Tired of generic 2022 predictions about remote work, cloud, and data? Here are 5 specific trends for software business leaders to consider:
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.
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?
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.
Talking to customers to uncover unmet needs is one of the most exciting parts of product management. It's being a detective! Hunting down members of your target audience for meetings, and, once there, asking them the right questions to get to the root of what they really care about.
But most PMs find it difficult to book customer interviews on a regular basis. And even when you do have a customer interview - how do you go about it? What questions do you ask?
This article is a step-by-step guide to landing, planning and executing customer interviews in a way that directly connects with product-market fit and growth, and hopefully takes the stress out of it and makes it fun!
A company is only as secure as its weakest link. But what if the weakest link isn't at the company at all, but rather one of its third-party vendors? A company can reinforce its own security posture by training its staff and implementing the latest tech, but it still has to provide access and share information with its suppliers, and its suppliers’ suppliers, and so on along the chain. With each degree of separation, the company has less control over its suppliers’ security – especially small suppliers lacking security controls. But when there is a data breach, no matter how far along in the supply chain (e.g. even if it's your vendor's vendor's vendor), you yourself bear the consequences.
Traditional data protection has been about securing data behind the corporate perimeter, locking down IT systems and endpoints with firewall and data loss prevention (DLP) technology. Now there is an increasing recognition that traditional data protection is not working. Faced with the new realities of cloud, shadow IT, BYOD, increasing collaboration with 3rd parties, and “last mile” endpoints like USB devices… no matter how well you secure data behind the perimeter, your data will eventually leak.
In their DLP magic quadrant analysis, Gartner said “At present, even with extensive DLP coverage across endpoints, networks and data repositories, there are still gaps and data flows where data can leak. The better answer is a data security strategy focused on securing the data itself, as opposed to trying to secure every system that comes in contact with sensitive data.”
What Gartner is talking about is a revival of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, that embeds encryption directly in a company’s valuable data assets themselves – their sensitive files and e-mails – so that even if the data does leak beyond the perimeter, it’s still protected.
Much like AI and Blockchain, Digital Rights Management technology is an extremely attractive concept that has had implementation challenges, but is now starting to overcome those implementation obstacles to go mainstream, most notably Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP). Here’s a look at what to expect.
Companies that have no connection to the financial world - Mindbody (fitness), ServiceTitan (HVAC, plumbing), WonderSchool (daycare), Jobber (lawncare, painting) - are suddenly making more revenue from online payments and other financial services than they do from their core software subscription revenue.
These is because new Fintech infrastructure companies have made it possible for SaaS businesses to add financial services alongside their core software product. By adding Fintech, SaaS businesses can increase revenue per customer by 2-5x, a significant new market opportunity and inspiration for what might be to come in the future.
There is a strong and immediate demand for Data Science in all industries, but a limited supply of qualified data scientists. There is also a fuzzy understanding of how data science actually works. Data science is "black magic" to most managers. These factors result in companies paying a high premium for data scientists today.
In such a competitive job market, how do you build your own AI / ML / data science team?
As a PM, a big part of your job is show-and-tell, whether pitching a new product or feature to your internal stakeholders, to a customer, or at a trade show. Like it or not, you are the modern-age Don Draper. Give the right pitch and you’ll unlock praise (“That’s exactly what we want!”), revenue, and recognition. Do it wrong and you’ll leave everyone scratching their heads.
This article is a complete guide to pitching digital applications that win over the audience, including how to prototype the right product, position the right demo, and say the right words when you are in the room yourself.