Amazing digital experiences don't just happen. They are purposefully created by artists and engineers who strategically and creatively get to know the problem, configure a solution, and maneuver through the various dynamics, hurdles, and technicalities to make it a reality. Hosts Sean and Paul will discuss various elements that go into creating and managing software products, from building user personas to designing for trackable success. No topic is off-limits if it helps inspire and build an amazing digital experience for users – and a product people actually want.
64 / Managing User Feedback to Prioritize Your Product Roadmap
Product leaders need to be astute prioritizers. That means we have to say no – a lot. To the sales rep begging us to build “the next big thing.” And to the customer account rep pleading for a flashy new feature. Our response to these cries for help is, “Make your case. Tell me why. Show me the user feedback for why we should reprioritize our long-term roadmap.”
In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean checks in with Keith Frankel, co-founder and CEO at Parlor.io, the widely popular feedback management system for SaaS teams. Gathering and analyzing that user feedback is key, Keith explains. As a product leader at HubSpot and chief product officer at educational technology startup called Firecracker, Keith recalls telling his reps, “I will prioritize anything that you can prove to me will have a material impact on this business, but I just cannot chase after every shiny new object.”
Faced with competing business cases and insufficient budget to do both (or either), Keith and his team created Parlor – a product designed for product people. It engages users at multiple levels and serves as a “tie-breaker” of sorts that drives decision-making wisdom through customer insights that align product and customer-facing teams.
Listen is to get Keith’s inside scoop on a super-interesting experiment he’s running that completely rethinks the role of internal meetings and their impact on workplace productivity in a remote-first environment.
Finally, be sure to catch Keith’s three paths to innovation. Cool stuff, indeed.
63 / Unlock Your Inner Genius
Attaining so-called “genius status” – Mozart, Steve Jobs, Einstein spring to mind – seems untouchable to us mere mortals. Or is it. As product people, we have more genius within us than we give ourselves credit for.
In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean and Matt are joined by Shawn Livermore. The author of Average Joe: Be the Silicon Valley Tech Genius and software architect/consultant with more than 20 years’ experience in our space, Shawn shares strategies the rest of us non-Mensa’s can use to create successful products.
Our best ideas often come to us in seemingly mundane moments, like on our morning commute or while taking a shower, Shawn explains. During these times of “mindless activity,” our minds are free to harness the latent creativity that exists just beneath the surface of our normal, everyday activities. Innovation often comes to us as a “progressive daily trickle,” and by structuring it, anyone can come up with genius ideas, he adds.
Genius may well be within our grasp, but we also need to give ourselves permission to fail. Thomas Edison once famously said, “I have not failed 10,000 times; I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” It’s all about perspective, right?
Like Edison, even icons in the tech industry have stumbled through some not-so-great product ideas. But by documenting our thought processes and sharing them, we signal to others that we are thinkers who are highly capable.
Shawn’s words to the wise: “Never underestimate a nerd with a good story.”
Tune in to the whole episode to catch more of Shawn’s stories and tap into his genius.
62 / Brand Archetypes Help Our Products Speak to the World
We don’t have to know what the word means to recognize how it connects our brand with our users. Archetypes help us choose the right words, assemble them in the right order, and communicate the brand experience our users expect. Our brand is how our products speak to the world.
In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean is joined by Margie Agin, award-winning marketer and founder/chief strategist at Centerboard Marketing. Margie works with B2B companies to identify and communicate key aspects of their brand and drive action. We use archetypes to reflect our product’s personality, Margie offers.
“It’s expressing your company, which includes your product, as a human – not just as technology,” she adds. “And when you do that, it makes you more relatable as a company, building trust and closing the gap between your brand and your customers.”
For B2B technology companies that aren’t consumer facing, finding the human elements of your brand can be more challenging. Are you the Hero? Jester? Or maybe your product brand speaks as a Pioneer, Explorer, Lover, or Sage.
Listen in as Margie shares valuable tips that make this task easier, including gathering people with different experiences with your product to identify and validate how it interacts with users.
