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The Product Mindset No. 4: Let Them Eat Cake

Note: this post originally appeared on the Solution Design Group (SDG) website. SDG is an employee-owned, Minneapolis-based strategy, product, and technology consultancy. In 2020 I joined Solution Design Group, where I half my time consulting with organizations on product, experience, and strategy, and half my time building a killer product consulting practice for SDG. You can find this and other great posts at www.solutiondesign.com/insights. For a clue about what a company…

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The Product Mindset No. 3: Your Secret Weapon is Value

Note: this post originally appeared on the Solution Design Group (SDG) website. SDG is an employee-owned, Minneapolis-based strategy, product, and technology consultancy. In 2020 I joined Solution Design Group, where I half my time consulting with organizations on product, experience, and strategy, and half my time building a killer product consulting practice for SDG. You can find this and other great posts at www.solutiondesign.com/insights. As we’ve explored throughout this series, a…

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The Product Mindset No. 2: It’s Your Users’ Product

Note: this post originally appeared on the Solution Design Group (SDG) website. SDG is an employee-owned, Minneapolis-based strategy, product, and technology consultancy. In 2020 I joined Solution Design Group, where I half my time consulting with organizations on product, experience, and strategy, and half my time building a killer product consulting practice for SDG. You can find this and other great posts at www.solutiondesign.com/insights. Several years ago, one or another of…

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The Product Mindset

Note: this post originally appeared on the Solution Design Group (SDG) website. SDG is an employee-owned, Minneapolis-based strategy, product, and technology consultancy. In 2020 I joined Solution Design Group, where I half my time consulting with organizations on product, experience, and strategy, and half my time building a killer product consulting practice for SDG. You can find this and other great posts at www.solutiondesign.com/insights. Product is enjoying a moment. Twenty…

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Published! Amplitude’s North Star Playbook

A project that occupied much of my professional attention this fall was co-writing an online playbook on the North Star Framework. The project was sponsored by Amplitude, a product analytics firm based in Silicon Valley. The lead author was product development nut (his term, not mine) John Cutler, a prolific writer and thinker on product management and development matters. My role: collaborator and co-author. Our labors have borne fruit: last…

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The World’s Simplest Jenga Game

Anyone who’s ever worked with me knows I like visualizations, diagrams, metaphors, stories. Here’s a simple one that helps me as a product leader. Imagine three blocks, stacked on top of each other, as in Jenga, the game where opponents stack blocks in a manner to keep them from falling. This game of Jenga is dead simple. There are only three blocks. They represent: Your customers Your business What you’re…

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Event Horizons

One of my go-to product strategy tools is the three horizons model, which originated at consulting firm McKinsey & Company way back in the 1990s, when I was young and grunge was king. Several of McKinsey’s strategists then unleashed the model on the world in their book Alchemy of Growth. For a classic summary of the framework, listen to this podcast from McKinsey’s “enduring ideas” series. Nowadays, nerds of my…

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Applying platform strategy to EdTech

Platform, like product, program, or project (why do all the nebulous words start with “p”?), is a word we use liberally in business and technology. But what exactly is a platform? Is it just some behind-the-scenes technology, the software system that undergirds a product portfolio? Or is it something else? And what does it mean for educational technology providers? A platform is, at heart, a value model. It is a…

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