One Knight in Product
This is a podcast for people interested in building or designing tech products. At least once a week, I speak to product managers, product leaders, product marketers, UX professionals, and anyone else involved in product management and product delivery. Come and listen to some great conversations and get inspired! Listen on your favourite podcast app or on https://www.oneknightinproduct.com
2 hours ago
2 hours ago
Matt Dixon is a Wall Street Journal award-winning author and renowned researcher in the world of sales and customer success. He co-authored "The Challenger Sale" in 2011 which turned the world of B2B sales on its head, and encouraged salespeople around the world to take control of the customer conversation. He's now back with "The JOLT Effect" which tells us that our biggest problem with closing sales isn't losing to a competitor but losing to no decision at all. Here are some of the highlights of our discussion: There was a big gap in data-based, factual research on sales and it needed filling There are great sales books out there, but many of them are based on opinion and "what worked for me". Matt and his team took an outsiders' data-based approach and uncovered the surprising truth The Challenger Sale divided the sales community but resonated with founders Matt is not a salesman. This led some people to doubt his findings, but the data speaks for itself. The Challenger approach specifically resonated with startup founders who are natural challengers! All our assumptions about what makes good salespeople are wrong Sales have traditionally been taught to be relationship builders but in today's world of information overload, it's not enough to have a cosy conversation. Buyers need to be challenged, debated & given insight Up to 60% of Sales are lost not to a competitor, but to "no decision" & traditional approaches make it worse It's not enough to defeat the status quo. Buyers can be afraid to make a decision whatever the status quo. Traditional sales approaches make the problem worse. Customers are stuck and we need to JOLT them into action There's a playbook to defeat customer indecision that helps to take risk off the table & make buyers understand they're making a great decision. Product teams are crucial partners in helping sales teams do this. Buy "The JOLT Effect" "In sales, the worst thing you can hear from a customer isn’t “no.” It’s “I need to think about it.” When this happens, deeply entrenched business advice says to double down on your efforts to sell a buyer on all the ways they might win by choosing you and your business. But this approach backfires dramatically. Why? Because it completely gets wrong the primary driver behind purchasing decision-making: once purchase intent is established, customers no longer care about succeeding. What they really care about is not failing." Check it out on Amazon. You can also check out the book website. Buy "The Challenger Sale" "The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades." Check it out on Amazon. Make sure you check out "The Challenger Customer" and "The Effortless Experience" too! Contact Matt You can hit Matt up on LinkedIn.
7 days ago
7 days ago
John Cutler is a product evangelist for Amplitude, and a leading voice in the product management community. As a systems overthinker and "on second thoughts" leader, he's an anomaly in this world of quick-fire bubblegum takes. John's hypothesis is simple - product management is messy and he loves nothing more than thinking about it and drawing lots of complicated diagrams to explain it. Here are some of John's weighty thoughts: There's a lot of variety in product content out there and that's good John can get pretty in-depth, but there's plenty of room for targeted, optimised, "just do this" takes out there. As long as they're reducing the gatekeeping around product management not increasing it. Working in the "ideal" product way isn't the be-all and end-all There are lots of great teams out there not working as per the books. There are also great Big Tech-style practitioners who can only thrive in certain environments and would flounder anywhere else. We should all be thinking in systems Systems thinking is important for product managers trying to make sense of their product or organisation. Nothing is linear, everything is composed of self-reinforcing loops. Think you're a change agent? You're part of the system too! Product people need to be able to translate their thinking Systems thinking or otherwise, product people can have complicated messages that could sound esoteric or theoretical to non-product folks. It's important to find a way to land your message with your target audience. He coined the term "Feature Factory" as a joke and his thinking has evolved Sometimes you're going to have to build a feature & it might even be the best move! Work with your CEO, not against them, when they ask for a feature & make sure you know what game you're playing. Surviving a feature factory is possible with this 5-step plan John has an actionable 5-step plan (containing 6 steps) which enables you to work out what you want, what your colleagues want, demonstrate the value of product practices and, if all else fails, when to leave. Contact John You can hit John up on Twitter, or sign up to his mailing list The Beautiful Mess.
