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December 12, 2012

The Search For Product Market Fit

I continue to be fascinated with the changing art of product management.  This week, I taught a class at Intelligent.ly on the topic.  Intelligent.ly is a new start-up led by Sarah Hodges, who used to be an executive at Run Keeper and Carbonite (full disclosure:  Sarah recently joined Flybridge Capital as a part-time advisor).  The company is part of a new wave of companies, such as Skillshare, Boston StartUp School and others, to provide "over the top" professional education to help chip away at the skills gap and enhance professional development.

The class was a blast.  After running through a series of slides reviewing modern product management techniques and the search for product-market fit (drawing from leading thinkers and a class I teach at Harvard B-School), I had the students break up into teams of 8 to create scrums to address a strategic question:  if you led product management at Blackberry, what features would you prioritize in the new Blackberry 10?  I had never tried a spontaneous scrum like this before and it was great fun.  The readouts afterwards were insightful and creative and it reinforced for me something I've seen work successfully at the Unconference - that creative energy can be released and improved learning can be achieved with a dynamic format rather than lecture-style.  

Below are the slides.  Did I leave anything out?

For more on this topic, you can follow the HBS class blog (we do not have a final exam - just blogging!):  Launching Technology Ventures.  We kick off the new class in late January.


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