Goodbye 2009 and Welcome 2010

Sachin Rekhi

It has been exactly a year since I started this blog, as it was one of my new year's resolutions for 2009. While it's far from where I'd like to be with blogging, 2009 was a solid start. Here's a look back at the highlights: Top Five Posts from 2009 (by pageviews). 5 Music Startups to Watch in 2009. So how did I do?

5 Music Startups to Watch in 2009

Sachin Rekhi

It's that time of year that everyone is putting together their predictions for 2009 and so I decided to do one of my own. There clearly continues to be an opportunity in 2009 to more efficiently bring fans to see their favorite artists at live events.

The Strategic Role of Product Management when Development goes Agile

Pragmatic Marketing

While software development teams have been moving toward agile methods for years, many product managers are only now becoming aware of it. An agile approach applies collaborative and continuous improvement concepts to software development.

The Mythical Product Owner

Pragmatic Marketing

Background. Barbara Nelson said in The Politics of Agile , “When product managers weren’t looking, the developers went agile.” ” Indeed, many Product Managers were taken by surprise at the speed of Agile’s adoption.

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Agile Market Requirements

Pragmatic Marketing

“The product shall.”. Market requirements typically define the problems your product will address using a formal, stilted language known to all technology people. For some reason, the verb shall be “shall”—not “should” or “will” or “must” or “it’d be neat if.”

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Is Product Management Agile?

Pragmatic Marketing

Product Managers have always been agile! It’s true. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it to you by using the Agile Manifesto itself. The Manifesto has 4 elements. They are: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Working software over comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Responding to change over following a plan. Let’s take these elements one at a time and apply them to Product Management.

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Role of Product Management When Development Goes Agile - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

What is the role of product management in an agile environment? Is the role of product owner something different? Developers often see product managers as technical resources. Agile seems to have made this orientation worse, with product managers getting pulled into deeper, tactical activities. But spending so much time with internal teams means less time spent in the market as a resource for strategy and business thinking at the product level.

I’m Agile? I’m Agile. I’m Agile! Becoming an Agile Product Manager

Pragmatic Marketing

Eighteen months ago, I was part of the founding team at a cutting-edge technology start-up. During the first few weeks, as I lined up and conducted dozens of prospect, industry, and expert interviews, the founder hired a talented senior engineering team, and the company was formed. Agile. Mostly by design, but partly because it just worked. While I didn’t have the challenge of undoing existing processes, since none yet existed, I did still have a learning curve.

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Ten Ways to Identify an Impending Product Launch Disaster - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

There are ten easily identifiable signs that can help forecast a product launch may be in trouble. Signs you can address and fix before the launch becomes a disaster. The process of introducing a product to market is a serious undertaking. Unfortunately for many companies it’s merely an afterthought; a checklist of deliverables created at the end of product development.

Change is Pulling Us into the Cloud

Pragmatic Marketing

Product management is an interesting career. We don’t code; we’re not necessarily engineers. And yet, we must communicate with and understand our development team. Our products are built under the guiding hand of technology experts. Imagine their work as a cloud—they take input from our companies, do something, and we get new product to sell. Product managers hover really close to that development cloud, and sometimes we feel like we’re actually in it!

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Prioritizing Your Backlog for Profit - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

Agile product managers (and their Agile development teams) are told to prioritize backlogs based on ROI. In practice, this isn't possible. Prioritizing for Profit is a better approach. By defining a core set of attributes that include stakeholder preferences, corporate strategy, and specific ways to increase profitability, product managers can create backlogs that support the company's longer-term goals as well as short-term development needs. Watch "Prioritizing Your Backlog for Profit".

Product Companies Need Product Managers, Not Product Owners - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

Product Managers are responsible for the overall market success of their products, not just delivery of software. In the Agile world, a new title is emerging -- the Product Owner -- which covers just a small subset of the Product Management role.

Effective Agile Product Management Through Automation - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

Sometimes it seems that agile development is an end run around effective product planning and market analysis. It also can undermine product positioning and roadmapping. Yet the benefits of a more responsive and productive product development team are too significant to ignore.

Five Common Challenges for Product Managers in Agile Teams - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

Watch Five Common Challenges for Product Managers in Agile Teams. Download the Webinar. Download the Webinar. Download from iTunes. Download the Slides. Get Notified of Webinars

Product Launch in an Agile World - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

How would you like to ship something every week? Agile software development methods can produce dramatic productivity improvements but can also create havoc for Sales and Marketing teams. Frequent product releases can often surpass the ability of organizations to absorb the changes in a manageable way. This can result in new product capabilities that should be emphasized being lost in the chaos of getting the product to market. It also has the potential to disrupt the sales cycle.

