A Single-Threaded Owner (or Single-Threaded Leader) is a term for a manager who is 100% focused and 100% accountable to making a company's new initiative succeed. The Single-Threaded Owner is given their mandate, which could be anything - invent a new product, launch a new line of business, migrate a company to the cloud - and every day they and their team wake up with one question: "How do I make this initiative succeed?".
In practice, Single-Threaded Owners are given very hard problems to solve. Their dedication and accountability is key, but the you can't succeed without a winning strategy from the get-go.
Earlier this year I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post to illustrate how to 'hack' the LinkedIn algorithm to get a lot of views. It took me 2 minutes to write a post, and I got over 2,000 views just that day.
Consultants will tell you that it takes time for a new website to rank highly with Google SEO. Yet I was able to get some of my new website's pages to rank #1 within a few weeks, without any paid ads.
I have done program management, business development and marketing for 20 years, but I'm no SEO expert. But since I had some success just experimenting with SEO part-time, I thought to share my findings.
Tired of generic 2022 predictions about remote work, cloud, and data? Here are 10 specific trends to consider in your growth strategy:
The entire Wikipedia entry for Web3 is being considered for deletion by moderators due to the general lack of clarity on what Web3 actually is. Indeed, it took me several days of reading Web3 silicon valley articles and podcasts, and contrasting them with other reputable analyses, to piece it together.
This post cuts out the jargon and summarizes in plain language what Web3, NFTs, and the Metaverse are, how they're tied together, as well as the known issues of the technology and business model behind them.
It's never a great sign when the Product Manager is handed a technology with an assignment of "figuring out the use cases". Great products should be a labor of love, the result of an entrepreneurial person who felt the pain of a problem first-hand, or had great empathy for someone else's problem, and then passionately invested time and energy to solve that problem.
Launching a new business? Whether you're newly self-employed or planning to be the next Amazon, the principles for a startup founder are the same.
One of the biggest challenges of a new startup is generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs). A startup is a race: you are burning through limited funding, and every day you need to go all-out before funding runs out. Along the way, you are demonstrating progress to leadership and investors, and there's no better way to keep their confidence than pointing to a pipeline of fresh daily leads.
So how do you get MQLs for your startup ASAP?
Talking to customers to uncover unmet needs is the most critical part of product strategy. The key to growth is a deep understanding of your target customers. Simply relying on internal ideas is not enough, nor is it enough to just look at google analytics and product usage data. You actually have to talk to the market.
Read my article The Complete Guide to Customer Interviews That Drive Product-Market Fit. When you get to the customer interview, take heed of these crucial guidelines!
You're at an established company that wants to break into a new market or new geography. Where do you start?
CIOs (Chief Information Officers) are smart, busy, and flooded with meetings. Internally, their peers and teams are constantly notifying them of status and new fires. Externally, they are flooded by sales calls. It's exhausting.
So how do you get an audience with them? And when you do, how do you get their attention and respect? In short: how to talk to a CIO?
Product leaders know they need to tailor their roadmap to customer demand. They base these decisions on market intelligence from the usual sources:
These sources are important, but are often indirect and lagging information, not to mention other biases. For those that just want to appease their boss, this may be enough. What you release next may or may not be successful, but at least you can show that you based your roadmap on sources. But for those that really care about a product that sells and users love, you need to balance this with more direct and predictive sources of intelligence.
Popularized by Amazon, a Single-Threaded Owner (STO) is a leader who is 100% dedicated and accountable to a new initiative such as inventing a new product, launching a new line of business, or executing a digital transformation. The Single-Threaded Owner is responsible for turning strategy into real results.
Product and service offerings follow a growth lifecycle:
Once you hit Flatline and Decline, it is very hard to bounce back. Stories of flatlining businesses that suddenly take off again are rare indeed. While there are ways to resuscitate a flatlining business, the ideal is to NEVER GET THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE and instead take the right actions to ensure continuous growth.
By this point, most PMs know that the key to growth is a deep understanding of your target customers. Simply relying on internal ideas is not enough, nor is it enough to just look at google analytics and product usage data. You actually have to talk to the market.
But even if you are convinced to regularly interview customers to get the voice of the market, of the big blockers I have seen is simply HOW to go about it. How do you land customer interviews? What do you say during the customer interview?