Bottom-up or Top-down
At some companies, the strategy is bottom-up, for key decisions often come from developers and PM's. At other companies the strategy is more top-down, where the direction is generally decided by Executives and PM's, and developers are left to implement it
Based on factors like customer needs, the competitive landscape, business needs, and the team's expertise, he prioritizes the features and scenarios
PM's will get advice and opinions from lots of people, but ultimately they need to present a compelling plan.
Great PM's that these companies influence strategy by pitching their ideas to Executives and winning them over
Building an amazing product isn't meant to be easy
Microsoft originated the PM role in the 1980s when they realized they needed someone between the marketing and Engineering teams who focused on making the product usable for customers
When companies make the split, they call the engineering focused person the technical program manager or technical product manager, and they call the business focused person the product manager
Find out how much of your time will be spent writing specs and how much you'll be working with designers. Learn where the balance is between PM's, designers, and engineers in making product decisions.
In the usability study, participants try out early prototypes of a new product or feature. Usually the participants are given a scenario or goal and then they'll try to use the prototype to accomplish the goal
As a PM, you're responsible for the success or failure of your product, and no job is beneath you
You want to give genuine weaknesses. It is a good idea to accentuate or at least mention the positive side of the weakness what have you learned from it, are there any benefits to this how do you compensate for this weakness. If it makes you feel more comfortable or helps you accentuate the positive you can phrase your weakness as “one of the things I'm working on is…”, this can show you are working on your weaknesses and shifted around in your head to a topic you don't like talking about.
The biggest measure of your success will be the products you launch. At the end of the day, people won't know all of the big and little things you did to make lunch possible. They will remember that you led the team that delivered a successful product
Become the expert
…if you're just passing questions to other people, you're not really adding a lot of value. Instead, make sure you really take the time to become the expert on your areas and your customers.
It's important to realize that you get to a tipping point, after which making decisions and working with a team become a lot easier. Reaching the tipping point should be a big thought when you start a new role.
Be as much of an observer as you can. Don't try to disrupt or change things too much early on. Understand the context of things. Be more inquisitive. Instead of telling people what to do or trying to make decisions, try to ask questions
Measuring metrics. Generally speaking you should measure the change in a metric rather than the total volume.
You may want to track metrics such as email clicks, direct referrals to product y, future purchases a product y from this set of users, and purchases of other products. You might also want to come up with some approaches to ensure the emails don't harass users or make them unsubscribe from all emails.
I really enjoyed exploring new technology. I set a goal to build a simple to-do list application in as many languages as possible, just to learn a bit about what each programming language does. So far I've done this in 5 languages.
Customer Purchase Decision Making Process
Marketing Mix (4 P's)
The 5 C's (Situational Analysis)
Porter's Five Forces
You want to approach these questions like a good p.m. would, with a structured approach that starts with the user.
Ask questions to understand the problem. A PM who just dives into creating a product without understanding the goals might create something that is radically different from what the user needs.
Provide a structure. First I'm going to talk about the goals. Then, I'm going to list it with some potential features. Finally, I'm going to evaluate each of those features against the goals. Okay, so starting with the goals… this will communicate to your interview or that you approach problems in a structured way.
What is the goal of the product? Note that a product might have primary and secondary goals. Facebook's primary goal for consumers is connecting with family and friends, the business users have different goal, engaging with existing and potential customers.
When in doubt, act like you would imagine a good PM to act. A good PM will be realistic about the limitations. A good PM would gather research, but would also be able to move forward without it. A good PM will think about the business aspects. A good PM will be open about the potential issues with her designs. Act like a good PM.
Tell me about yourself
This is not the time to just read off your resume or blob about your personal life. Rather, pick out a few of the key things you'd like your interview or to know about you.
I like listening to customers, understanding exactly what their issues are, and figuring out how technology can simplify their lives.
