Category Archives: Product Management

Building a Product Culture

Product Tank is the monthly meeting for Product Managers, hosted by Mind The Product. This month’s event was curated by James Mayes.

Organisational culture is the shared values, beliefs and behaviours of an organisation. When you tell a new colleague, “This is the way we do things around here,” you’re talking about company culture. It’s not about having having table football or ping pong in your office, cool though that is, but about how your company operates, and how it is perceived. Product Tank March was about implementing and building a Product Culture: a solid product culture can lead your company to build better products faster.

Photo by flickr user dumbledad
Photo by flickr user dumbledad

Continue reading Building a Product Culture

Using gamification to improve health – (part 1 of 2)

This is the question for the second written assignment of the Gamification class I’m taking through Coursera. My answer will follow soon.

Photo via National Media Museum and Flickr Commons
Photo via National Media Museum and Flickr Commons

You are approached by Ryan Morrison, the mayor of a medium-sized city in the Midwest of the United States. He has heard that you know a lot about gamification and believes that gamification techniques can transform city government.
Continue reading Using gamification to improve health – (part 1 of 2)

Highlights from Product Camp London 2014

Product Camp is an unconference for product managers. There is no schedule, no keynote speaker, no list of hot topics prepared in advance. Instead, those who want to speak claim a spot, write their title on the board, and see who comes along.

Photo by @simoncast
Photo by @simoncast

Talks run simultaneously, so it’s impossible to see everything. These are my highlights of Product Camp London 2014. Continue reading Highlights from Product Camp London 2014


In his talk “The Future is not an Internet-connected Egg Box,” Alex Jones of Fjord highlighted one of the major gaps in thinking about the internet of things. We shouldn’t link every device to the internet just because we can. Instead, the act of connecting must add value to the experience of using the product. The human layer of the interaction is where meaning and value is added. We don’t need to hook up our egg box to the internet. We need to make connected products mean something to the people using them. In the white paper Product Relationship Management, Evrythng CEO Andy Hobsbawn sets out a clear and compelling vision of how to make that happen.

“It’s time for our physical products to be as clever as Google, as immediate as Twitter, as informative as Wikipedia, as social as Facebook, as useful as Evernote, as personal as Amazon, and as entertaining as YouTube.”


The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences

Over the weekend, I finished reading The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences, by Matt Watkinson. It’s an invigorating and enlightening read, and if you’re interested in service design or product management, I think you’ll enjoy it.

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(image from

Matt Watkinson applies design thinking to the whole user experience. The book outlines a series of perspectives on how to make interacting with a business, product or service into a great experience for the customer. Continue reading The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences

Gamification with Dr Kevin Werbach

I’ve enrolled in a short course about Gamification. It’s run by Kevin Werbach of the University of Pennsylvania, and I’m studying online via Coursera.

What is gamification? It can be difficult to pin down the definition of a fast-evolving phenomenon, because it changes so quickly. But let’s try. Right now, in the context explored by this short course, gamification is the use of game elements in non-game contexts to engage users or change behaviour.

By non-game contexts we mean, simply, not as part of a traditional game. What kind of game elements are we talking about? Continue reading Gamification with Dr Kevin Werbach

January Meetups

This week I’m going to two exciting meetup events. Firstly, with the London Java Community, talks about the Internet of Things (details here). With 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2020, it’s a real growth area: QR codes, Near Field Communication, Bluetooth Low Energy and Arduino. Secondly, ProductTank, the meeting for Product Managers; speakers will discuss product management in payments, fixing broken checkout experiences and how people pay online (details here). Meetup evenings are a great opportunity to find out about new topics in an informal setting. I’m looking forward to them both.

RFID chip, QR code
RFID chip, QR code

December Reading

Earlier this month we went on holiday to Canon’s Ashby House, a wonderful historic property managed by the Landmark Trust.


It was blissfully quiet, so I made a start on my holiday reading list. These are the books I read during December, and what I thought of them.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I finished reading it. Its core thesis – misdirected effort is waste – resonates strongly with me. I found several ideas especially exciting.

  • Minimum Viable Product: Understanding what customers want is crucial. A Minimum Viable Product is a prototype or rough version, which allows the team to “collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
  • Continue reading December Reading