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
Sunday Oct 16, 2022
Sunday Oct 16, 2022
Jacquelyn Guderley is passionate about product management and mental health, and has thrown herself into both with gusto. She's a product manager for UK energy firm OVO, as well as the co-founder of Product Mind and impending book author with the in-progress "My Sketchy Head". Here are some highlights from the episode: "The best paths are never linear. The stumble and fall isn't important; it's how you get back up" Jacs had a variety of roles before product management, a role she didn't know existed (even though she had been doing it). Her varied experiences helped to round her out as a PM. A passion for mental health & product management combined with intense demand to create Product Mind Jacs was unsure whether her social media content was resonating, so asked her followers and got incredible interest from PMs looking for support with their wellbeing. Product Management is tough, and it's also lonely Product management can be great, but it's also a tough role due to being at the centre of everything, with nowhere to hide & you're often an easy target for blame. PMs often lack people to tell them what's OK & what's not. Idealised social media content is a double-edged sword There's a lot of boring, reductive, cookie-cutter content out there which feels almost philosophically anti-product management. But, on the other hand, the power and support of the PM community is amazing. Bringing up mental health issues at work is never easy It's not easy to talk to your boss in all companies & often it's easier not to try. Companies can make it easier by taking an active interest in your well-being. Sharing your experiences can help others share theirs. Check out Product Mind If you are interested in getting support from like-minded product people, check out Product Mind, or find them on Twitter or LinkedIn. Contact Jacs You can connect with Jacs on Twitter, or check out My Sketchy Head.
Sunday Oct 09, 2022
Sunday Oct 09, 2022
Shaun Smith-Taylor is a self-described Product Geek and BBQ enthusiast who got so frustrated with the state of product management recruiting that he set up his own company to fix it. He's keen on AI, the metaverse and the possibilities of using them to bring technological advancement to recruitment and beyond. Here are some highlights from the episode: There's still a problem with the quality of product job specs Half the time, companies don't seem to know what to ask for. This means they confuse candidates and get the wrong people applying for the jobs. A mixture of technology & human consulting is needed to fix this. But there's also a problem with product management CVs PMs talk about outcomes all the time but need to focus on outcomes in their CVs. Candidates stuff every single thing they've done into their CVs, with little connection to real results & often badly formatted or overlong. Candidates are still paranoid about Applicant Tracking Systems It's common for people to blame the ATS for all of their problems, but ATS systems always involve humans and aren't using as much fancy AI as some might claim. They're not perfect, but nothing is. The people the AI is trained on can be just as biased as the AI All people have unconscious biases, and some are downright prejudiced. We should always do what we can to limit the chance of bias, and doing so isn't a personal attack on the hiring manager. There are metaverse applications for recruitment In a world of remote working & different working preferences in general, the metaverse may open up opportunities around in-person assessments as well as remote working. But we've got a long way to go before we get there. A message from my sponsor - me! I'm currently looking at consulting opportunities. If you'd like to speak to me about how I can help you build great products, or the teams that build great products, check out One Knight Consulting and book a free, no-commitment call to chat about your needs. Contact Shaun You can hit Shaun up on LinkedIn, or check out MyProductPath.
Sunday Oct 02, 2022
Sunday Oct 02, 2022
Brent Adamson is a former Harvard professor turned Wall Street Journal award-winning author and sales researcher. He co-authored "The Challenger Sale" and "The Challenger Customer" with my former guest Matt Dixon, and these days is challenging us to concentrate on making products easy to buy, not easy to sell. Here are some of the highlights of our discussion: 1. The Challenger Sale shook up the world of sales, but The Challenger Customer was the inevitable follow up They did further research after the first book and identified a new protagonist, the "Mobilizer", who can be your best advocate within the company (but not a champion!) 2. It takes 5.4 people within an organisation to make a purchase decision & the number's rising It's getting more & more complicated selling into organisations, and the buying journey has become like spaghetti. Finding the "economic buyer" is no longer enough to land the sale. 3. There's a difference between emerging demand and established demand If you're going after established demand and known solutions you're going to get dragged into a price-based bake-off. Challengers find unknown pains, challenge the status quo & break the frame 4. Some customers don't even know how to buy any solution, let alone your solution Buyer journeys are complex & some customers can be surprised when things get held up. But you're not, you've seen it all before! Give them the info they need to help close the sale from their side. 5. It's not good enough to just be insightful anymore, The smartness arms race ended in a draw Being really insightful is table stakes. You need to be able to help your customers frame their decision and give them confidence in the decisions they're making for their company. .. And much more! Check out Matt's episode I interviewed Brent's co-author and co-conspirator Matt Dixon about his work and how customer indecision is a critical problem for B2B sales. Check out the episode here. 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. Buy "The Challenger Customer" "In The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson overturned decades of conventional wisdom with a bold new approach to sales. Now they reveal something even more surprising: the highest-performing sales teams don't focus on friendly, attentive customers. Instead, they target challenger customers. Challenger customers are sceptical, less interested in meeting and ultimately indifferent as to who wins the deal. But they also have the credibility, persuasive skill and will to challenge the status quo that will get a deal to the finish line far more often than customers who are easier to connect with." Check it out on Amazon. Contact Brent You can hit Brent up on LinkedIn.
Sunday Sep 25, 2022
Sunday Sep 25, 2022
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.
Sunday Sep 18, 2022
Sunday Sep 18, 2022
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!
This is the description area. You can write an introduction or add anything you want to tell your audience. This can help potential listeners better understand and become interested in your podcast. Think about what will motivate them to hit the play button. What is your podcast about? What makes it unique? This is your chance to introduce your podcast and grab their attention.