Monthly Archives: June 2008

June 23rd, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Useful Personal Productivity Sites

There are a ton of personal productivity sites out there these days. Many aren’t useful as they don’t seamless integrate into my daily workflow. That is, the additional cost (additive + adjustment time) of using it is too high. I like productivity tools that fit easily into my life without minimal switching costs. Here are the latest sites that I’ve currently integrated: Mint – Fantastic site that acts as simple financial glue. It allows you to create a single dashboard for all of your bank, savings, credit card and investment (private beta) accounts. The visualization is awesome; the UI is …

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June 19th, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Add at least one sexy feature per release

Great product managers have very high expectations. We’re always dreaming about how cool or sexy we can make our product. This is often firmly grounded in awesome photoshop mock-ups and well-written requirements. Enter reality. Engineering looks at your proposal and says: ‘we can’t build that.’ Then, the great PM pushes past the knee-jerk into what is really meant. I mean: it’s software after all, why can’t you do this sexy feature – have you seen some of the video games lately? Well, the engineer manager then returns with the “we can do this, but…”. Typically, the cost of building it …

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June 9th, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Sales Teams in Enterprise Start-ups

Good salespeople can make your life great, bad salespeople make your life miserable. Hiring salespeople in a start-up is key to making your life as a product manager easier. Make sure you (product manager) get a chance to interview them on the way in. You must find salespeople who are scrappy, hungry and, of course, happy-losers (HBR). Zhivago makes some very good points on selling in a start-up in this post: All of these are things that CEOs think, but Salespeople don’t do: The salesperson I’ve hired will sell the way I sell. [ Yeah right, sales training is rarely …

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June 9th, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Louder isn’t Effective

Seth Godin’s post on Double, Double reminded me of a common practice of people I’ve observed – mainly ignorant americans – traveling in a foreign country: Sometimes, we get hung up on catch phrases and jargon that work great when everyone understands what we mean, but fail to bring understanding to outsiders. Yelling louder isn’t always the answer. Changing your words might work better. Some think that speaking louder will make someone who doesn’t speak your language somehow understand. It’s rarely that someone can’t hear you. It’s usually because he or she can’t understand you. Whether you’re in Canada buying …

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