It's almost a guarantee you'll be asked for your pitch, so it's silly to be unprepared. Grab a friend and let them hear your pitch. How does it sound to them? You might even want to record your pitch for yourself so you can hear how it sounds.
Why do you want to work here:
In general, big companies will be less impressed by your having research the company or being really passionate about working for them. They presume, for better or worse, that you want to work for them. Try to come up with two or three reasons prior to your interview.
The scale and the type of the problems you select tells your interviewer a lot about the complexity of your professional history.
Nugget first: for example, when your interviewer asks about a challenge you faced at work, you might open your response with, sure, let me tell you about the time I had an underperforming teammate. You'll be less likely to provide extraneous details because you know your answer is about the underperforming co-worker.
Behavioural questions tend to fall into one of five areas so you'll want to make sure that you have good coverage of these topics across your five key stories.
These common topics are:
You should have at least one story per topic.
This is why product sense having the intuition to recognize the difference between a good product and a bad product so important for product managers
Marketing folks focus on getting users into the products, while product managers to find what happens once the user is in the product
Product manager look beyond what customers say to see the hidden needs and deeper goals
Product managers are not the boss. Instead, PM's influence without Authority, building up credibility with the team, communicating clearly, Gathering data and research, and being persuasive to lead the team.
A bad resume is an issue for any job, but especially so for product management roles. Communication is important PM skill, and your resume is one clear way to demonstrate that.
Bullets, not blobs
Read through your resume. Anything that's three lines of text or more should be condensed. That is, at least half of your bullets should be just one line, with the remainder being two lines.
Accomplishments, not responsibilities
People don't care what you were told to do, they care what you did. Using the present tense is a good tip off that you've listed a responsibility. It's difficult for something you accomplish to be written in the present tense. Focus on the impact itself, the what more so than the how although both are important.
Align with these skills:
Undoubtedly helped by the Watergate scandal and President Nixon's resignation, we Democrats gained for senators and 49 Representatives, giving us 2/3 majority in the house.
One enjoyable project that I began as governor was to make a special effort to bring Movie Makers to Georgia, and it was highly successful. Some of the most well-known of our 26 films were Deliverance, The Longest Yard, and Smokey and the Bandit.
If elected will you tell us the truth?
Having served as a legislature and Governor, I knew how difficult it was to keep this promise, especially when facing influential constituents who held opposing opinions on subjects important to them.
…As a Submariner during the Korean War, I had felt frustrated when it ended with an arbitrary line drawn between North and South Korea plus merely a ceasefire and not a permanent peace treaty.
As we approached what we called the pasture gate they step back to let me go through the opening ahead of them… this was the first indication of the unearned difference of my black Playmates toward me was the result of a cautionary word from their parents that the time had come to conform to the racial distinctions that were strictly observed among adults.
His father always treated his African-American customers and employees with meticulous fairness and respect, but he believed completely that the two races should be segregated.
…there was no record of another American family having lost four members to this disease. Being the only non smoker in my family may have been what led to my longer life.
…They align themselves almost completely with the Republican party as the 1980 election approached. The religious right supported Ronald Reagan, despite his previous incompatibility with their basic principles…The melding of the religious right with a Republican party has been permanent since then.
With the threat of a nuclear exchange ever-present I had to develop plans for my own status during this possible brief period of Destruction. I decided that I would continue my duties as president and the vice president and a small group of other officials would go quickly to a safer place. This would probably be in an airplane already specially equipped for this purpose and we conducted drills several times to practice this procedure.
One day while playing in the Attic, our son's discovered a hidden room between the floor and the ceilings of the rooms below, with almost six feet of head room. There was only a small chair in the space. We surmise that there had been a mentally impaired woman kept there by the family in earlier times, who may have wandered around with a lantern.
On square dancing:
this membership was to change my life
School buses were finally authorized for black students, but there was a legal requirement in Georgia that their front fenders be painted black so that everyone would know that the passengers were not precious white children.
On the Klan:
I refused to become a member, and they told me I was the only white man in the community who had not joined. A sign was put on our office door one night, Coons and Carter's go together.
