This is the blog of Adam Kalsey. Unusual depth and complexity. Rich, full body with a hint of nutty earthiness.
The Trap of The Sales-Led Product
It’s not a winning way to build a product company.
The Hidden Cost of Custom Customer Features
One-off features will cost you more than you think and make your customers unhappy.
Domain expertise in Product Management
When you’re hiring software product managers, hire for product management skills. Looking for domain experts will reduce the pool of people you can hire and might just be worse for your product.
How to advance your Product Market Fit KPI
Finding the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.
The KPI that measures Product-Market Fit
If you ask this question to a different small group of your users every week, you can measure trends over time to determine if you’re moving toward product-market fit.
Don't use NPS to measure user happiness for enterprise software
Measuring the satisfaction and enjoyment of end users is a key to unlocking product-led growth. Net Promoter Score is the wrong tool for this.
Ask One Question To Help You Reach Product-Market Fit
Learn what adjacent problems you need to solve to become twice as valuable to your customers.
How to scale your product team from one product manager to an entire organization
As your product management team scales, you’ll have issues around redundancy, communication, and consistency. Here’s now you might solve those.
Software engineering manager interview questions
Here are some questions I like to use to get a sense of who an engineering manager is and how they work.
A framework for onboarding new employees
There’s no single good way to onboard an employee that works for every role. Here’s a framework for creating a process that you can adapt to each situation.
TV hosts as a guide for software managers
Software managers can learn a lot from journalists or late night TV hosts and how they interview people.
The Improvement Flywheel
An incredible flywheel for the improvement of a development team. Fix a few things, and everything starts getting better.
Managers and technical ability
In technical fields, the closer you are to the actual work being done, the closer your skills need to resemble those of the people doing the work.
Dysfunctions of output-oriented software teams
Whatever you call it, the symptom is that you’re measuring your progress by how much you build and deliver instead of measuring success by the amount of customer value you create.
Evaluative and generative product development
Customers never even talk to the companies that don’t fit their needs at all. If the only product ideas you’re considering are those that meet the needs of your current customers, then you’re only going to find new customers that look exactly like your current customers.
Product Manager Career Ladder
What are the steps along the product management career path?
Building the Customer-Informed Product
Strong products aren’t composed of a list of features dictated by customers. They are guided by strong visions, and the execution of that vision is the primary focus of product development.
Assumptions and project planning
When your assumptions change, it’s reasonable that your project plans and needs change as well. But too many managers are afraid to go back and re-work a plan that they’ve already agreed to.
Feature voting is harmful to your product
There’s a lot of problems with using feature voting to drive your product.
Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization
If you’re managing other managers, encourage them to hold their own 1:1s. It’s such an important tool for managing and leading that everyone needs to be holding them.
One on One Meetings - a collection of posts about 1:1s
A collection of all my writing on 1:1s
Are 1:1s confidential?
Is the discussion that occurs in a 1:1 confidential, even if no agreed in the meeting to keep it so?
Ideas on how to version a REST interface and examples of this implementation in Tagyu.
The danger of doing too much
Developers don’t think in terms of simplicity.
Test data mishap
Sometimes test data can sneak onto your web site with embarassing results like in this example from Target.com.
Why I don't recommend Firefox
Why Firefox isn’t ready for an aggressive marketing campaign.
Customer reference questions.
Sample questions to ask customer references when choosing a software vendor.
Some email viruses trick mail systems into thinking the virus was sent by someone else. Antivirus tools are falling for it.
Projects need leadership
Being a leader is hard. Not everyone will like you if you stand up for your principles. But people don’t lead because they want to be popular.
No error at all
Apparently my software is trying to tell me something. If only I knew what that was.
More useless error messages
User frustration rides high when a program gives a useless error message.
Donations and open source teams
Many open source projects accept donations as a way of funding their development efforts and I’m wondering how these donations are typically distributed among team members.
DevShed's intro to Functional Specs
DevShed’s introduction to writing functional specifications doesn’t have any new insight for experienced analysts.
A case for product testing
Make sure your product has the expected results when used in non-standard ways.
If you want to know what people think about your products, don’t ask them to tell you. Listen to what they tell others.
Amazon’s backend is showing and they are revealing some interesting flaws in their system.
How to use solid requirements management principles in an agile environment.
GPL restricts innovation?
LawMeme looks at government-sponsored open source software.
Can agile methodolgies work on large-scale projects? This New Architect article promises to tell us, but it doesn’t quite make it.
These seven Knowledge Management mistakes happen in a variety of software implementations.
CVS for Web devlopers
How to use CVS for Web site development.
Anthology of Requirements quotations
Requirements Engineering Proverbs, Maxims, Sayings, Quotations and Urban Wisdom is a list of quotations that...
Sticky Minds has a series of Word documents on Unit Testing Guidelines. A lot of...
SPC E-ssentials provides a list of activites neccessary to manage software projects. "Meeting [software] delivery...
AOL product not good enough for employees
Some time back AOL Time Warner dictated that all employees would use a custom version...
Warships and software
What does the accidental sinking of a 17th century warship have to do with software...
Most product manufacturers are held responsible for ensuring their products work as advertised. Software companies...
Criteria for success
The Rational Edge | Understanding the Elephant: "I once refactored some badly written code and...
At some point I must have given my email address to Classmates. I don’t remember...
The Art of Use Cases
Software Productivity Center E-ssentials | The Art of Use Cases: "In order to create a...
StickyMinds also has a list of requirements tools, although many of the tools are more...
StickyMinds.com | Categorizing Defects by Eliminating "Severity" and "Priority": "I recommend eliminating the Severity and...
Secure by design
The Register | 'Penetrate and patch' e-business security is grim: "Application security flaws introduced early...
The Rational Edge | Success Criteria Breed Success: "Ill-defined, unrealistic, or poorly communicated success criteria...
Process for one
The Rational Edge | A Software Development Process for a Team of One: "Who said...
Billion Dollar Bugs: "Your bugs, design flaws, and security holes could cost your customers billions...
What Clients Want (part2)
winterspeack.com’s Zimran Ahmed disagrees with Joel Spolsky’s article "The solution is not to pander to...
What Clients Want
Joel on Software | The Iceberg Secret, Revealed: "Assume that your customers don’t know what...
The Archives page at ClickZ has an interesting problem. There are duplicate titles listed in...
Does innovation always provide a competetive advantage?
Inside the Wayback Machine
When the Internet Archive needed massive amounts of storage and processing power, they turned to arrays of inexpensive machines.
Discover your inner hamster
Inefficient, manual processes make life difficult for your customers.
Make it simple
Business Week has an interview with Dennis Boyle from IDEO. He says, "People don’t want...
If your company has a competitive weakness, you should make it your number one priority to overcome that weakness. Even better is to turn it around and make it a strength.
Joel On Software: "The companies that do well are the ones who rely least on...
Intro to XP
If your current development process has you bogged down in bureaucracy, you may want to...
Joel on Software "Gartner seems to suffer the common but moronic falacy that new or...
Elegant Hack: "Know your audience. Know your business. Know your technology. Build."...