How to become a better product manager - the best of the mobile spoon

How to become a better product manager - the best of the mobile spoon

Roundups season continues here at the mobile spoon, and this time I've collected a few posts about product management, as founders of your own startups or as product leaders in bigger companies. 

Let’s dig in:

Product management basics

Let’s start with some basics:

B2B vs. B2C
What’s the difference between managing B2B and B2C products?
Here are 5 things I’ve learned when I switched from a large B2B company to a small B2C startup

Product management is all about decisions
Unfortunately, in most cases, there isn’t a right or wrong decision, just a set of priorities and constraints.
To become a great product manager, you need to get into the right mindset and turn tradeoffs and compromises into your best friends

How do you prioritize your product backlog? 
There are plenty of methods to prioritize product activities.

Product management is about improving conversion rates
And if that endless list isn’t enough - here are 10 lessons learned from asking our customers to pay (hint: they weren’t too happy to do it). 

Your boss is obsessed with terminology?
Bosses can get a little bit crazy, aren't they?
But guess what, they are probably right!
Here’s why you should carefully define your product terminology in advance.  
Sharpen your UI/UX skills with this collection of over 100 design tips.

Creating a new product from scratch

Whether you’re an entrepreneur founding a startup, or a product manager in a well-established company, creating a new product from scratch is a fascinating, yet challenging project. Here are a few thoughts on creating new products:

Who do you validate a new product idea?
Usually, you’ll start pitching your product idea to friends and family, right? 
Just remember not to believe any word they say because they are all probably just telling you exactly what you want to hear. 
Great products start with an MVP
Creating an MVP is a great way to collect authentic feedback which is not totally biased. 
And no, an MVP is not the full product with some known bugs and UI hiccups… 

Understand your early adopters? 
Easy adopters are crucial for the success of your product, but are they good for your long term strategy? 
The short answer is: "it’s complicated", so check out this controversial post for the long answer:

Becoming a data-driven product manager

How to become a data-driven product manager - the mobile spoon

How do you become a data-driven product manager?  
Well, you measure everything you can possibly think of, and then you measure some more.
Here are 11 lessons we’ve learned (the hard way) while trying to become a data-driven company. Tons of practical tips in this post.

Everything you need to know about retention
Well, not exactly everything, but here are 4 practical ways to measure your product’s retention rate.
It’s a long read, but retention must be a top goal for every product manager out there, and a critical KPI for every startup, so give it a shot.

Solving business problems through numbers
After spending almost 5 years creating a marketplace - I know how tough marketplaces can get.
Here’s how we addressed one of the biggest challenges in a marketplace for offline services, mostly through measurements and data: minimizing leakage in a marketplace for offline services.

And here’s the story of our quest for developing a reliable rating system.

Managing your career as a product manager

Product management is a broad role and requires versatility, make sure you don’t fall behind:

Improve your presentation skills
Whether you’re a product leader or an entrepreneur - having great presentation skills can help you convey your message in a professional and engaging way. 
And keep in mind that a great presentation can skyrocket your product and your career.

Strive for frequent shipping
Sure, working in small doses is often harder than waiting 2 months for a feature to be completed, but that’s the only way to move fast and stay focused.
Promote your product (internally and externally)
The life of the product manager is not always easy. There are times when product people struggle to get enough development budgets. 
If you’re in such a situation - don’t sweat, there’s still plenty of things to do. 
Naturally, many of the activities mentioned in this post can (and should) be done on a regular basis, but when there’s a crisis around new development initiatives, those activities are even more important than before.

Treat your CV as you treat products
And if things don’t get better, and your product doesn’t get enough traction - maybe it’s time for a change? 
If worse comes to worst, and you’re looking for a new position - don’t forget to treat your CV like a product to improve your job search conversion rate

Starting as a product manager in a new company?
Be modest. Be nice. Survey the battlefield before charing in. 
Avoid making these mistakes: 5 mistakes product managers still make (and have nothing to do with features). 
And for the love of God, the show is not about you, it’s about the product, so start promoting the “we” and get rid of the “I”.

Don’t let bad features sneak into your product
Founders - beware of these 7 deadly sins that will just turn your product into a pile of features without a good story.

Can’t wait to read more?

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Gil Bouhnick The Mobile Spoon
Idit said…
Many quality essays indeed. Thanks for sharing.
Gil Bouhnick The Mobile Spoon
Unknown said…
Wow, that's a lot of interesting topics. Guess I will have to set aside some time for reading this weekend.
Gil Bouhnick The Mobile Spoon
Jeff said…
The real best practice easays I've met. Cool