Ken Norton is renowned in the product management world as one of the most inspiring thought leaders. He’s a partner at GV so he has a wealth of high grade experience in the product management world. Ken writes prolifically about the expertise needed to be a successful product manager. If you need somewhere to start go straight to his infamous ‘How To Hire A Product Manager’ essay and get..
Mother of all markets or a pipe dream driven by greed? -
In an essay entitled Ants & Aliens, I encouraged product managers to develop a thirty-year plan. Although it can seem preposterous, that time horizon can be liberating. It’s so far out it forces us to detach our vision from practicality. As I wrote, “Something appealing happens when you contemplate that...
Note-taking techniques, Women in Product and more -
When I started this newsletter I aimed to maintain a few-times-monthly pace, and I did quite well through the first year and a half. Alas, vacations, work, millennial thinkpieces, and the horror of national and global catastrophes took their toll and I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. I...
Three outstanding new books -
I want to draw your attention to three recently published books that will help you become a better product leader. I enthusiastically recommend all of them. PRODUCT LEADERSHIP How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams By Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson and Nate Walkingshaw 256 pp. O’Reilly...
What's the ideal number of engineers for every PM? -
I spend a lot of time with startups, and a good portion of that time helping them think through organizational questions. One of the most common questions I get from growing startups is, what’s the ideal ratio of engineers to product managers? (A different kind of P/E ratio.) For fun,...
I read 61 books last year and it was easier than I thought -
At the beginning of last year I decided to try reading more books. I set what seemed like an unreachable annual goal: fifty. I ended the year with sixty-one, and a conviction that anyone can do it. It’s much easier than you think to read about a book a week....
Plus staying focused and asking good questions -
Happy new year! I hope you and your teams had a chance to rest, relax, and spend time with loved ones. I began this newsletter experiment about a year ago. Since then, it’s grown to more than 10,000 subscribers and I’ve gotten a chance to get to know many of...
Why judgment matters more then outcomes -
Last week I joined an offsite with hundreds of product managers where Dave Orr, a Google PM, spoke about decision-making. Dave is a former professional poker player (yeah, Google PMs are eclectic). In poker, as in life, you can make an excellent decision, yet still lose the hand. Or you...
The far future is upon us -
Earlier this month I gave a new talk about planning for the future at Industry 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve just published the essay version. Here’s a preview: We fall into a curious trap when we think about the future—we know too much to be dangerous. If I ask you...
Why you need a thirty-year plan (yes, thirty) -
”There is no point in having a 5-year plan in this industry. With each step forward, the landscape you’re walking on changes. So we have a pretty good idea of where we want to be in six months, and where we want to be in thirty years. And every six...
Why ambiguity is the worst thing in product management -
“Ambiguity is the worst thing in product management because when you’re not clear on what you’re saying no to, it creates a lot of decision debt, which affects a team’s focus and motivation.” Check out “Ken Norton’s Discipline of No,” an interview I did with the fine folks at The...
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