Strategic digital product management: embrace uncertainty

Humans hate uncertainty. Even saying “I don’t know” feels very uncomfortable for many. There are very strong evolutionary drivers for this as our prehistoric selves experienced existential risk whenever they entered situations with high uncertainty. As a consequence, we organize our lives to maximize certainty, ranging from the houses we live in, the jobs we … Read more

Strategic digital product management: maximize ROI

One of the most obvious principles of product management, and consequently the first one we discuss here, is to maximize the return on investment on the R&D efforts that we put in. As we’re a for-profit business, the goal has to be that we seek to maximize profit. This requires us to prioritize those R&D … Read more

Strategic digital product management

Engineering is concerned with building systems. We look at the requirements, design an architecture, do detailed design, implement, test and release. This may be a bespoke system for a specific customer, a product or a platform used to build other products with. Whereas engineering is concerned with how to build systems, there’s another activity concerned … Read more

There’s no such thing as “the platform”

Everyone loves to own a platform and use it to their advantage, either internally or externally. The notion of a platform communicates a perspective where there’s a fundament that we and others can build on top of. Without having to do all the hard, boring work ourselves. Instead, we can focus on that which is … Read more

There’s no such thing as customer value

As alluded to earlier, I work with quite a few companies in a consulting, advisory, board, research collaboration or other capacity. In many of these engagements, the discussion turns to what to build or how to extend the product with new functionality. When asked why we’re prioritizing certain types of functionality, the typical answer is … Read more

There’s no such thing as innovation

Everyone loves innovation. It communicates that things will be better. That we get more of what we want. That customers will love us more. That we’ll stand out from the crowd and be recognized for the great work we do. That the people we work with are motivated and excited. That everyone will beat a … Read more

There’s no such thing as “the company”

During my time in industry, I learned that every company has two cohorts of employees: the transients and the lifers. The transients would change company every couple of years whereas the lifers were on track to spend their entire professional life at one company. These lifers may have tried some other companies early in their … Read more

There’s no such thing as “the supplier”

No company is an island. Instead, we’re part of a value network or business ecosystem where we co-exist with customers, partners, suppliers, competitors and so on. The ecosystem is continuously evolving and changing and occasionally, there are large disruptions. Many feel that suppliers are the ecosystem’s most stable and trustworthy members. They have a vested … Read more

There’s no such thing as “the business model”

Although not everyone likes to talk about making money or generating revenue for the company, the fact is that every organization needs funds to survive, grow and develop. For this, we need customers who actually pay us and that’s where the business model comes in. Before digitalization became such an important development, many companies used … Read more

There’s no such thing as “the product”

Of the words that get misused or oversimplified, “product” is one of my favorites. It creates such an easy image in people’s heads that often is completely inaccurate, especially in the high-tech domain. When we hear the word “product,” we tend to think of this widget that passes hands from one of our salespeople to … Read more