Many times having a conversation, the question comes up; what is your profession? Mentioning the words "Product Management" many times has the follow up question; What is that? People are familiar with Project Management and so on. To give a quick layman summary of Product Management; We could say that "Product Management is the domain of owning the full life cycle of products. Spanning from conceiving the product, developing, supporting and retiring." Every product that is created has some form of a Product Manager (some companies use terms like Program Manager etc.) owning and driving the process. This could be a Jetliner or even a new toothbrush.
Product Managers tend to have a mix of Business and Technical skills. The technical skills are important to understand what problem the product solves and how. Business Skills helps to develop a big picture view especially to satisfy the corporate requirements for profit. Product Managers are also real Entrepreneurs always looking for opportunities to drive new business ideas. How does one become a Product Manager?
The typical default answer on becoming a Product Manager is to consider getting an MBA. This can be useful if available but certainly not required. It's better to focus on the skill sets that will make one an effective product manager. Here are some key skills to consider with some bias to the technology industry:
1. Leadership - Be visionary with influencing others (using data and not force!!)
2. Strategy - Understand the business reasons to build a product - Create business Cases and Roadmaps
3. Customer Focus - Have good relationships with customers to understand needs
4. Communications - Being able to communicate at various levels and context
5. Analytical Skills - Being able to analyze and solve problems
6. Technology - Being able to understand the architecture of technical solutions
7. Marketing - Converting the product features into a conversation around tangible benefits
Ultimately, your job is to conceive and champion products to success. How does one get training on Product Management? Before we get into recommended training programs, one shortcut is to find a good product manager and get mentoring from them.
Here are the training options:
1. MBA Degree - While this degree does not teach product management directly, it does provide good foundations on the various business topics. Not worth taking a $120K MBA degree just to be a Product Manager but there many cheaper options especially online (Examples such as WGU and some Indian accredited universities also offer MBAs online very affordable). One advantage is that in some companies and cultures, the MBA can help to move into executive management roles. Btw, in silicon valley, notable technology founders does not have MBAs and in many cases no degrees.
2. Individual Courses - Since we know the skills required to be a good Product Manager; taking individual courses especially online can help with this process. The advent of MOOC platforms will make this process much easier. Youtube has lots of free videos on business topics including product management.
3. Specialized Product Management Courses - There are several courses available nowadays that teaches Product Management within a few months. Examples would be General Assembly, Singularity University and 280 Group. There are several others which covers in-person or online delivery.
4. Books - Assuming one could get mentoring from a good Product Manager, there are some good books that could help fill gaps in skill sets and also depending on the individuals learning styles. A good example is Product Management for Dummies.
In summary, Product Management is a great profession which has been around for a long time but has been labeled with different names along the way. It's a very rewarding and exciting field, so make an assessment and see if it's the right fit for you. The ideal situation is to find a Product Management mentor or coach that can help to accelerate the process. In the mean time here is a great course on udemy.com to learn the ropes - Product Roadmap 101.
What do you think of product management? Share your thoughts.
Heraclitus stated "The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -". We all know this is so true. Even in modern times, we can see the big difference between now and 20 years ago or even more recent times. Sometimes, change can actually create chaos or the unwillingness to accept change could be detrimental.
It would be great to get out front with a good system that enables real change in a systematic way and enables a win-win scenario in any given situation. One good framework that can be very helpful is the Kotter 8-Step Process for change management.
How would you like to have a landline phone and not worried about the extra monthly bill? Well, this is possible today with various options (the assumption here is that an Internet service is in place). My preferred approach is the following.
1. Get a free Google Account - This provides a free email address too
2. Request a free Google Voice Number - Typically Call with the US and Canada for free
3. Get a regular home phone from the store (Walmart, Amazon.com etc)
4. Get the OBI200 from Obitalk for about $50.00 (one time spend and no follow up)
5. Connect things up and now there is a working home or business phone..
This may not be valid to get emergency services, so make sure to validate that..
The other benefits would be for businesses or individuals outside North America that would like to communicate with businesses or individuals frequently. This could be done for free and those in North America can call this number for free without any issues with dial codes and long distance cost.
Alternatively, Magic Jack is another option for setting up a cheap home or business phone service (learn More)..
Enjoy the new service and share your experience with us..
I have always been a fan of having a single device for basic computing needs. Practically, its not too hard to do this with a Phone in a desktop scenario or a tablet with a keyboard case. an example is the Clamcase for Ipads or the Samsung Dex Dock. For using a phone in a laptop setting, it becomes a little more challenging.
There are two products that seem to have make it to the commercial stage. Those are the Mirabook and Sentio Superbook. These are very promising and useful but they still require a cable connection to the laptop shell. What if we could have this done as wireless or incorporate the phone seamless into the laptop?
