300 episodes

The Everyday Innovator is a weekly podcast dedicated to your success as a product manager and innovator. Join me, Chad McAllister, for interviews with product professionals, discussing their successes, failures, and lessons-learned to help you excel in your career and create products your customers will love. Every organization must have products that provide value to their customers. People like you who know how to create that value are the ones with real influence. The topics are relevant to product and innovation management, and include: creating a culture of innovation, managing product development, validating the viability of product concepts, conducting market research, selecting a product innovation methodology, generating product ideas, working well with teams and cross-functionally, and much more.

The Everyday Innovator Podcast for Product Manager‪s‬ Chad McAllister, PhD - Helping Product Managers become Product Masters

    • Management
    • 4.9 • 48 Ratings

The Everyday Innovator is a weekly podcast dedicated to your success as a product manager and innovator. Join me, Chad McAllister, for interviews with product professionals, discussing their successes, failures, and lessons-learned to help you excel in your career and create products your customers will love. Every organization must have products that provide value to their customers. People like you who know how to create that value are the ones with real influence. The topics are relevant to product and innovation management, and include: creating a culture of innovation, managing product development, validating the viability of product concepts, conducting market research, selecting a product innovation methodology, generating product ideas, working well with teams and cross-functionally, and much more.

    TEI 324: What product managers can do now to prepare for senior leadership roles – with Evan Roth

    TEI 324: What product managers can do now to prepare for senior leadership roles – with Evan Roth

    Powerful actions and mindsets to take product managers to the next level

    This podcast is getting a new name to better reflect our objective here—helping product managers become product masters. That new name is Product Masters Now. 

    You don’t need to do anything to keep listening, but I want you to know the name change is coming in a few weeks, and it will show in your podcast player not as The Everyday Innovator but as Product Masters Now. 

    Product managers are in a perfect role to become senior leaders and part of the C-suite. Your role is in the middle of the work the organization does, giving you insights that few executives have, which is why you should become one. To prepare for that, you need to adjust your mindset, stop doing certain things, and start doing other things.  

    Our guest, Evan Roth, is an expert on this as he has coached many product executives. We first met way back in episode 102 after a product VP and coaching client introduced me to him. Today, he’ll help you prepare a path to leadership roles. 

    Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

    [6:28] How can product managers change their mindset to prepare for a senior leadership role?



    * Stretch out your thinking about the future—think longer term, wider breadth

    * Embrace the gray—recognize that there won’t be perfect answers

    * Focus on the big picture— when you’re a senior leader, someone else will focus on the details

    * Stop thinking about urgent products and start thinking about important products—focus on solutions, opportunities, and possibilities

    * Stop thinking about the details and start thinking about themes and trends

    * Anticipate the future (future proofing)



    [10:38] How do we think bigger?

    Examine your mental models. Ask yourself, What is my framework? How far out am I thinking? Is my thinking unlimited or limited? Spend time with other people who think big. Change your mental models by being influenced by mentors.

    [13:53] Tell us more about how can mindset help product managers.

    I coach people on four aspects of mindset, using the acronym GAIL:



    * Gremlin (inner critic)

    * Assumption

    * Interpretation

    * Limiting Belief



    Our brains don’t distinguish between limiting beliefs and positive beliefs. A thought leads to a feeling, which leads to a behavior, which lead to an action. If we want to change our behavior and achieve a goal, we have to change our feelings and thoughts. We need to reframe the messages we tell ourselves. The brain is a pattern-recognition machine. If you want to create a new neural synapse, you have to practice mentally. Your mindset is not in your DNA. You can choose to change. The brain is seeking certainty and will continue to stay the same unless you actively change yourself. Awareness is big. If you want to change your mental models, you have to become aware of them.

    [20:21] What actions should product managers take as they’re moving toward senior leadership?



    * First, list the things you’ll need to stop doing. When you advance to the next level, you can’t keep doing all the things you’re already doing or you’ll burn out.

