Spinning Plates…

A Product Manager’s job is a complex one. Too many parallel initiatives to juggle, too many deadlines to meet, and too many stakeholders to manage. Feels like you can never do any real deep work. It’s not just PMs, startup founders and managers at a medium to a large company also find themselves in this spot.

Where Does the Day Go?

At any given time, PMs are often working on several initiatives in multiple stages of the product lifecycle. As illustrated in the chart below a typical day goes by dealing with stand-ups, monitoring metrics, roadmaps, processing customer feedback, etc.

Additionally, PMs work with multiple stakeholders in the company. From Engineering, Design, to Sales and Marketing. Every function has a dependency on a PM’s deliverables.

Product Management Product Strategy

Outside In vs. Inside Out

We all have been there. You have a great idea to build the next best product. Say to find the best restaurants in the neighborhood or help users find the best deals. You go out and build the cool new product. Only to realize that the user response to it is “Meh…”. You thought it would solve their core problems in their daily lives but the reality is that you couldn’t get them back in the app even for the second time.


In most businesses, this looks something like “Check out what this cool technology built by someone in Eng. Let’s make this a product/feature“. Or here is another version: “We already have technology X, why don’t we build product Y and create a new revenue stream“. Several months are spent building the next best thing only to meet with a tepid response from the market. Even if the business is able to sell it to a customer, retaining them is next to impossible.

It’s like the illustration below where the organizational journey is left to right:

Inside Out model for Product Strategy by Abhishek Tiwari

Yes, these are all first-hand examples I have faced in my career and often made these mistakes myself. This approach leads so much wasted software and resources. This is also the starting point of “Build it and they will come” thinking. That topic requires another post by itself.

Product Management

What Does a Product Manager Do?

Woke up this morning to the following on Twitter.

Obviously there are a lot of great answers to this question. However, this got me thinking about the question itself. The question is not about what a PM delivers or works on. It is about what they “do”? In other words, the question is from the perspective of an outsider or a stakeholder in an organization.

So I wanted to focus on the impact of a good PM can have in the organization as a way to answer this question. Hence, I am purposely not discussing product discovery, roadmaps, stories, etc. This is something I discuss with my team frequently. I like having these in the back of their mind whenever taking any action or decision. I break these down into five parts.

Mobile Technology

Is Bigger Really Better?

For years I have been openly bashing the notion of phablets. I find it crazy that anyone could hold that big a device up to their ears and have a conversation. It’s like people are buying phones like they buy TVs…

After lot of conversations and heated debates with friends on social media, I decided to delve in and try it for myself. I needed the insider view on the subject.

So finally bought the iPhone 6S Plus late last year. I did that via the new Apple iPhone upgrade program. That way I could switch within a year if I wanted. Frankly, this is an experiment with this form factor and the rest of the post is about my assessment so far after approximately 4 months of use.

Mobile Technology

It’s not the Specs…

We live in the Post PC world. Don’t believe me? Next time you are on a flight, just walk to the restroom and see how many people are on their laptops versus tablets or smartphones.

In this Post PC world, we act and think differently. PCs and Laptops were primarily purchased for work (or gaming). The decision to purchase a computer was always based on how powerful and effective it was to support your work/gaming needs.

IPTV Media 2.0

Discontinuing the Cable TV Service

How many times you have turned on the TV, only to find that there is nothing good on it. Unless you are watching during primetime, there is nothing worth spending your valuable time. Invariably you keep flipping channels and end up settling for something half decent. The problem is that, networks have shows on a pre-defined schedule, which works for them. However, it doesn’t always work for the individual who has to schedule his/her life around it. From top of my head here are some issues with the Cable/Satellite broadcast TV model.