Product Management for the Enterprise

Most of the many articles I link do not mention the difference between managing consumer products and enterprise products. There are, however, severe differences, mostly regarding

  • the business model
  • buyer of the product (in enterprises the buyer is usually not the user)
  • innovation (do NOT move fast and break things)

Read the article Product Manager for the Enterprise here.

Why do products fail? (Root Causes)

Probably, more products fail than not. This is not only due to lacking information, but also because of personal bias. Marty Cagan held a nice presentation which is also available as text. He points out many of the product failure reasons that are based on human irrational behaviour, and I mostly agree with him. This is a reminder for all of us to reflect our judgement from time to time.

Customer adoption of a new product or feature

So you have a great idea of a new product or feature. Anyway, how will you know that anyone else will like it and, more importantly, also use it?

Inspired by Marc Andreessen’s tweets, Hutch Carpenter asks three questions to evaluate the possible adoption of a product:

  • Does the idea target an actual job-to-be-done that enough people have?
  • Is the idea a meaningful improvement over the current way people fulfill their job-to-be-done?
  • Does the value of the idea to customers exceed the cost of the idea to them?

You can also rate the answers and display them in a kind of dashboard, but that’s all eye candy.


SaaS Operating Metrics

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or cloud services, is a market on its own. Traditional metrics do not fully apply. KISSmetrics provide an infographic showing:

  • Revenue growth rate
  • Average revenue per employee
  • Sales & Marketing Spend
  • Growth and Marketing Spending relationship
  • Growth and Marketing Efficiency relationship

Infographics for commercial purposes

I read the article Tell your work story with an infographic by Hutch Carpenter and found that infographics are pretty useful to convey information about topics or people. But I doubt that infographics can be used for commercial purposes. This is why:

  • Infographics are not usually used in business context.
  • Infographics are not interactive. Websites or microsites can offer more interaction with the visitor.

If your value proposal is simple enough to fit into an infographic (which it should be), infographics will be a good add-on to your business communication, but will not be sufficient.

The Dropbox way to get new customers

Instead of paying for traffic from Goodle Adwords, Dropbox found a new way to get new customers: They rewarded existing, passionate customers for recommending the service to new users. Apparently, the cost of acquiring a new paying customer decreased significantly. The story to be learnt is to leverage existing users to find new ones. The company, the existing customer, and the new customer can benefit from such a model.

Product Manager’s Cognitive Bias (Blind Spots)

Like all people, product managers are subject to cognitive bias. There are a couple of such biases, some of the common ones are listed in this article. There are certainly many more, and one has to keep in mind that the own, intelligently derived opinion might be influenced by such cognitive biases.

(I do not want to recommend the advertised model because I do not know it.)