    * Identify the most valuable activity (MVA) you’ll be doing at the next level. Find out how senior leaders spend their time in ways that lead to economic or product success.

    * Think differently by reading differently; read about what your next position may be like and read about things you don’t understand yet. At the executive level, you’ll be faced with things you don’t know all the time, so prepare yourself now.



    [22:28] What books can leaders read to expand their thinking?

     All great leadership starts with self leadership. Read about you can become better, self-actualize, and become aware of blindspots.

    • 32 min
    TEI 323: Product management insights, stories, and secrets from inside Amazon – with Colin Bryar & Bill Carr

    TEI 323: Product management insights, stories, and secrets from inside Amazon – with Colin Bryar & Bill Carr

    How product managers can work backwards to amazing products

    In a few weeks, the name of this podcast will be changing to Product Masters Now. You don’t need to do anything to keep listening, but I want you to know the name change is coming. If your player is like mine that lists podcasts alphabetically, it will be displayed further in your list of subscribed podcasts as the first letter of the name is changing from “E” to “P.” The logo will look the same—just the name is changing. 

    To be a better product manager, it is worthwhile to examine organizations known for their product management capabilities. Amazon is such a company.

    In this episode we are joined by not one but two product professionals who built much of their career at Amazon—13 and 15 years. They are Colin Bryar and Bill Carr. They document the process Amazon uses to create successful products in a book titled Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon. And, they are here to share their insights with us. 

    Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

    [2:42] What makes Amazon so innovative?

    Innovation is a necessary part of everyone’s job. Our 14 leadership principles are woven into the DNA of everyone who works there and every process in the company, and six of them are directly related to innovation:



    * Customer obsession—people wake up every day trying to figure out how to delight their customers.

    * Invent and simplify—leaders expect invention and innovation from their teams, and they’re always finding ways to get better.

    * Leaders are right, a lot—they seek diverse perspectives and try to prove themselves wrong to make sure they have the right thought.

    * Insist on the highest standards—we’re continually finding ways to get better.

    * Frugality—constraints breed innovation.



    Necessity also drives Amazon to innovate. Amazon operates at a scale that often can’t be supported by any commercial solutions, so they have to create solutions themselves. Amazon accepts failure as part of invention. If you’re not failing enough, you’re not inventing enough. When we started working at Amazon in 1998 and 1999, Amazon was an ecommerce business when ecommerce was completely new. We were inventing a whole new form of commerce from the beginning. The people who found it fun and exciting to invent something new thrived. As the company progressed, that mindset pervaded the company and drove them to move outside ecommerce. Also, some of Amazon’s raw materials like computing power, storage, and bandwidth, get cheaper over time. We use those advancements to invent new things, like scanning and storing every book in the world.

    [7:47] How did you see customer obsession encouraged at Amazon?

    Remarkably, Jeff Bezos and Amazon figured out how to create reinforcing processes to make customer obsession part of people’s jobs. Weekly business review meetings included a section called Voice of the Customer. At these meetings, a leader of the customer service group brought forward a customer problem that Amazon didn’t have a good solution for. The senior leadership assigned people to tackle the problem and create a solution so it never happens again. Another process, the COE (Correction of Error) process, tasked teams with diving deeply into the details of a defect, figuring out why the customer had the problem, and creating a detailed plan to fix the problem. Unlike most companies, Amazon created methods for leaders to programmatically seek out problems and solutions.

    [11:40] Who is responsible for innovation at Amazon?

    Everyone. Innovation is the lifeblood of the company. We don’t have a chief innovation officer, because that would be like having a chief breathing officer—everyone has to innovate, so you don’t assign that task to one person.

    • 38 min
    TEI 322: First Time UX analysis for product managers – with Elizabeth Ferrao

    TEI 322: First Time UX analysis for product managers – with Elizabeth Ferrao

    Four steps for product managers to make an awesome First Time User Experience

    This podcast is where product leaders and managers become product masters. That has been our purpose from the beginning, and it is why I’m changing the name of the podcast to Product Masters Now. You don’t need to do anything to keep listening, but I want you to know the name change is coming in a few weeks and it will show in your podcast player not as The Everyday Innovator but as Product Masters Now. If your player is like mine and lists podcasts alphabetically, it will be displayed further in your list of subscribed podcasts, as the first letter of the name is changing from “E” to “P.” The logo will look the same—just the name is changing to Product Master Now.

