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ProductCamp Austin was our Woodstock. Can we morph from Folkfest to Rock Spectacle?

Screw the Sales Process. Study the Buying Process

We spend way too much time in our companies designing, measuring, and enabling, the Sales Process.

How you should handle being stood up

I'm typing this on my iPhone after just having been stood up for an appointment ... actually just a beer with a colleague. How does one handle such things? Is it a personal affront? Should I be upset? Hold it against the person? Or overly...

PCamp Austin: Please weigh in with questions and suggestions

Hi everyone: I will be attending and hopefully presenting at PCamp Austin this weekend, and I would love to get input from our readers about specific questions on the topics I have proposed.

Apple's unsolved usability problem: Deliberate choice or Mistaken persona? (UPDATED)

When you stare at this picture, is the design problem as obvious to you as it is to me?

Steve Johnson on Win/Loss, Ivan Chalif's Digest, and Alan's musings about the discipline of PM

Steve Johnson has probably taught 50,000 people how to do Win/Loss Analysis. Here are his views on Win/Loss Analysis. We couldn't agree more.

Games executives play: Guess what's in the envelope

Some of you will be too young to remember Johnny Carson playing Carnac the Magnificent. But I am guessing you've seen this game before. On the Carson show, Johnny would hold an envelope to his head, pretend to intuit a phrase, then open the...

The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing

A mentor of mine used to repeat this line fairly often to me: The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing. The quote comes originally from Stephen Covey.

Summer's here: Do something different

Yes, summer is here, and the vacations are beginning.

Reference customers for YOU, Inc.

Do you have reference customers?

Think about that question again. I’m not asking about your company. I’m asking about you personally. The next time you are interviewing for a job, I want you to be able to say that your references are at Fortune 500...

(How) do you measure customer satisfaction?

Dear Readers,

New Ideas: Are we masturbating here?

I haven't cleared this topic with my co-bloggers, so please let me say up-front: I take full responsibility for this post. - Alan Armstrong

Who's in charge of price? (Hint: It's the person who speaks with the buyer.)

Eigenworks is shopping for a product. Over the last few months I've been looking to license some software from a vendor. The price is not astronomical, but it's a significant chunk for a company of our size. If we license the product, the vendor...

A Product Manager's homage to David Carradine

Just what happened to David Carradine? As I kicked open my morning browser, I was shocked by the news of his sudden death and of course by the questions of the circumstances surrounding it. May God rest his soul.

How to get a lost account to speak with you

One of the most difficult things in Win/Loss Analysis is getting someone from a lost account to speak with you. Why would they spend the time, and why would they reveal anything to you? Once an evaluator rules you out, they have absolutely no...

Competitive intelligence using lost deals

Another idea for PMs who lack permission to do win/loss analysis

Contacting lost accounts

Customers will normally schedule time to speak with you, but it's not easy to get ahold of lost accounts. My hit ratio is about 50%, meaning that if I want to speak with 10 accounts, I need to target 20.

Marketing on a shoestring: Lunch spot gets prime-time news coverage for $250

Everyone's talking about saving money these days. But how about boosting demand with very little money to spend? Here's a story about a corner lunch spot that has spent about $250 in a month and received a huge amount of free publicity and local...

Socks in awe: Customer interviews vs. User observation

Yesterday's article about primary product requirements generated a great deal of traffic and several interesting and insightful comments. To recap, I was talking about examples of products from every-day life that fail to meet some core use...

Product Managers: Do the opposite!

If the product management surveys are to be believed, most product managers spend very little time doing the things we know that we should be doing, and instead spend all our time managing logistics, and doing detailed work in marketing,...

Keyboard "install" shouldn't be this hard

I just installed a new keyboard. You know, I typed that last sentence fairly quickly and without thinking about what I was saying. I actually used the word "install" to refer to the action of connecting a new keyboard to my computer. Technically...

What's in an icon?

Have you noticed that Google recently changed its standard icon? Below are the three instances of Google's "favicon.ico" that I am aware of.

Win/Loss Analysis: What to do if you’re not allowed to call customers

Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 survey revealed that only 20% of its 1100 respondents are personally performing Win/Loss Analysis. We followed up with a straw poll to ask why; Why are you not doing Win/Loss?

Trialware in a virtual world

My Windows world is totally virtual. My company Eigenworks runs mostly Macs, but we have VMWare Fusion Virtual Machines for various purposes. Just the other day, for instance, I needed to do some detailed pipeline analysis for a Win/Loss client, and...

US Election wrap up (I promise, last post)

Well the results are in. I have to say that Obama's acceptance speech was very inspiring. He went well beyond "good positioning", and while listening I felt humbled about my posts earlier that dared to critique his positioning.

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