13 February, 2017

Why Product Management

Just back from very enlightening workshop on product management by Institute of Product Leadership. What did I learn there?

Before I begin I felt that for any discussion on product management to make sense, one better mention first if the product is for enterprise customers (B2B) or for consumers (B2C). I believe role of product manager is somewhat different in these 2 cases. Here I assume products for enterprise customers.

Beginnings 

You start with customers pain areas. Is there any unsolved problem that a customer and lot of other people like the customer are facing? Are they losing time in certain processes, do they lack tools that could help them make better decisions (Example: lots of data collection without actionable insights)? Does new technology/trend (Example: Moving a desktop app to webapp) provide 10x gain for them?
What can help company get more customers? happier customers? discover new markets? What are new trends that are changing business models? (Examples With smart phone adoption people book movie tickets online)

My personal technique to identify unsolved problem is to work with companies, people who have not use PCs before. Usually at such places a simple software can provide 10x benefits to the customer.

Pinkesh Shah suggested another angle about localizing global products for local context. Brainstorming sessions will lead to more product ideas.

Team

Lot of interesting question were asked at the workshop about team. Can a team with IT services background develop product. That brings us to product design mindset.

Product Design Mindset

Prof. Pinkesh Shah said if customer asks the development team "Jump", then IT services team would say "How High". Product design mindset is where we ask Why? Why are we doing what are we doing? Is this going to be 10x better than current solution?

Engineers

Product manager should delegate engineering decisions to team, provided they have matured in the product design mindset.

Marketing and Sales

To be successful at marketing and sales, team needs to have right combination of listening stills and killer instinct. Product manager of course works closely with marketing and sales organisation.

Product Life-cycle

Everyone is familiar with software design life-cycle models. Working on products imposes another life-cycle on the top of it.

Saying No

What do you do when existing customers asks for 10 new enhancement requests for next version? How do you prioritize without disturbing development plan with limited engineers.

Pricing

Not discussed

Intellectual Property Protection

Not discussed

Trends and Opportunities

I wish panelists could spend more time discussing trends and opportunities. I firmly believe that chances of product success in real market depends on how big and willing the market is for the product. Many good product died because market was not ready for them. So discussion about market trends would have added lot of value.


14 October, 2016

गूगल नोटू



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जजूर क्यों नहीं। 

आखीर हमने भी तो पाठशाला में हिंदी पडी है. मैं ये समाजनेकी कोशिश कर रहा हूं की भाई ये गूगल का नया फॉण्ट कैसे इस्तेमाल करैं। अंतरिक्ष यान से दूर नीचे पृथ्वी शानदार ढंग से जगमगा रही थी. ज्यादा जानकारी के लिए कृपया यहां देखियेगा। 



गूगल मैं बेंठे कुछ अच्चे लोगोंने ये फॉण्ट बनाया हैं और सबसे बढ़िया बात तो यें हैं की उसे बीना किसी दाम के उपलब्ध भी कर दिया। इसीलिये हमने सोचा इसे कमसे कम इस्तेमाल तो किया जाय. 



21 August, 2015

Forget Smart Cities, Lets have Twin Cities

While you wait for benefits of Smart City Mission to reach your city, please read this :

Municipal corporations in India are sick, at every possible level (planning, decision making, execution). They do not have capability or will to provide world class municipal services (including basic services as mandated in the Indian constitution) for thousands of new citizens joining the city. Still they keep increasing/expanding the municipal boundaries.

  • Lack of town planning and regulations is leading to thousands of illegal housing projects.
  • High cost of decent housing for low income groups, leading to illegal slums.
  • No focus on providing public transportation leading to explosion in trips using cars, no wonder this leads to traffic congestion.
  • Corruption eats away significant portions of the budgets and expenditures on things that do not solve any problems (like Flyovers at busy junctions/squares) 
  • They have no grand vision to leverage the culture, heritage and to building a different identity for the city (like Paris has).
  • People are being fooled by buzzwords like "Smart city" without having any plan and funds on ground. It is business as usual.
Once of the root causes behind current situation is monopoly of the single sick municipal corporation on geographical location. The sick municipal corporation has monopoly over all natural resources (land, water, hills, gardens etc.) and they can do anything with it. People and genuine businesses are forced into submission due to this monopoly.

We must work to break this monopoly. How?

Remember the times when you had to bribe or wait for months to get a telephone land line connection at home? Govt. agencies had monopoly over telecommunication and they forced you in submission. Mobile phones created the competition that freed people from the shackles of this monopoly.

So point is that there MUST be a competition to the monopoly of single sick municipal corporation over a geographical area. This is possible if we divide the geographical area in to two parts and have two municipal corporations compete with each other. 

People working in factories, IT parks, offices should have a choice when the spend their money on buying property. Two corporations will compete with each other to do efficient tax collection and proper spending money on infrastructure. Corporation which does bad job will be punished by less investment and falling property prices. Also people will be able to compare performance of two and demand results from their representatives.

Does this guarantee world class municipal services? Perhaps no, but it gives people choice to choose lesser evil.