Agile, Roadmaps, and Requirements: Are they mutually exclusive? - Webinar

Pragmatic Marketing

Your developers have gone agile. They want a backlog and user stories. Executives want a roadmap with a longer view. How do you connect strategy with execution? What happens to the roadmap and requirements when you go agile? Attend this session to find out what product managers need to provide to their agile development teams. Watch Agile, Roadmaps, and Requirements: Are they mutually exclusive? Download the Webinar. Download the Webinar. Download from iTunes. Download the Slides.

Advice for up and coming Product Managers

All About Product Management

I received a phone call at the beginning of the year from PM magazine. They wanted to interview me on my thoughts on how young members of a product team could grow in their careers. The questions they asked along with my answers are as follows: 1.

Eye of the Storm, Part II: the Genetics of Successful Scrumming

Pragmatic Marketing

In May 2008, I authored an article that discussed the day-to-day challenges facing the Product Manager in the Agile world. In that article, I remarked that the debate surrounding the role of the Scrum Master and Product Owner was worthy of a paper all of their own. A colleague of mine called my bluff the other day by asking me “ What’s the issue with Scrum Masters and Product Owners?

Agile Product Management Framework

All About Product Management

There are many good product management frameworks available - however, I thought I would create an agile product management framework that is broad enough to be applicable to any product management groups that is practising agile/scrum.

What causes Product Managers to become disorientated?

All About Product Management

Agile development gives the software product manager a good sense of orientation. Therefore it’s no surprise that when the development team steps away from using scrum or their preferred agile techniques things get a little disorientated. I've observed this on two occasions over the past few years.

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My Muses for Brainstorming Startup Ideas

Sachin Rekhi

As today marks my first day as an Entrepreneur -in- Residence at Trinity Ventures , I'm spending a lot of time thinking about how to formalize my process for starting a new venture.

Interesting Metrics From Flash Gaming Summit

Sachin Rekhi

Winners from the Mochis Award Show @ Flash Gaming Summit. On Sunday I had the opportunity to attend Flash Gaming Summit , the first annual conference dedicated to flash game development organized by my fiancee Ada Chen from Mochi Media.

Protect Yourself with the Corporate Veil

Sachin Rekhi

While I am a big believer that entrepreneurs should spend the majority of their time focusing on getting a quality product to market, one piece of overhead that should never be overlooked is incorporating or forming an LLC prior to product launch. To some this is obvious.

Does Facebook Connect Deliver on its Promise?

Sachin Rekhi

The announcement of Facebook Connect in May 2008 brought the next major chapter in the Facebook platform story.

Is Google App Engine Ready for Prime Time?

Sachin Rekhi

I recently took the time to build a web application on Google App Engine and wanted to share my thoughts on the experience and the pros and cons of Google App Engine as a web development platform. TuneChimp.

Interview with a Pure Product Manager

All About Product Management

In this audio interview I speak with the author of the blog Purist Product Management : Aziz Musa. I had the opportunity to work with Aziz for a year at Reed Business Information and found him to be an inspirational and focussed product manager.

Presentation on the Agile PM framework

All About Product Management

I wrote a blog post about an agile product management frame work that I had put together in order to give guidelines to the product team and help improve the quality and accuracy of the information on the product roadmap, backlog and release plans. The blog post dealt mainly with the creation of the roadmap. The presentation below gives a high level view of the other elements of the framework. Framework For Agile Product Management View more documents from morrisond. Agile Tips + Tools

Top Underhyped Open Platforms

Sachin Rekhi

So here is my list of the top underhyped platforms that I hope to see many entrepreneurs build on in 2009. Mail, with over 250M users , has announced its application platform , launched a few white listed applications (Xoopit, Wordpress), and plans on opening up more broadly in 2009. I expect in 2009 we will see the complete opening up of these platforms and maybe even Windows Live Hotmail, with its 250M users as well.

Respect for the Criminal Trial Process

Sachin Rekhi

The murder occurred Nov 4, 2005 and only today on May 13, 2009 was the defendant tried and convicted of murder. In a departure from my usual focus on startups, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on my most recent experience in jury duty. I was selected as one of twelve jurors for a murder trial against a defendant who was accused of beating up his girlfriend and throwing her out of her apartment window in San Francisco in 2005.

