[Adding to Published Thoughts because of the content - check it out] Out of the hundreds of nominations, and amazing finalists, the 9th annual winner of The Best Product Person is … Brian Crofts.
The Best Product Person (TBPP) is the leading international award honoring excellence in Product Management. Established in 2010, TBPP is awarded annually in association with The Product Guy and The Product Group.
Seems like just yesterday when my wife Rachel and I told our four children we’d be selling our home and moving to London. We promised them it would be a great adventure. But at the time, we had no idea how much it would change our lives.
When I was 15, my life revolved around basketball. It was everything to me. In fact, during my sophomore year, I played for two teams: a local select team and my high school team. Because I was not a varsity player, I could play on both, and in fact, the players on each team were relatively the same. We had been playing together for years and we were pretty good …
The Modern Product Team Part I: On Being Customer Centric
As product leaders, we’re always thinking about ways to delight our customers. Why? Because delighted customers share their experiences with others — just like I did. They become advocates — they spread the good word. And when they do, they affirm a unique bond with your product and become your best sales team.
If You Can’t Control, Influence
Your likelihood of succeeding as a product leader is directionally proportional to your ability to influence and inspire others. Because this condition seems to be most true when considering successful product leadership, we need to understand what influence is and, more importantly, learn how we can get better at it.
How do you balance spending time understanding customers, and actually developing the product?
Brian Crofts: It’s a great question and it’s actually quite difficult. I like to stay in close contact with customers on a weekly basis, and that comes in many different forms. One of the easiest forms is to simply jump on a customer call with your sales team when they are talking with prospects, so you can hear what they need, what they’re struggling with ...
The Modern Product Team
UX Designers and Product Managers roles and responsibilities are blurring today more than ever. You can often find a Designer writing JIRA requirements or a Product Manager wire-framing a new feature. Ultimately both parties want the best product, but sometimes there’s a bit of friction along the way. We’re on the same team so why doesn’t it feel that way?
A POV is Worth 100 IQ Points
That’s why portability is the key purpose of a teachable POV. You want to create substance that people can both internalize and share with others. If your story is emotionally resonant for your team, they can then retell it, and it becomes contagious ...
How Rapid Prototyping Feeds a Maniacal Focus on the Customer
April 2018 | InVision Blog →
Like most product teams, ours at Pendo always has a lot going on. We’re constantly balancing the need for speed with the desire to be more innovative. We also understand the value of empathy and working closely with our customers. In fact, one of our company’s core values is “Maniacal Focus on the Customer.” Each individual on our team focuses on getting it right for the customer—not being right individually. There’s a big difference ...
Does Known Get in the Way of Unknown?
I build solutions for product teams and product leaders, which is like building something for myself. This makes my job great, but also dangerous. Exactly because I’m building for those who are like me, it’s especially important for me to check my assumptions about what my customers need ...
How Will You Measure Your Product?
Early in my career, I witnessed a handful of product successes and failures. Among these experiences, there is one that stands out. And, it was not a win. In fact, it was an epic failure. I remember the business leaders were surprised — shocked actually — that the product did not take off as forecasted ...
Excited to Introduce …
Pendo at Pendo —a Medium publication highlighting how our product team here at Pendo uses Pendo i.e. dogfooding to build products customers love. Fun fact: it is believed that the origin of dogfooding comes from the president of Kal Kan Pet Food, who was said to eat a can of his dog food at shareholders’ meetings. Amazing.
Experiences Over “Things”
As a family, we talk about this often. It was a conversation started only a few years ago after we told our children “we’ll be selling our home and a good portion of our [things], and moving to London to live in a flat.”
Five Best Books for Aspiring Product Managers
As product management courses, conferences, and meetups proliferate, I’m often asked about my best recommendations for new or aspiring product managers. I’ll jump right to it: here are my five book recommendations (in no particular order)
Your Product is Only as Good as Your Team
As the chief product officer of a high-growth, fast-paced startup, I’m very much involved in designing and building a product that our customers will love. But my number one priority is actually building a highly effective and inspired product team ...
Product leaders: It’s time to take NPS back
More common than not, Client Success has been owning NPS (Net Promoter Score) in the B2B world. This is good, but not great. I’d like to see more product leaders owning it, understanding it, and building a system around it …
The Rise of Product Leadership
Let’s not refer to a product manager as a generalist, a Swiss Army knife, or “CEO of a product.” Instead, let’s refer to product manager as a product leader. Because inspiring leaders are what we aspire to become. “Your title makes you a manager, your people determine whether or not you’re a leader.”
True Product Innovation Requires Insights with Brian Crofts
Deep insight into customer behavior can catapult mundane, expected product refinements into true breakthrough-style product innovations. Brian Crofts, Chief Product Officer at Pendo, brings his passion for finance as the former Director of Product at Quickbooks, and Product Manager for TurboTax, to the Product Hive lunch. Brian will explain how observation, communication and good data are the pillars of creating a good product experience.
Innovation Requires Insights
Brian Crofts, Chief Product Officer at Pendo, believes uncovering and understanding client pain points allows him to build products that truly resonate. Brian joined Pendo from Namely, and formerly from Intuit, where he started his career in finance before finding his passion for product. He worked on new businesses for TurboTax and later led global expansion for QuickBooks, Intuit’s suite of accounting and payroll SaaS solutions for small businesses with 1.5M users. Throughout Brian’s career his unique perspective on product development is what led him to innovate repeatedly and successfully.
What Product Teams Can Learn From Disney’s “Moana”
The power of applying insights from immersive experiences in order to fuel innovation — or in the case of Disney — creativity, vision, and brilliant story-telling. When the co-directors began developing the early storyboards for Disney’s latest blockbuster, Moana, set in Ancient Polynesia, John Lasseter, Disney’s Chief Creative Officer advised the team: “You’ve gotta do more research …you gotta dig deeper into this whole world.”
Before the Interview, Talk To Customers
Successful product leaders are data-driven & customer-backed —they are builders and visionaries. In an interview, you can demonstrate these abilities in a meaningful way (and it will set you apart from other candidates) by talking to customers first.
My Two Weeks in India
When we first arrived, it was clear that we would be receiving much more than we could possibly give. I’ll always remember the feeling of great anticipation as we walked up to the village where dozens of locals waited. After months of preparation, we were finally here ...
Interview With Brian Crofts, VP of Product at Namely
The following is a conversation with Brian Crofts, VP of Product at Namely. Namely is a fast-growing, all-in-one HR platform. Before Namely, Brian held a variety of product management and finance roles at Intuit. Here’s Brian’s story.
How HR Technology Optimizes Business Partnerships
Here’s a scenario that happens often in the workplace. A sales leader stops by an employee’s desk and asks her for compensation information for his team, along with their performance ratings. He needs it in an hour for a critical planning meeting, so the employee’s response needs to be quick, all-encompassing, and above all, accurate. The employee frantically opens a myriad of spreadsheets in different systems, her macro breaks and she realizes the most up-to-date version of the performance data is owned by her colleague who is out of the office.