Product Path

The product management approach to blogging that everyone should follow.

Sticky notes with product management to do items.
Sticky notes with product management to do items.
Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

I’d be lying if I said my approach to starting writing was deliberate or even pretty.

My professional background is in solving problems for customers. Today, I call that product management. So I wonder writing this now, why did it take so many years for me to solve my own problems or apply a product management approach to my activities, goals, and ambitions outside of my day job?

Why Not

I’ve never considered myself a writer. To be honest, I didn’t see the point. As I suspect most people do, I long told myself that no one cares what I have to say. It's hard to put your finger on your expertise when “solving problems” is your profession, and even when you distill it into a title like product manager it still requires justification for most people to believe. Ten years ago, I suspect like a lot of people, I had no idea what product management was or even that it existed. Product management is continuous and iterative and the work is never done so it’s easy for imposter syndrome to set in. On top of that, there is of course your regular culprits as well — not enough time, nothing to write about, don’t have a platform, et al. …


Product Path

Learn in 5 minutes what has taken me more than 5 years as a product manager.

American Football laying on the field.
American Football laying on the field.
Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash

Product Managers deserve a place on the field — or at least the sidelines — and not just in the front office. For those that are not football inclined, in my experience, embodying a coaching mentality instead of the proverbial “CEO” mantra has produced the best results in my time as a product manager.

A coach cares as much about the success of the organization as they do about helping create the secret sauce to win. A coach spends time in the trenches with the team every day in order to achieve that success. …


Product Path

A product approach to problem-solving because 2020 redefined hard times both personally & professionally.

iPhone showing 2020 calendar by month.
iPhone showing 2020 calendar by month.
Photo by Ron on Unsplash

Reflecting on 2020 really puts “normal” problems into perspective. Living through the worst public health crisis in a century is really eye-opening and it's not getting better yet. What is normal anymore?

On a professional level, 2020 brought many firsts like organizations going fully remote and video conferences becoming your window into the world. The power of collaboration and the mindset from organizations that being in the office brings more success is likely no longer a viable company culture claim.

Facing a problem that looks insurmountable? Ask yourself, in 2021, does it really matter?

The old “normal” is gone.

If you’re reading this you’re probably already exhibiting some level of mindfulness as it relates to your situation, your problems, and the world around you. +1 for being ahead of the game. …


Product Path

Startup vs. Big company approaches to product management

Smartphone displaying the word Hustle on a black screen.
Smartphone displaying the word Hustle on a black screen.

Working as a product manager in a startup is very different than working as a product manager at a Fortune 500 organization. I’ve done both.

One of the most difficult tasks for a small growing startup is to maintain the level of dedication and commitment that you receive from the early team. In the early days, your team does whatever it takes to get the job done and positional boundaries are not very stringent. When you reach a certain level of growth or size you’ll have no choice but to establish more defined roles or things will fall through the cracks. …


Product Path

Focus on the land and expand model to accelerate growth

Team sitting at a desk looking at a screen
Team sitting at a desk looking at a screen
Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Data as a Service Differentiators:

  1. You can’t set it and forget it
  2. Excellent service means holding hands
  3. Land and Expand helps customers and your sales team
  4. Data is everywhere, value needs to be unlocked.

What I Know

I’ve worked for multiple Data as a Service (DaaS) businesses as a product manager and grown data product lines to multi-million dollar successes. How did I do it? Well I wrote a whole article on what I consider critical product management skills so I won’t cover it all here — but check it out:

A product manager can make all the difference when building a DaaS business because in order to deliver amazing service in DaaS you have to be willing to solve problems. …


Hands On Data

Using data and common sense to make decisions.

Standing in a forest at a fork in the trail and must decide which path to take.
Standing in a forest at a fork in the trail and must decide which path to take.
Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash

A few years ago I dove headfirst into the data-as-a-service(DaaS) space — like Software-as-a-service but the deliverable is raw or semi-enriched data. At that point, I had very little experience performing in-depth data analyses and not much understanding of our customer personas either. What I did bring was a desire to solve customer problems and a willingness to listen.

What I’ll explain throughout this article isn’t specific to DaaS. However, I will say that my experience focused on data has pushed me to grasp the importance of these nuances much faster than I would’ve otherwise.

This is my product-oriented attempt to explain how I see data and use it to make decisions. …


Hands On data

What I wish I knew when getting started with SQL.

Structured Query Language or SQL — “sequel” — is one of the most important tools in the shed of today’s data-oriented business.

Floppy disk
Floppy disk
Photo by Vincent Botta on Unsplash

A little over five years ago I couldn’t tell you what a Product Manager does but here I stand today, five years behind me solving customer problems — more on that in a separate article.

My major in college was in Management Information Systems. It's clear to me now the skills (and logical thinking mindset) I gained during some of my most disliked courses have helped me progress in my career more than I could have imagined. One course in particular centered around database management and let me cut my teeth on SQL statements with MS Access (this was not as long ago as reading this statement implies). …


Hands On data

Digging into SQL with BigQuery.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Working with SQL and understanding the data that is all around you is very important to be successful in today’s data-oriented business world.

In this article, I’m digging into how I got started using SQL with Google’s BigQuery tool. To better understand my background as well as some key tips, tricks and takeaways from my journey check out this article first:

Where the rubber meets the road

BigQuery is available via a web-based UI so you can access your data and run queries via your browser and all you need is an internet connection. BigQuery does support other methods of access as well — the bq command-line tool and API access with a variety of client libraries.

About

Jody Roberts

Problem solving is my passion. Tech & Data execution is my profession. When problem solving, I’ll share, learn or leverage an expert. jody@hornetsnest.io

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