Make Something People Will Buy

Sachin Rekhi

Everyone knows that acquisitions in 2009 with be far fewer than those in the previous years. As we won't see much growth in online advertising in 2009 , charging your users directly for your service will become a much more popular model. Y Combinator is famous for its well known motto " Make Something People Want."

Google App Engine Task Queues, Push vs. Pull Paradigm, and Web Hooks

Sachin Rekhi

Despite my post last week on the Shortcomings of Google App Engine and my decision to move away from it as a viable platform for upcoming projects, I have been impressed with the overall architecture and design of their experimental Task Queue API. Google throughout its years has been a leader in interface design and that has been reflected not only in the UI of the products they have built, but the countless API interfaces they have published.

Palm Gets it Right With Mojo Developer Platform

Sachin Rekhi

The most exciting news out of CES 2009 was the Palm announcement of the Palm Pre, webOS, and Palm Mojo Application Framework. Palm to my surprise has reinvented itself and gotten back into the smartphone game with the release of the sexy Palm Pre device and new webOS operating system. Early indications suggests it should be in the same consideration set as Apple iPhone, Android G1, and Blackberry Storm.

Shortcomings of Google App Engine

Sachin Rekhi

As many of you know, I have been a huge fan of Google App Engine. I love the vision and truly believe its the first real platform-as-a-service as opposed to the other dominant cloud platform Amazon AWS. While AWS has significantly moved the industry forward with on-demand virtualized instances and cloud storage, it has not developed a fully scalable runtime environment comparable to Google App Engine.

The Rise of Media APIs

Sachin Rekhi

However, I suspect with the flight towards revenue for many technology companies in 2009, entrepreneurs leveraging the media content should expect significant advertising in all syndicated media. Last year at the SocialMedia Business School I gave a presentation on Media APIs and how they could be leveraged to enhance existing experiences or build entirely new services around freely available media content.

9 Startups to Help You Build Your Virtual Economy

Sachin Rekhi

I expect in 2009 we will see continued growth throughout the virtual currency ecosystem. So are you thinking about adding a virtual economy to your app or website? The great news is there are a variety of startups out there waiting to help you! Incentivized CPA Offers and Direct Payments. Over the last two years more than a half dozen partners have emerged to supply publishers with offers and direct payment options to fuel cash flows into their virtual economy.

Clara Shih, The Facebook Era, and Business Opportunities on Facebook

Sachin Rekhi

Several months ago I had the opportunity to sit in on a guest lecture Clara Shih gave at the Stanford Seminar on People, Computers, and Design. Clara has spent the last several years at Salesforce leading their social networking product strategy as well as developed Faceconnector , the first business app on Facebook that made it easy to integrate Facebook profile data into Salesforce CRM tools.

Designing and Testing an Ad Product: 5 Lessons Learned From imeem's Audio Ads

Sachin Rekhi

Andrew Chen asked me to write a guest post on his blog about some of my experiences monetizing music at imeem. I wanted to share it here as well. Introduction. In its search to find the most effective way to monetize user’s time spent listening to music, imeem has become one of the early innovators in the nascent online audio advertising space.

Optimizing Offer Providers with Sometrics Virtual Currency Manager

Sachin Rekhi

As more and more offer providers enter the incentivized CPA and direct payments space, there is a clear need for a way to easily test different offer providers and optimize between them. At imeem , I was responsible for evaluating, signing up, testing, and optimizing the various offer and direct payment providers that were leveraged as part of the imeem points virtual economy.

Lessons Learned from imeem

Sachin Rekhi

Before moving on to a new phase in my career, I always like to reflect on the previous experience and put together key takeaways that I can leverage in the next opportunity. It's that time again as this past Wednesday was my last day at imeem. As some of you know, imeem acquired Anywhere.FM at the end of 2007. Since then I've helped to migrate Anywhere.FM, develop the imeem Media Platform , and contribute to a variety of monetization projects.

The Value of the Y Combinator Experience

Sachin Rekhi

I'm often asked about my Y Combinator experience so I thought I would take the time to blog about it. I did Y Combinator the Summer of 2007 in Boston with two awesome co-founders. We built Anywhere.FM , a web music player that brought an iTunes-like experience to the web, and eventually sold it to imeem. So what is Y Combinator? Y Combinator is a new kind of seed stage venture firm. While they provide financing and advice like all venture investors, their model for doing so is very different.