Relations with Rosalyn - I maintained a loving and respectful relationship with Roslyn but follow the example of my father and the other men I Knew by making the primary decisions in our family.
In 1964 Georgia's office-holders defected from the Democratic party and became Republicans. It would be many years before the Republican Party became dominant, but this was the beginning.
I took a course in Remembering names
There are more than 3,000 government organizations and private companies and about 10,000 locations working on homeland security and intelligence, with an estimated 854000 people holding top secret clearance!
The strict limit on privacy violation remained in force until President George W bush began violating and then advocating amending the law to permit increasingly intrusive wiretapping with minimal judicial oversight.
I assume that all my communications are monitored by government agencies. When I want to send a private message perhaps to foreign leaders through their embassies in Washington, I use a personal Envoy or type a letter and send it through the US Postal Service.
There has been a dramatic and largely unnecessary intrusion into personal privacy, more than in Western European countries. Congressional oversight is minimal with any member having access to the secret legislation being sworn never to reveal it or discuss it with news media or other members.
His Uncle Tom was stationed with 80 other Navy men on the island of Guam…
Tom was found alive when the war was over, having been forced to serve on a short railroad line in Japan that brought coal from the mountains down to the main line. He had been severely abused….
…we shared a small compartment and spent most of the trip in an increasingly personal conversation. Somewhat to our surprise, we formed an intimate friendship that extended to our wives and children. Historians commented that the relationship between Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter was closer than any other presidents at least in recent history.
When Carter was in the Navy: > …punitive hazing was permitted in those days.
His first assignment was the USS Wyoming. The ship was something of a disgrace. The hall had been strained, perhaps by firing its main batteries during the war, and it leaked constantly.
He built furniture - our nicest piece of furniture at that time was a white oak cabinet that I had built while we lived on the submarine base in Honolulu. It had mitered corners and recessed hinges and was designed holes are High Fidelity radio and Record system.
On submarines - cigarette smoke and Diesel fumes permeated the compartments below decks, and my nausea was uncontrollable. I was either in my bunk or throwing up in the toilet.
Carter was assigned to Electric Boat Company later General Dynamics Corporation in New London to represent the government during the final months of construction the sub would be called killer one or more properly USS K1
In his bunk on K1 when he was lying on his back there was not enough room for a paperback book to be opened on his chest.
Ottawa - when a Canadian heavy water nuclear power plant at chalk River was destroyed by accident in 1952, by a reactor meltdown and subsequent hydrogen explosions, my crew were volunteered by Rickover to assist.. none of them suffered any permanent After Effects and he was glad to learn several years later that the chalk River reactor was back in operation.
Jimmy Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital.
His great-grandfather then bought an operator to farm just west of Americus that later became Jimmy Carter Regional Airport or Charles Lindbergh made his first solo flight
His boyhood home was a Sears Roebuck house… They offered homes of several sizes with three basic options
His dad suggested that he use his savings to buy 5 bales of of peanuts at 500 lb each. With his income from this he bought five houses from the deceased Undertaker's estate and rented two for $2 each two for $5 and one for 250 for a total of $16.50 per month
Whether I worked or not my houses were earning $0.50 a day
It was simply easier for city builders in communities with modest budgets to repeat woodwork before, and their habits gradually hardened into the building and Zoning codes that dictated how new places would be built. The segregated land zoning System created to keep industry from creeping into an Ohio Village back in 1926 evolved into a national tool and eventually was distilled into standard downloadable codes sold by the private online purveyor municode.
You cannot build the kind of apartments above shops that you see in Paris or Copenhagen, or in any of North America's best-loved neighborhoods, because County codes strictly segregate the various functions of the city on two separate Parcels of land.
Everything has its place far from everything else.
Most American municipalities take the easy route and simply adopt their code from Unicode the generic online source
Every level of government offers incentives for sprawl style development and penalties for smart growth, sometimes without even knowing it.
