foursquare – Like twitter, but Useful :)

foursquare launched their API yesterday (Mashable, Techcrunch). With it, developers can: identify what city the user is in read/write user and friends’ check-in data look up information for a particular location make/send friend requests retrieve venue data perform a local search that includes information from your friends’ check-ins add venues, tips, and to-dos This enablesContinue reading “foursquare – Like twitter, but Useful :)”

Location, location, location

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at local, mobile applications and how they fit into gaming and local commerce. Michael Arrington biopsied the social gaming economy and found it to be quite ill. Marginal advertisers (and I use even that term loosely) are filling these companies’ coffers with cash from shady lead-gen deals.Continue reading “Location, location, location”

Creating value through scarcity.

It’s been a crazy month for me and mine as we try to plan a wedding across the continent. Now that summer is officially over it’s time to hunker down and relieve everyone’s curiosity. and catch up. So, to make for a post-free month here are two short posts sandwiched into one. The newspaper businessContinue reading “Creating value through scarcity.”

Youtube gets down to business.

It’s incredibly difficult to create a product that both delights customers and generates revenue. As a result, the usual way to build a digital media business is to first create something that users love and then, months or years later, find a way to really monetize it. Youtube followed this model for years. It nowContinue reading “Youtube gets down to business.”

Management and Practice

The dog days of summer continue. I’d like to say that this gives me lots of time for careful reflection and reading but that hasn’t been the case. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of good material this week. First, the Wall Street Journal talked to Henry “Managers not MBAs” Mintzberg to find out What Managers ReallyContinue reading “Management and Practice”

What the Underpants Gnomes can teach you about business on the web.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the kinds of businesses that will start and thrive in this economy. The bulk of web 2.0 companies were built (and bought) based on the thought that they would aggregate and re-sell people’s attention. As we moved through the business cycle, some companies developed exotic ways of targeting theirContinue reading “What the Underpants Gnomes can teach you about business on the web.”

Getting a New Team to do Cool Stuff

When I took on my current job I was given an established product team and a mostly-new engineering team. We also had a brand new engineering manager, QA manager, and program manager working with us. Our job was to launch an all-new version of Toolbar while we maintained our existing versions and continued to supportContinue reading “Getting a New Team to do Cool Stuff”

Evolve.

This month’s Fast Company features a cover story about Amazon’s Kindle. It describes how Amazon could use the Kindle to squeeze publishers out of the book value chain. It also talks about how Apple might respond, and what the ensuing battle might look like. Over the past few years I’ve been impressed by Amazon’s willingnessContinue reading “Evolve.”

Design by Objective

I’m a big fan of managing by objective. Wherever possible, I believe that PMs, engineers, testers and designers should begin their work by first agreeing to (or at least accepting) a list of user and business objectives that a feature or product should fulfill. This will be useful in framing the many discussions that willContinue reading “Design by Objective”

Rule 2: Don’t be a victim.

As a product manager it is tempting to blame failures on the action – or inaction – of others. This is dangerous because it allows one to avoid responsibility for the commtiments they make. To be a great product manager you have to be a good leader. That means holding yourself accountable. The best definitionContinue reading “Rule 2: Don’t be a victim.”