    How much do you think about the user experience of your products? The entire user experience? I know I have put my focus in one area and neglected other aspects of the user experience—for example, the functional experience with the product, while perhaps ignoring the onboarding aspect or the customer support aspect. Even if you argue that such areas are someone else’s responsibility, I believe you, as the product manager, have important insights for improving these areas. 

    Our guest, Elizabeth Ferrao, has a practical framework for quickly evaluating UX called First Time UX, or FTUX, which is an acronym for a 4-step process. She’ll take us through the steps and an example so we can understand how to apply the framework.  Elizabeth is the founder of Product Mindset, a product consultancy focused on FTUX and onboarding.  

    Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

    [3:01] What is your focus as a UX product person?

    I’ve worked as a product manager for many companies, repeatedly working on onboarding—getting customers into the funnel. I started thinking about the first time user experience. I learned that 77% of mobile users download an app, then never use it after 72 hours. That means the money spent on getting those customers to download the app is wasted. The funnel is leaky. How do we make sure that the first time user experience is fantastic and offers immediate value that keeps users coming back?

    [6:38] What is First Time UX?

    First Time User Experience (FTUX) is the experience a person has the first time they encounter a product. FTUX is important for physical products and digital products. For digital products, it’s very measurable because we can measure our bounce rate, why people are dropping off, and what they’re looking at.

    [9:45] What are the steps of your First Time UX evaluation?

    I have a set of four steps that I walk through in any product experience, physical or digital.

    [9:54] Step 1: Landing Page

    On the landing page, I look for…



    * Really strong message strength. Are they speaking directly to my pain point?

    * The customer persona. The landing page tells whether the team understands whom they’re building the product for. I should be able to identify the key customer persona from the landing page.

    * Are there any barriers to entry? I don’t want to have to enter a credit card number or talk to a salesperson.



    [11:09] Step 2: One Minute Magic Moment

    This is what the customer sees in their first minute with the product. For example, if an orange juice bottle tells me it has no sugar, and that’s my pain point, I’ll keep reading the bottle and might purchase it. As another example, when you first start using Spotify, it asks what music you like to listen to and automatically recommends songs you might like.

    It’s important to note that as a product manager you can’t satisfy your super fans and first-time users at the same time. You have to focus on one. Often product managers are focused on creating more value for current users,

    • 35 min
    TEI 321: How product managers can delight customers – with Chip Bell

    TEI 321: How product managers can delight customers – with Chip Bell

    Secrets for working with customers to create products they will love

    This podcast is getting a new name to better reflect our objective here—helping product managers become product masters. That new name is Product Masters Now.

    You don’t need to do anything to keep listening, but I want you to know the name change is coming in a few weeks, and it will show in your podcast player not as The Everyday Innovator but as Product Masters Now.

    You are in store for an enriching discussion with someone who has more experience delighting customers than most of us will ever see. You’ll learn a few important tools along with deepening your understanding of what it means to create products customers love.

    Helping us with this is Chip R. Bell, who has been ranked for six years in a row as one of the top three keynote speakers in the world on customer service. Bell has appeared on multiple TV networks, and his work has been featured in several prominent publications.

    Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

    [2:18] What is co-creation?

    Co-creation is a partnership of creating collaboratively. I’ll be discussing the application of co-creation between a customer and an organization. The customer and the organization work together with equal license to make contributions to the product. Many organizations make products for the customer, but in co-creation, you’re making products with the customer. It’s a win-win partnership.

    [3:47] How do you find co-creation partners?

    Good co-creation partners have a need and the knowledge to contribute effectively. For example, a contributor to an electronic device needs to have knowledge about electronics. Choose a partner who can make a contribution in a way that’s unique and different from how you would normally approach the problem.