Sunday Sep 11, 2022
Sunday Sep 11, 2022
Roger Snyder is the VP of Products & Services at the 280 Group, a leading training & consultancy firm in Silicon Valley. He's passionate about product management and wants to help you get better at the craft and put some data into your decision making. Here are some of Roger's insights: Product management frameworks & methodologies are good starting points But you can't be a slave to them. Use these frameworks as a baseline to help you ask the right questions about your business, then use what you need for the situation you're in. Training isn't going to make you an amazing PM on your own Even the best training can't do it all, but it can be an accelerant. Training, certificates & certifications all have their place as part of your journey but you need to get rear-ended a couple of times. Don't be data-driven, be data-informed There's so much data out there that can help you make great decisions but don't just consume it blindly! You need to make sense of it to have the greatest impact, work out what metrics really matter & work out when "what matters" changes More teams are data-informed than ever but there are still challenges Many teams are still unable to make data-informed decisions due to lack of access, lack of tooling or stakeholder gatekeeping. Learn to tell stories about why it's important and ensure you explain the WIFM. Use data to inform your product vision It's important to set up a fact base for your product vision and populate it with the three Cs of product management: Company, Competitors and (of course!) Customers. You can then use all of that data to inform a compelling vision. Listen to the episode for this and more! Contact Roger You can reach out to Roger by email, or check out the 280 Group website.
Sunday Sep 04, 2022
Sunday Sep 04, 2022
Allen Holub is a software development and agile consultant who wants to help you build better software and build software better. He's also not shy when it comes to telling the world what he thinks about product development via Twitter. Here are some of Allen's spicy takes: Making true organisational change requires C-level buy-in It's easy to get hired by the engineering team to help them learn how to make sausages better but the better goal is to work out if you want to make sausages, and you need top-level buy in for this There are too many people walking on eggshells on Twitter You should be able to share your version of the truth in an open, direct way. If people don't like it, they can listen to someone else! Context is important, but it's not ivory tower thinking to try to change a system. Empowering people to be agile doesn't mean leaving them to it Removing organisational blockers and waterfall thinking is important, but you can't just leave them to it and not support them. They need support to become a learning organisation. Scrum is, at best, mostly harmless, but only in good teams You don't need backlogs, you don't need scrum masters, you don't need Sprints. You don't need any of it. Scrum was just a way to make agile acceptable to bureaucratic micromanagers. But all frameworks fly against agile thinking. Product managers do essential work that developers won't do if left to their own devices, but.. It's important that they're part of the development team, that they're not a silo, they aren't the boss or decision maker for the team & they aren't a replacement for the customer JIRA is actively contributing to poor development behaviours We don't need big long complicated specs, we don't need backlogs, estimates, story points or velocity charts. We'd be better off with index cards stuck to a wall (or Miro!) Listen to the episode for this and more! Follow the progress of Allen's book: Allen is writing a book! Check out the progress of the book here. Go to Allen's User Story workshop If you want to go to Allen's upcoming class on User Stories, check out the details here. Contact Allen You can reach out to Allen on Twitter, or book a chat with him.
Sunday Aug 28, 2022
Sunday Aug 28, 2022
Claire Vo is a product & technology executive leader, startup founder and future Queen of TechTok, who believes that cynicism and a negative mindset is product and career-limiting, and that people need to stop asking permission to do their jobs. Here are some of Claire's insights about her career and approach to work: A worthy mission is attractive, but an exceptional team is important Claire moved to HealthTech because the opportunity was right. It's great to join a worthy company but you need a team you can work with, a problem you can contribute to & a company that needs your skills. CPTOs can work well in the right context There are a lot of benefits of having clear, joined up leadership between tech & product but it has to work for your organisation & you need a strong leader that ultimately supports the business and not one or other of the functions. Frameworks alone aren't going to build a great product Use frameworks as conversation starters and mechanisms to help you along but you still need to do the hard work of product management to actually make a difference in the world. Frameworks won't help you win on their own. You can bring your whole self to the table & still be credible It's possible for leaders to be credible & professional and have a sense of humour. It's important to bring your full self to work & to social media as long as you are respectful to your colleagues and customers. Optimism trumps cynicism every time Just because work can be hard doesn't mean you should have a negative mindset. It's important to be realistic & critical but mix this with a sense of optimism, "how might we" attitude and empower yourself as a product manager or leader. There's still a lot to do to get proper inclusion at work There continues to be bias against women & mothers at work. Women have to live up to expectations that men don't. Claire beat the system by refusing to ask for permission to do her job, and you should too. Listen to the episode for this and more! Contact Claire You can reach out to Claire on Twitter, find her on LinkedIn, or most importantly on TikTok!
