Secrets of the Partner Series – Technology Partners – Part 1

A sign of a very healthy product (software or hardware) is a robust ecosystem of partners with product integrations.  Just look at all the third-party products for the iPhone (or Surface Pro 4 which I am typing on now).   My first role at VMware was to Product Manage from the Business Units point of view…

Secrets of the Partner Series – Channel Partners – Part 2 – Conflicts

Wayne:   Bill, on our first blog on Channel Partners we covered a lot of ground on this issue, especially on setting up the motivational structure for those channel partners versus our direct sales force.  When we were setting up enablement we had many discussions on curriculum for enablements: what was the 101 course, the 201…

You and Your Product Depends on These Two Things

There seems to be a big uptick in Product Management-centric blog posts and advice.  Each of those articles tells and extends the group experience of the PM community.   As a colleague mentioned to me, the domain of the PM has extended from managing the hardware or physical product, to firmware and to software.  You have…

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…

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…