make abstraction of their existence, think, and then later, when you know better do again for orientations some financial analysis.

Come to live in Silicon Valley at least for one year

If your company is from Skopje Illinois, or South Dakota, Romania etc.,  bring your executives and families to live in Silicon Valley vicinity for one year at least.

How to price your product

The wrong way

  • DO NOT do pricing as cost plus margin
  • DO NOT rush to drop the prices when you see no sales.
  • DO NOT lower prices and give away profits to gain an illusory market share
    The Market Share pricing is flawed for most people, unless you are monopoly. Who ever is a monopoly is too arrogant to read this blog

The right way to do pricing

Use this formula to build prices

EVC = Reference Value + Differentiation Value

EVC is the Economic Value to the Customer. This is the maximum amount a customer is willing to pay, assuming s/he is fully informed about the benefits of the product.

The Differentiation Value, could be + or - is difference between your product and the  closest substitute.

There is no product management if one ignores competition and alternative. Note that various customers in various market segments or geographical locations or industries have DIFFERENT perceptions of EVC. 

Therefore we can not have one price for everyone. When we did Sun Grid Engine product, we sold the same product from zero (Open Source in education)  to $600,000 to top defense organizations

Educate the customer to see the Economic Value specific to her. Know their business, and learn how much money they will save. This is much more productive than dropping prices unnecessarily. 

Some people call this "opportunity pricing". Yes, our challenges are nothing but opportunities. Ask;
Do you know how much money you loose each week you are not buying our product / technology / solution?

Strategy

  • Whatever strategy where competition is ignored, is no longer a strategy. Competition is everywhere
  • Product Managers live in a world of uncertainty. If we don’t understand it, yet we extract constant opportunities 

Benefits we seek to capture

  •  One dimensional – increase the performance in these attributes to get a linear increase in satisfaction
  •  Must-Be  - if we don’t have them, customers are not satisfied. Increasing the level of the attribute does not get more satisfaction
  •  Attractive – When the attribute is lacking, customer is not dissatisfied; but when the attribute is present, the customer is often extremely satisfied and often “delighted” (typically the delight is not articulated by the customer and must be discovered)
Once you discover the benefits, deliver the minimum features that will make the customer delighted, mesmerized. Usually this is called Customer Experience and refers to the user feelings.

What are user feelings? Just try to sell a Windows laptop to an Apple adoring fan.

Travel, Travel, Travel

One can have the best engineering product in the world, but the lousiest revenues without a good product management. A Product Manager  NEEDS to visit eye to eye customers. The intelligence, the body language, the focused conversation, the coffee, the small talk complements the information. People will never use products they do not like or have a preconceived grudge against them. As  Karen Leland writes
I’m a huge fan of social media. I teach it; I write about it; I develop small business strategies around it. But I believe that even in today’s wired world in-person meetings meetings are a key ingredient in establishing relationships and an essential part of being productive.
Online, one can have simply the information sharing quadrant. Meeting Face-to-Face, we land into the motivation and inspiration quadrant

Fig 4. How Face-to-Face meetings build relationships, motivate and inspire
And don't forget: every successful CEO is a de-facto an extremely successful product manager. I am saying this consistently since 2006

Miha Ahronovitz

miha dot ahronovitz at ahrono dot com





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