    Another group of contributors are catalysts. For instance, I might bring in third graders who will ask questions that stimulate product development. They don’t have the expertise to create a product, but they will help us break out of our normal way of thinking. Talk to people like drivers or security guards in your company; they have a different viewpoint and can often bring intelligence you might otherwise miss. A friend of mine who manages a hotel got valuable insights from taxi drivers about what customers liked and disliked about the hotel.

    [10:44] What are the five secrets for creating co-creation partnerships?

    For many years I’ve worked in customer service innovation. In contrast to value-added innovation, customer service innovation is value-unique—it’s all about creating new experiences that your customers will want to tell someone about. I wanted to write another book about this topic, and I decided to focus on including the customer in the innovative process. I found five secrets that the cultures of the most innovative companies share. My book Inside Your Customer’s Imagination is about applying those secrets to a relationship with the customer. The customer’s imagination is a door that can only be opened from the inside. The question is what to do to get the customer to open the door and share their crazy, unique, or unusual insights.

    Customer service innovation is about looking for opportunities to add something that delights the customer in an unexpected way. If you involve the customer in this, you get their cool ideas mixed in with your creation, and your customer will be loyal to a product they helped create.

    [15:55] Curiosity that uncovers insight

    Curiosity is approaching an inquiry without having any clue where it’s going. Normally, when people do customer interviews or focus groups, they are looking for confirmation of something they already expect. Product managers know better than to ask leading questions, but the expected answers are in their heads. Instead,

    • 35 min
    TEI 320: Visual strategies to better position your product ideas – with Amy Balliett

    TEI 320: Visual strategies to better position your product ideas – with Amy Balliett

    How product managers can use visual storytelling to make their ideas stand out

    As we move into 2021, the name of this podcast is changing to better reflect our objective here—product managers become product masters. That new name is Product Masters Now.

    You don’t need to do anything to keep listening, but I want you to know the name change is coming in a few weeks and it will show in your podcast player not as The Everyday Innovator but as Product Masters Now.

    Product managers must communicate their ideas to others in ways that are clear and solicit feedback. Using visuals to help communicate information can be very helpful. Visual tools can make information easy to understand and also place it in context.

    When it comes to visual information, Amy Balliett is a leader. Her visual communication agency has created thousands of successful information campaigns for Fortune 1000 clients. She speaks on and teaches visual information concepts whenever she can. Today, she joins us so we can understand how simple visual tools can make us better communicators.

    Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

    [2:44] How did you end up on the path to becoming the “Queen of Visualizing Information”?

    In film school I fell in love with visual storytelling. Later I pivoted my career and started my own business, Killer Infographics, creating infographics for online marketing. We evolved from infographics to motion graphics, interactive eBooks, and other visual media. We merged marketing and visual storytelling and drove success by applying what we had learned with infographics—the best practices of visual storytelling—to all these other types of creative content.

    Visual storytelling makes a huge difference for businesses because audiences want to get to know the brands they’re buying from, but they often don’t want to take the time to read content that delivers authenticity and transparency. We visualize those messages so that audiences will consume them far more often and voraciously.

    [8:13] You’ve been compared to Edward Tufte, the “King of Visualizing Information.” What are your thoughts on that comparison?

    To be compared to Tufte is a huge compliment. I’ve followed him from the beginning, and one time I went to one of his workshops and saw that some people were overwhelmed by the pace at which he was sharing information. I wondered how I could share the same content in a way that’s easier to digest. Tufte focuses on visualizing scientific or historical information for an analytical audience. At Killer, I focus on visualizing content to advertise to an audience. We want to make content edgy and exciting while delivering a clear, succinct message. We focus on catching attention very quickly, because today’s audiences have super short attention spans.

    What would you like to share about your eight rules for visual communication?

    [11:04] Always think about con-text.