Sunday Aug 21, 2022
Sunday Aug 21, 2022
About the Episode Whatever her job, Yana Welinder has always had a passion for improving broken experiences. She did this as Product Lead at Wikimedia, she did this as Head of Product at If This Then That, and now she's here as CEO of her own IoT firm, Kraftful. Here are some of Yana's insights on IoT & startups: Usability in IoT is broken & someone needed to fix it Yana was Head of Product at IFTTT & they have an important mission - to make IoT devices interoperable. Yana wanted to solve an even greater pain - how to make them work well at all. She started a company to do this The IoT space is full of passionate early adopters & moving to the mainstream is hard Early adopters have very technical needs & want more features. Mainstream users want good quality & ease of use. Early adopters are your biggest champions but you need a plan to scale past them Fundraising for IoT was hard, even more so because she's a woman Many investors have been burned by hardware projects and people want to knock you down. Also, not everyone is Adam Neumann - underrepresented founders can barely raise off the back of successes, let alone failures. It's important to have an eye on product misuse AirTags have been in the news for stalking, but Apple have at least made an effort to fix that. Not everyone has their resources, but it's important to at least keep an eye on digital rights groups and try to stay clean The most important thing as a founder is to validate you have an actual problem Don't just throw yourself into something cool - make sure there's appetite for what you're building, go as lean as possible to start with and leverage No Code tools to help you get started quick Listen to the episode for this and more! Contact Yana You can reach out to Yana on Twitter.
Sunday Aug 14, 2022
Sunday Aug 14, 2022
An interview with Chris Mason. Chris is an executive recruitment consultant who started his agency Intelligent People over 20 years ago. Chris is passionate about diversity & inclusion in recruitment, as well as helping product leaders in general land their next job. We speak about a lot, including: The state of the product hiring market today and how product management recruitment has changed over the last 20 years How product management has moved from IT to a strategic partner for product-led companies and when companies should hire a CPO Whether we're seeing more product practitioners getting a seat at the top table and how there are two main types of product leadership job Why you should be careful which job you wish for, and how to know when to stop trying to climb the career ladder Whether product job titles are getting more consistent and whether it's true that job titles don't matter Why women should consider not divulging their current salary as it can help to perpetuate gender biased salary and whether the gender pay gap is getting better or worse What hiring companies can do to make sure they're developing a diverse talent pipeline and the importance of hiring for "not fit" rather than culture fit And much more! Contact Chris You can find Chris at Intelligent People or check him out on LinkedIn.
Sunday Aug 07, 2022
Sunday Aug 07, 2022
An interview with Sarah Doody. Sarah is a former UX practitioner and leader who started out trying to help UX pros with their portfolios before realising there's an even bigger problem to solve; how to help designers & product managers optimise for success and give themselves the best chance of getting that next career move. We speak about a lot, including: The origin story behind Career Strategy Lab, how they can help you get a new job, and whether it's just designers or everyone in the product trio That chicken & egg scenario when you can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job, and whether this is just something that affects PMs or hits designers too Whether UX job descriptions are any better than Product Management job descriptions and some of the reasons we have poor job specs and poor interviewing process How job specs are really just wish lists and the importance of actually reading them rather than just clicking "Quick Apply" to anything with a matching job title The importance of customising resumes, CVs and cover letters, why this sounds controversial, and how to make it scale Why it might be OK to interview for jobs that you don't actually want to get some practice, and the benefits of taking an MVP approach to your job application Whether ATS systems are really the gatekeeping problem that some people make them out to be, and the importance of making personal connections where you can And much more! A brief interruption from my sponsor - me! I'm terrible at asking for money but if you would like to throw any spare change at me to prevent me having to read out tiresome generic podcast ads, you can buy me a coffee. If not, I love you all anyway! Contact Sarah You can find Sarah on her personal website or check out Career Strategy Lab. Sarah is also active on Twitter.
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