Then there is the US government's accelerated depreciation tax deduction, which gives developers a generous tax break for creating new buildings rather than renovating or reusing old ones.
If the goal is to avoid being hurt or killed by strangers, then the edge neighborhood is a terrible choice.
Someone who walks at her door on the edges of sprawl Suburbia is much more likely to die at the hands of a Stranger Than someone moving through most American Central cities or inner suburbs. The only difference is that most of Suburbia is Killers didn't mean it. Haha
Dubbed the evolutionary happiness function, the equation explains the psychological process that both fuels our desire for bigger homes and insurers that we will be dissatisfied shortly after moving in.
A person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be a satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office.
Most of the Boost you feel from a leap on the income ladder simply of operates within a year. The Finish Line shifts.
Sprawl, as an urban form was laid out, massively subsidized, and legally mandated long before anyone actually decided to buy a house there. It is as much the results of zoning, legislation, and lobbying as a crowded city block. It did not occur naturally. It was designed.
These neighborhoods accomplish several historic feats. They take up more space per person, and they are more expensive to build and operate than any Urban form Ever constructed. They require more roads for every resident, and more water pipes, more sewers more power cables, utility wiring, sidewalks, signposts, and Landscaping.
They cost more for municipalities to maintain. It cost more to protect with Emergency Services. They pollute more and pour more carbon into the atmosphere. In short, the dispersed city is the most expensive, resource intense, land gobbling, polluting way of living ever built.
Zoning was intended to reduce congestion, improve health and make business more efficient. But most of all, it protected property values. Perhaps this is why we so enthusiastically embraced it.
Most powerfully, they strictly separate places for living, working, shopping, and Recreation functional segregation was built into almost every new suburb after World War II.
The tactic still works today. If you want to keep poor people out of your community, all you need to do is Ban duplexes and apartment buildings, which is exactly what new suburbs were permitted to do.
That's, an allegedly government hating people have embraced an entirely new layer of government.
Anyone can use the street and everyone did. It was a chaotic environment littered with horse dung and fraught with speeding carriages, but a messy kind of freedom rained.
In the 1920s more than 2,000 people were killed in motor accidents in the United States that decade. Most were killed in cities. Most of the Dead were pedestrians. Half were children and youths.
Auto Club's begin to compete directly with Urban safety council's, campaigning to redirect the blame for accidents from car drivers to pedestrians. Crossing the street freely got a pejorative name jaywalking and became a crime.
A Company formed by GM, Firestone, Phillips petroleum, and standard oil was busy buying up and dismantling hundreds of private streetcar lines in dozens of cities across the United States. Various conspiracy theories have argued that this was a plan to force people to buy cars by eliminating public transit. This may have been true but it was hardly necessary. The streetcar had been fatally wounded when the definition of the street changed. It drowned in a sea of cars.
It is audacious to believe that the city might build happiness just by changing its shape.
Buildings that looked out on trees and grass experienced about half the violent crime level of buildings that looked out on Barron Courtyards. This is especially remarkable given the fact that criminologists have pointed out that bushes and trees provide convenient cover for illicit activity.
A study of Los Angeles revealed that people who live in areas with more parks are more helpful and trusting them people who don't, regardless of their income or race.
Survey respondents rate the likelihood of a stranger returning their lost wallet at only about 25% but an experiment in Toronto found that among real strangers the likelihood of return was better than 80%
What numbers are independent, just as most people's perception of safety has more to do with the plenitude of graffiti than the density of purse Snatchers
The sad part is that a place is popularity can actually destroy the elements that contribute to happiness. The more we flock to high-status cities for the good life money opportunity novelty, the more crowded, expensive, polluted, and congested those places become.
He starts off the book going into detail about what happened on-air and how his career in journalism got started.
I found the craft itself fascinating - especially the challenge of writing stories that were meant to be spoken aloud and matched to pictures.