    It’s a con when there’s too much text. The definition of visual communication is the act of graphically representing information to efficiently and effectively create meaning. A key word is graphically, but 99% of infographics have paragraphs of text next to images. That’s not visual communication. According to brain science, humans take in visual information in one-tenth of a second, but they take over five seconds to take in text-based information. If you have only five seconds to get your viewer to come to a conclusion, use visual content. If they have to read the text to understand the visuals, you’re not visually communicating. A recent study found that articles with images every 75-100 words had two times the engagement of articles that had one image or less.

    [14:53] Avoid the stigma of stock.

    It’s not enough to stick unrelated images into your content.

    • 39 min
    TEI 319: Product Innovation Management – with Jerry Fix

    TEI 319: Product Innovation Management – with Jerry Fix

    How product managers can innovate throughout the entire product lifecycle

    As we move into 2021, the name of this podcast is changing to better reflect our objective here—product managers becoming product masters. That new name is Product Masters Now. 

    You don’t need to do anything to keep listening, but I want you to know the name change is coming in a few weeks, and it will show in your podcast player not as The Everyday Innovator but as Product Masters Now. 

    This is the final episode in the series on a product management body of knowledge. Every-other-week starting in episode 307, we have explored the Product Development and Management Association’s (PDMA) guide to the body of knowledge for product managers and innovators. PDMA is the longest running professional association for product managers, existing since 1976. We end the series by discussing product innovation management, which is the knowledge area for maximizing the return from product innovation through application of sound management practices throughout the product life cycle. 

    Our guest is Jerry Fix, a global Product Management professional who has successfully launched numerous products. He has significant experience managing global organizations to develop and support products and guide the commercialization of products and technologies.

    Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

    [2:35] What are the key topics addressed in the chapter you wrote, Product Innovation Management?

    Innovation is a theme woven throughout the Body of Knowledge. We don’t treat innovation as a static event but as a process that winds through the entire new product development lifecycle. This final chapter wraps up the theme of innovation and highlights the idea that innovation should be managed throughout the process.

    [4:29] What responsibilities and skills do product managers have?

    I like how Marty Cagan describes the job of a product manager—to discover something valuable, useful, and feasible.

    Product managers’ main responsibilities are…



    * Understanding the customer experience well.

    * Internalizing a vision and communicating it to others.

    * Assessing and prioritizing processes and activities.

    * Managing pricing and roadmaps.

    * Building business cases.

    * Working with stakeholders.



    Effective product managers’ key skills are…



    * Understanding the market.

    * Understanding what innovation is.

    * Switching easily between thinking strategically (big picture) and tactically (immediate actions).

    * Being able to explain technical requirements to users and stakeholders.



    [11:58] What is the product life cycle?

    The product lifecycle is a curve that describes the stages of a product from the time it’s introduced to the time it’s retired. It includes the areas shown in the graphic. Historically, the introduction, growth, or maturity phases could last years or decades, but today we’re seeing the whole process getting shorter. As technology develops, consumers become more demanding, leading to more new technology, causing consumers to become more demanding, etc.

    Some product managers aren’t aware that retiring the product is part of the product lifecycle. They say their products never go away, and they have to continue managing them. They’re overextending the maturity phase. During the maturity phase, the product doesn’t change much. You’re generating as much revenue as possible while holding off decline as long as possible. If you extend that phase too far, your competitors will develop alternatives to your mature product, and you’ll miss opportunities for revenue and innovation.

    [18:08] What should product managers be thinking about as they’re taking a product through its lifecycle?

    During  introduction,

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
48 Ratings

48 Ratings

Max L's Mom ,

Excellent for any product person!

I have 23 years product experience from startup to high growth and I learn something from every single episode. Thank you for sharing!

Jennifer Kahnweiler ,

A brilliant host

I have been a guest on many podcasts and Chad’s ranks up there at the top. He was so prepared and shared his own stories without dominating the discussion. Our conversation on creating introvert-friendly workplaces and leaders was free flowing and we covered so much ground. I am looking forward to be invited back again!

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcast!!!

Chad, host of The Everday Innovator Podcast, highlight all aspects of entrepreneurs and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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