This Week in Product – Feb. 8, 2019

Published Feb 8, 2019

What Polar Vortex?

Jurgen Appelo's Innovation Vortex

With the weather being in the news so much, you’re probably sick of hearing (or for that matter, living) the word vortex. But what if we told you that there’s a new model out there called the innovation vortex, and it’s not just a pretty picture? You know we love a good visual model to help us think through product development, and this latest one is a quick favorite. Besides, turns out it’s just as controversial as global warming — its author had to write a defense of the thing within three days of publishing it.

Broken Telephone

This made me want to jump out of my chair yelling “Hearsay!” like in a very dramatic courthouse scene on Law & Order. Second-hand (and definitely third-hand) feedback is simply not good enough. If you’re not collecting feedback directly from your customers, past, present, and future, you’re doing it all wrong. Remember the Jeff Lash dictum: Ask yourself every day, “How many customers have I spoken to today?”

The Teardown

Brian on the Peloton

There is a kind of special allure to the Peloton that makes it a product person’s dream — a few months back we published a piece from a CPO who loves it, and this week saw this VERY thorough product manager’s review of the stationary bike. Pranav Khanna, VP of product management at Capital One, delivers an insightful overview of this expensive piece of hardware (that comes with an equally expensive monthly subscription). You thought it was just a bike, but once you put a PM on there, you suddenly hear talk of engagement, retention, and target users. The only missed opportunity in this review? A pun using the word cycle.

Sad Face

We use PM without thinking twice about it, but once upon a time (and probably still in a lot of places) project managers owned these initials. Nevertheless, we lament the confusion.

And, For the Podcast Nerds

With the big news about Spotify making moves to own the podcasting space this week, we thought we’d highlight this interesting job. Why this one? “Your work will have a huge impact on the way the world experiences music.” Perk: It’s in Sweden.