can you just... ignore it?

My friend Scott has an interesting post on the overwhelming nature of email. He reports that Michael Arrington has 2400+ unread emails in his inbox. Here's a long-standing problem that many of us have, although perhaps not taken to this extreme. Join the discussion on how to solve this problem.

People (and markets) know they have problems; they just don't know how to solve them.

  • Our email problems are legion (not even counting spam). We get too much of it; we can't find specific messages later; we often reply the same thing again and again.
  • We knew we needed to connect individuals and businesses long before we had access to the internet. 
  • I've known about Kensington's presenter's remote for years but rarely is one provided when I do speak at conferences.
  • Wireless phones have too many buttons!
  • TV remotes have too many buttons.
  • The Amazon Kindle solves a big problem but dang! it has too many buttons.

What other problems have we lived with for years?

Meanwhile developers and engineers know about solutions but don't really know about market problems. So they assume that their problems are the same as everyone else's. Are your developers, your peers, your execs "regular people"?

That's where product management comes in. We need to build the bridge between the market's problems and the developers' solutions. But alas, in many situations, the product management role is merely to prioritize what development has already decided to build.

Where do those ideas come from? The effective product manager knows that problems come from the market.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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