5 Critical Checkpoints on the Product Roadmap

On any road, there are the usual sign markers showing useful information, locations for services, and sometimes, checkpoints set up by law enforcement authorities. These checkpoints are intended to ensure compliance, e.g., sobriety, seat belts, or in other situations to reroute traffic due to hazardous conditions ahead, e.g., rock slides, excessive flooding and snow, and so on. Bottomline, the purpose of a checkpoint is to ensure that we are equipped for our onward journey, that it continues to be safe, and we get to our destination without too much unplanned adventure.

The Product Roadmap is a similar journey in its own right. What checkpoints should we have to inspect if the journey continues on its planned route, or take detours as necessary? Continue reading

What will Move the Needle? Leading vs Lagging Indicators

It’s that time of the year when most companies with fiscal year starting January 1st are engaged in or done with their 2015 planning – bookings forecasts, budgets for investments and personnel, at the company level and broken down by business units and major product lines. It starts with defining what success means and translating that into specific initiatives and actions to achieve it. It is also the time of the year when people usually start to think about their new year resolutions, and dropping a few pounds is always a perennial favorite. It is time to figure out what will move the needle in 2015. Continue reading

The Real Reason Facebook Had to Spend $19B

A lot has been written about the big $19B acquisition of Whatsapp by Facebook. My intent is not to write specifically about the acquisition and its merits, or critique it, or debate if the price was too high or too low. Instead, I wanted to share some thoughts about why Facebook finds itself in this position of having to acquire young upstart companies for insane amounts of money. What has brought Facebook to this point? Will its next acquisition cost Facebook much more than $19B? Continue reading

Back to the Future – Mac vs PC

A friend shared a very interesting article comparing the Mac and the PC, how the PC advantage got built, and yet how resurgence of the Mac has dismantled that advantage. I don’t remember coming across this type of an analysis before. The article does not go into what factors contributed to these shifts. So I thought it would be a good exercise to take a shot at it. This will be a great “hindsight is 20/20” exercise, but possibly, it may offer some insights into understanding customer preferences, market shifts, etc. Continue reading

What Next After the Post-PC Era?

Post-PC era — It seems this phrase has been overused already, but one can be certain that we are going to keep hearing it for some time to come.

Finally I managed to watch Apple’s keynote of the launch of the new iPad that took place in March. Tim Cook talked about how Apple has its feet firmly planted in the post-PC era and how its three post-PC devices, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, contributed to 76% of Apple’s Q4-2011 quarterly revenue. Cook highlighted the fact that Apple sold more iPads in Q4-2011 than the number of PCs sold by any PC manufacturer, thus making it the perfect poster-child of the post-PC era. Continue reading

iPad-mini – If Apple Builds It, They Will Come

The anticipation for the iPad 3 has been in overdrive for some days now, typical for any Apple product launch. However, it seems that this reaches a crescendo when we are looking at the launch of a product version that has already delivered it’s share of shock and awe before. What else? What if? Will it? Won’t it? Continue reading