61 / Simple Steps for High-Touch User Engagement
Maybe more than anything else, product people want good, honest, relevant feedback about their products. And their go-to source for the straight-up truth? Moms and best friends. They’re the ones who’ll give you the sort of “big-picture feedback you’re desperate for.” And the best part is they know enough not to give advice you didn’t ask for.
In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, author-entrepreneur Rob Fitzpatrick joins Sean and ITX product strategist Matt Bush to discuss how best to do product discovery and get answers to these questions: “How do I get people to talk to me? How do I know if I have enough feedback? How do I figure out if I’m building the right thing?”
In his book, The Mom Test, Rob writes, “It’s not everyone else’s responsibility to tell you the truth; it’s your responsibility to go out and find it.” Coupled with his personal rule – i.e., to build products only for customers I actually want to be friends with – and you’ve got a recipe for product success. Even more than that, though, you’ve got a blueprint for research, discovery, and engagement that leads to better products and more interesting stuff to work on.
Listen in to catch more of Rob’s “how to’s” on user engagement and workshopping:
* How (and where) to initiate the perfect learning conversation* How keen focus on your MVA will help you build your MVP* How to recognize compliments as the red flags that you’ve started asking bad questions* How to match the 5 teaching formats with the type of content you’re teaching
60 / Define Your Brand With Innovative UX Design
As product people, how do we know when the time is right to “color outside the lines”? Maybe experiment with a new design approach or re-create some of the early Wild West days when design standards were the exception, not the rule. After all, isn’t that a fundamental piece of the innovation puzzle – standing convention on its head by doing something that hasn’t been done before?
In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, award-winning product designer and strategist Bill Flora joins Sean and ITX’s Mike Thone (a designer/disruptor in his own right) to chip away at the question.
“I always feel like it’s our job to push,” Bill explains. “There are so many opportunities to innovate. But I also think there are areas where we can innovate within established patterns. You know, ‘let’s not try and reinvent here.’ At the end of the day, our job is to make sure our customers are happy.”
Bill’s resume includes stints with Microsoft, Nike, MasterCard, and NASA. And he is currently the Chief Creative Officer at Blink, a user experience consulting and usability research firm. So if you’re keen on defining your brand through UX design and collaboration, Bill shares some key insights throughout the pod. He also defines design language and explains the key role it plays in boosting company culture and user experiences.
Listen to hear more from Bill, including –
* Enhancing wonder and discovery through communication and design at NASA* Scrollytelling, the art of creating interactive experiences using content in multiple media to make stories come to life* Setting priorities as a designer, making time for things that fit in your vision
59 / Balance Mission & Vision For Great Products
What does it really mean to be obsessed with serving your customers? How can we balance mission and vision to build great products?
In this episode, ITX product leader Matt Bush joins Sean in a lively conversation with Esteban Contreras, a Senior Director of Product Management at Hootsuite. Like many so organizations in the space, Hootsuite deftly adapted to a pandemic-driven business climate to continue serving customers from a fully remote work environment. Esteban shares how celebration and culture were key to this process.
Some customers seem less concerned with the long-term vision of your product. Even product teams sometimes struggle to grasp their long-term goals when they don’t know the path for getting there. For some, Esteban adds, “A successful day simply means getting out of work on time.” And that’s why mission is so important. Mission explains why we exist in the first place.
Listen in to catch more from Esteban; learn about his unique entrance into product management and cools ways to celebrate activities that are integral to customer success.
Excellent guests and great variety of topics.
A great business podcast bringing together experienced professionals and conversations focused on creating technology for improving and integrating the digital world into our daily lives.
Insightful and actionable I am currently having my team go through episodes as kickoffs for solving certain problems. Keep up the great work!
Insightful Listening Experience
This podcast is excellent. If you are involved or interested in the product development industurty you will not be disappointed. The hosts do a wonderful job presenting important concepts filled with real life examples that will leave you inspired. I will be waiting for the next one!