Your Baby is Ugly!
(but I think we can fix it…)
Mike Ditson
Product Camp Austin
July 20, 2013
mikeditson@yahoo.com
Strateg...
“Yay! A new PM job, what do I get to work on?”
Ugly Product Problems
• “Step-child” Products
• Out-dated technology
• Starved for resources
• Over-due customer commitmen...
WWSTD?
How did God
Create the World
in seven days?
No installed base!
“Luke, I
am your
father…”(but, you know, in a good way!)
“Neat!”
- Father of THE INTERNET!
Take Inventory
START with your angry Customers…
• Your first ~ 3 months are the only time you can claim “innocence.”
• You still have “be...
Where does your Product fit in your company’s portfolio?
High Growth Low Growth
Material
Not Material Emerging Declining
M...
What else is in the briefcase?
Salespeople sell…
what’s easy
Understand Stakeholders….
The Usual Suspects
VP
Services
VP
Sales COO/CFO CEO VP
Engineering
Haters/Enthusiasts
“Don’t let product people get driven out of decisions in companies
where sales and marketing are in charge.” - “S.J.”
Plans of Attack
Your points of Leverage
Angry customers
LoneWolf
McQuaid:
That….sales
guy.
Tighten your Sales/Marketing Focus
• I am NOT (in any way) smarter than Ray Ozzie.
• But… could tightening the focus help?
Should we do a
re-write?
“The Crusaders were not nice people…”
- Bill Davidow
Do you have Marketing?
• Do programs comply with “strategic principle?”
• Does marketing understand why customers will buy...
Can you
Lipstick it?
Should we just Sunset this beyatch?
Beware Pitfalls. Mind your FOUR P’s!
Taken Yesterday! (July 19, 2013)
“Much Less NEAT now!”
- Father of THE INTERNET!
It’s alive!! For 16 years!
Find
Mentors
Allies
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product
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PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product

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This presentation is about the situation most product managers in new jobs find themselves in -- inheriting a product with problems they didn't invent. Also, because Product Camp is a fun thing - there are several computer history references mixed in. FYI - This presentation from Product Camp Austin 11 is really made to "be presented" vs. read. Some (all?) of the builds and animations from the presented version may not translate to Slideshare.

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PCA11 - Your Baby is Ugly (But I think we can fix it) Strategies for the inherited product

  1. 1. Your Baby is Ugly! (but I think we can fix it…) Mike Ditson Product Camp Austin July 20, 2013 mikeditson@yahoo.com Strategies for the inherited product
  2. 2. “Yay! A new PM job, what do I get to work on?”
  3. 3. Ugly Product Problems • “Step-child” Products • Out-dated technology • Starved for resources • Over-due customer commitments • Failure to launch • “Forgotten” in the acquisition
  4. 4. WWSTD?
  5. 5. How did God Create the World in seven days? No installed base!
  6. 6. “Luke, I am your father…”(but, you know, in a good way!)
  7. 7. “Neat!” - Father of THE INTERNET!
  8. 8. Take Inventory
  9. 9. START with your angry Customers… • Your first ~ 3 months are the only time you can claim “innocence.” • You still have “beginners mind.” • BUT – you still represent the company. • NEVER pass the buck. • Apologize. “I am sorry you have had this experience.” • THEN, you own it! (i.e. Do NOT drop the ball. More on that later)
  10. 10. Where does your Product fit in your company’s portfolio? High Growth Low Growth Material Not Material Emerging Declining MatureGrowth
  11. 11. What else is in the briefcase? Salespeople sell… what’s easy
  12. 12. Understand Stakeholders….
  13. 13. The Usual Suspects VP Services VP Sales COO/CFO CEO VP Engineering
  14. 14. Haters/Enthusiasts
  15. 15. “Don’t let product people get driven out of decisions in companies where sales and marketing are in charge.” - “S.J.”
  16. 16. Plans of Attack
  17. 17. Your points of Leverage
  18. 18. Angry customers
  19. 19. LoneWolf McQuaid: That….sales guy.
  20. 20. Tighten your Sales/Marketing Focus • I am NOT (in any way) smarter than Ray Ozzie. • But… could tightening the focus help?
  21. 21. Should we do a re-write?
  22. 22. “The Crusaders were not nice people…” - Bill Davidow
  23. 23. Do you have Marketing? • Do programs comply with “strategic principle?” • Does marketing understand why customers will buy the product? • Does a crusade mentality exist? • Is customer satisfaction guaranteed? • Does the product match the sales and distribution channels? • Will the promotion program work? • Is the product different? • Does a marketing plan exist? • Is pricing fair? • Are the marketing programs integrated? • Is marketing in touch with the customer base? • Does marketing respect sales and vice versa? • Does marketing drive the organization? • Are products managed through their life cycles? • Is a forecasting system in place? • Does marketing have quality control?
  24. 24. Can you Lipstick it?
  25. 25. Should we just Sunset this beyatch?
  26. 26. Beware Pitfalls. Mind your FOUR P’s!
  27. 27. Taken Yesterday! (July 19, 2013) “Much Less NEAT now!” - Father of THE INTERNET! It’s alive!! For 16 years!
  28. 28. Find Mentors
  29. 29. Allies

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