Longevity for product executives is pretty short: typically between 2 and 2.5 years. So in the course of a career, there are lots of occasions when CPOs / VPs of Product choose to leave their companies. Doing this well — gracefully — is important for everyone involved.

I have 8–10…

(Or How Major Platform Migrations Really Happen)

Many companies have replatforming efforts underway. Architectures get old, new kinds of partners or integrations emerge, hard-to-maintain monolithic code gets broken into microservices, acquisitions force integration of dissimilar systems, etc. This is an essential part of the software product business, but fraught with…

Angels dancing on the head of a pin

As good product folks, we know that customers must recognize a problem before they consider buying our solution. Companies that don’t have supply chain issues (or think they don’t) are not in the market for ERP systems. Organizations that don’t think they are hacking targets don’t invest in security infrastructure…

It’s pretty easy to tell if Sales is hitting its goals. (“Are we on track to hit this quarter’s revenue?”) Slightly tougher for Marketing (top of funnel metrics or qualified leads). HR tracks hiring, employee churn and internal sentiment. Engineering tends toward semi-vanity productivity metric (releases, velocity or bug counts).

1925: Atwater Kent radio assembly plant

I often have conversations with CEOs of software companies or software-powered (ecommerce) companies who aren’t steeped in how software is designed and built. They come from the sales side, finance, or are subject experts (veteran recruiters now running recruiting software firms). Understandably, they tend to apply analogies from more familiar…

woman executive

I’m sometimes pulled into difficult discussions with CEOs, where I’m trying to describe systematic product-side failures that directly conflict with how the CEO sees the world. Even after dozens of similar discussions, I have only moderate success. But it seems worth framing this leadership-level challenge from both sides.

For me…

One of my VP Product coachees raised a topic that comes up often: “I want to become a much better coach for my reports, both around product issues and people management. How do I ask powerful questions to lead my team through that rather than giving the answer?”

This is…

The problem of prioritization comes up in many of my coaching discussions with product leaders, and in almost every product forum. We want it to be a trivial mechanical process: pick a metric (usually current revenue), estimate ROI for the entire backlog, then do whatever scores highest. But that very…

Rich Mironov

Tech start-up veteran, smokejumper CPO/product management VP, writer, coach for product leaders, analogy wrangler, product camp founder.

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