Secrets of the Partner Series – Channel Partners – Part 1

Your manager tells you to take the new product that your organization is developing and take it to 10M in revenue in 1 year.  No sweat you think, we have this great direct sales force of sales specialists who are selling a different product and top notch sales engineering.  Perhaps they can be swayed to…

Retrospective on a Year of Blogging and What’s next for 2017

After a year of blogging (26 blogs and two bicycle trips), I decided to step back and see what this year has taught me.  Having written quite a few “shameless advertising” blogs at VMware and Cisco, my personal blog was finally a breath of fresh air with my new-found avenue to get my own words…

Camelot Days—A Unique Time in Your Career

I was talking with a colleague  from my HP days about our strategy sessions that started bright and early with breakfast in a quaint city at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Our strategy sessions continued through the day with absolutely fascinating conversations driving along the redwood-lined Summit Road (eventually leading to a cheese and…

How Can I Get That Long-Deserved Promotion?

Raise your hand if you want to get promoted!  The whole room erupts with elevated hands.  When I ask people what makes a strong case for a promotion, I get some very interesting responses: A finished project that was successful The release features that had been advocated by you The experience that accumulated since your last…

We Need an Updated Roadmap!

How many times have I heard this?  To a product professional, the product roadmap is a hot topic.  How often should we update it?  Who will do the work aggregating the details from all the Product Managers?  Who has to approve this?  Where is the customer feedback?  What about the field reaction when they don’t get…

Want to Improve? Ask for Real Feedback

Not the dreaded performance review, please no, I hope that we don’t have to succumb to that institutionalized excuse for feedback and performance. I have heard a variant of this throughout my corporate working life. Being on both sides of the equation, both as an employee who received feedback and as a manager who provided…

Engineering Versus Marketing Versus Product Management Driven Organizations

This blog will be a bit controversial.  Having worked in many organizations across hardware and software and services, I can see the conflict between product management and engineering.   When the balance between these two departments is just right, great products are produced and customers are listened to and are happy with the outcome.  All too…

Chemical Engineering is Dangerous

Danger, Danger! Will Robinson! Early one morning in October 1984, I walked into a dimly lit room, deep within the chemistry building at UC Berkeley.  Someone had only shown me this procedure earlier in the week. But I walked up to a strange apparatus, opened it and grabbed a container of a mysterious powder, carefully…

Manage the Whole Product Please

As you know, I am a stickler for product managers to focus both on strategy and execution.  While that may be cliche, I continue to run into stories about product managers who focus on one or the other but never quite the balance that their product needs.  I was chatting with an ex-colleague  after a crack…

Ugliest Man on Campus – Part 3 of a 3 Part Series on Hacking

The UMOC contest was sponsored by Alpha Phi Omega, and began as the “Ugliest Man on Campus” in 1953. The idea came to be when an APO brother from another chapter suggested that the MIT chapter might run an “Ugly Man on Campus” competition as a fundraiser for charity. Originally limited to men, the contest’s name…

Investment Trade-offs Between Go-To-Market and New Features

Imagine your most beloved Product Marketing leader arm–wrestling with your favorite Engineering leader. Does this really ever happen?  One of my most trusted leaders I have ever had the pleasure to work with once told me that you build products for the channels you plan to sell them through, optimizing the feature sets to provide customer…

Part 2 of 3: My Best Hacks at MIT – Still relevant in 2016

No, my buddies and I did not put the MIT fire department truck on the top of the dome.   One of the most infamous hacks when I was at MIT was the appearance of a balloon under the field at a Harvard University football game in 1982.  While none of my hacks (or hacks performed…