Peter Jennings was his mentor. He had "bottomless fear" and was a "colossus" at ABC News. I was surprised to find out that Jennings had a "volcanic temper".
Peter's standards were not arbitrary. He cared deeply about his work and saw his job as a privilege – a sacred trust with the audience.
Lots of competition in the world of news, between journalists. "..it was also stressful..way too many hours measuring myself against others"
On the topic of 9/11:
A guy in front of the passenger cabin hung up his cell phone, turned around and told everyone that the Twin Towers were on fire. It was September 11, 2001 and suddenly every civilian airplane in the country was grounded.
I knew Peter would be in his element, in full-on clarity-and-comfort mode, and it made me physically ill not being part of the team reporting on - and explaining - this news to the country
I liked being a war correspondent. Loved it, in fact. The bodyguards, the armored cars, being driven around like I was a head of state. I also liked the way the flak jackets made my diminutive frame look larger on TV.
Dan Harris had a breakdown on live television, while delivering the news. The book describes the events leading up to this event and what he did to get better - use meditation. Apart from the education of the book, the stories of his career in journalism and broadcasting were also really interesting. I highlighted a lot of sections that had to do with TV and being on camera and also his interactions with other veteran journalists, like Peter Jennings
Saturday morning meetings were a regular thing. You can't ask a store associate to work and not have management working too. All regional managers and executive would take part in this giant morning meeting on a Saturday. They'd do crazy cheers too. Sometimes democratic, sometimes dictatorial but mostly rallies the troops and most wouldn't even think about missing a Saturday meeting.
They had 5 different store sizes, from 30,000 to 60,000 sq ft
Sam would go into other stores with his pad of paper and recorder and ask a bunch of questions about how they were doing things:
I remember going into their stores - I bet I've been in more Kmarts than anybody - and I would really envy their merchandise mix and the way they presented it. So much in their stores were superior to ours back then that sometimes I felt like we couldn't compete.
Shrinkage: unaccounted-for inventory losses usually caused by theft. Helen (Sam's wife) would often just take things from the first store if she needed something. Didn't even think about paying for it back then. Says that was bad business
1980 - introduced a shrink incentive plan to help curb theft and shared profits with the store that was able to get below the company's goal. Each associate got $200 when this happened.
I drew up a plan, bought a sign, bought fixtures from a company in Nebraska and bought merchandise .. whatever I thought I could sell. Charlie Baum …. helped me put it together .. he was the most efficient layer-outer I've ever known.
Early days, managers were hired as limited partners and were asked if they wanted to invest in the store. If the store had cost $50K and the manager invested $1K, he owned 2%
We were trying to find out if customers in a town of 6000 come to our kind of barn and buy the same merchandise strictly because of price. The answer is yes.
Grow your business without losing touch with the customer - think small. Because sales keep going up doesn't mean we're smarter than anyone else or because we're so big we can make it happen, it's because our customers are supporting us.
Some folks have a tendency to build up big staffs around them to emphasize their own importance and we don't need any of that at Wal-Mart… When we're thinking small that's another thing we're on the lookout for: big egos.
From this day forward, I solemnly promise and declare that every time a customer comes within 10 ft of me, I will smile, look him in the eye and greet him. So help me Sam.
The idea of a Greeter was born around 1980 and was the result of a store manager trying to stop merchandise from being stolen and decided to put someone at the front door to watch for that, but also found out that they could greet customers as well. - Crowly, Louisiana
If we can get within 5% of the same price and quality, we take a smaller markup and go with the American product
A story about how he worked with a buyer in NYC, Harry Weiner, and was able to get ladies panties for $2.00 a dozen vs $2.50 from somewhere else. At the new price he could sell them as a promotion for 4 for a $1.00. He wasn't making as much money but could sell three times as many
On 10 Rules that worked for Sam: Rule 4 - Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners (employees) Rule 7 - Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking Rule 10 - SWIM UPSTREAM, go the other way. Ignore conventional wisdom