Apple did file a patent on this concept over a year ago. Here is an example of how it looks
Find out more on this concept from Apple on Engadget. Considering the Wireless option, we know that Bluetooth is simple for Keyboard and Mouse. It seems then that the display aspects could be the challenge but with Miracast and Chromecast, it should be possible to mirror the display wirelessly to a laptop style device. This means, one could have the phone close by and still be productive as a laptop. Be able to take calls easily without having to unplug the cabling.
The argument could be made that with Laptops so cheap; what is the point of doing this? Well, it's very possible to make this device cheaper than a comparable laptop. For example, the new Iphone Xs just released 9/12/2018, is very powerful and cost roughly US$1000+. Therefore, buying a laptop shell for US$300 or little more could still provide a premium experience much better than a regular $300 laptop. Also in emerging markets, it could also lower the cost to have productive computing capabilities since the prices could be contained.
Alternatively, one could make there own solution using an older laptop shell - See example with Macbook Mod.
Lets hope creativity steps in here. What do you think of this concept?
Check out the latest discussion - http://www.larklandmorley.com/home/the-smartphone-as-the-only-personal-computer
According to singularity hub, the power density of electric engines are way too small to compete with Jet Fuel currently. Quoted "In much the same way that early experiments with motor vehicles involved electric and gasoline-powered vehicles, electric flight also has a long history. Electric cars accounted for a third of all car sales back in 1900, figures that are only now starting to be matched in countries like Norway. Several airships were electrically powered, with the Tissandier brothers in 1883 flying an electrically-powered dirigible before the Wright Brothers’ glider took to the air.However, an electrically-powered airplane was a very different proposition. The key problem is energy density. It’s not hard to see why this is a problem. The energy density of jet fuel is around 43 MJ/kg, or 12,000 Wh/kg, which is nearly twice that of coal and three times that of wood. Compare this to a classic lead-acid battery, which has an energy density of around 30 Wh/kg."
As we know research will continue along this path to find practical solutions especially for the short haul and personal travel. Read more.
What do you think of these challenges? share your views.
Its time for the latest Internet trends report for 2018.. See some key takeaways here:
This report is courtesy of Mary Meeker - Read more....
One of the best methodology available for product innovation is called the "Blue Ocean Strategy". In order to reduce trial and error with moving things forward the following is noted "Ninety percent of businesses fail within ten years. In almost any other context, that would be a shocking statistic. But it’s something the entrepreneurial community seems to accept as standard. If you want to minimize the randomness and trial and error in creating new market space, follow these five systematic steps so that you maximize the chances of hitting the bulls-eye."
As we all know, SDN has carried the buzz in networking for the last 5 years or so. One of the communities that emerged early was Opencontrail started by Juniper Networks. While there is a lot of interest from Telcos and some enterprises, Opencontrail has very little vendor inputs since it was seen as a Juniper dominated community.
However, that should change with the community now part of the Linux Foundation and having a new name "Tungsten Fabric". Here is the release from SDXCentral.com.
The OpenContrail open source network virtualization platform, previously hosted by Juniper Networks, has completed its move to the Linux Foundation. And it’s got a new name — Tungsten Fabric.
Randy Bias, VP of technology and strategy at Juniper Networks, said, “We went through a long process to figure out the name.” But ultimately the group chose “Tungsten Fabric” because tungsten is a very strong metal that’s unlikely to break down even as part of a fabric.
The move to the Linux Foundation should provide a clear distinction between the open source code of Tungsten Fabric versus the commercial Contrail products offered by Juniper. “Historically, there’s been a challenge between the commercial version and open source version because they were always exactly the same,” said Bias. “People were never sure which side of the fence they were on.”
In fact Juniper’s decision in December 2017 to move OpenContrail to the Linux Foundation came after criticism that the code wasn’t really that open.
“We’ll be one of the biggest consumers of Tungsten Fabric,” said Bias. “For the current state, there’s no difference between Tungsten Fabric and OpenContrail in terms of feature sets. In the future, we don’t see there being any functional differences between them.”
Tungsten Fabric’s mission is to build a cloud-grade, software-defined networking (SDN) stack that provides a network fabric capable of connecting diverse environments. Contributors and community members include Aricent, AT&T, Bell, Cavium, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, Mellanox, Mirantis, Netronome, and Orange, among others. Read More
Here comes Stratum which is an evolution of switch data plane management. This approach leverages P4 and moves away from the classic OpenFlow protocol.
Here is what the ONF says of the project "Stratum is an open source project to develop a reference implementation for white box switches supporting all next generation SDN interfaces. It will provide a silicon-independent switch operating system that allows a switch to be controlled by a local or remote Network OS (NOS) via P4, P4Runtime and OpenConfig."
Read more details on the stratum site - Project Stratum
This seems to build off the work done on CORD @ on.lab
Ran into this exciting new Robotic solution for building which significantly reduces the time taken and effectively reduces cost as well.