Market Insights and Collaboration

In this week’s #ProdMgmtTalk, one of the livelier discussion topics was around gaining insights into your market – and what does that mean (to you)? Steven Haines was the speaker for this session who prompted us to think, and pushed us to rethink our views on market insights.  What a great example of collaboration among product managers!


In an email-interview with Craig Brown, creator of the Better Projects site, for an upcoming article, I admitted to Craig that I felt one of my mistakes was not taking advantage of enough of opportunities to collaborate.

#ProdMgmtTalk, a weekly Twitter-chat session on product management, co-hosted by Cindy Solomon and brainmatesAdrienne Tan, had its inaugural session this week. It was a great forum for collaboration and connecting with some obviously very sharp and seasoned product managers!

I’m thrilled to be the Catalyst of Discussion next week (definitely a more apt title than speaker).  Pretty intimidating to be in the slot between @Steven_Haines (transcript of session) and @Jim_Holland.  The rest of the lineup looks stellar too – I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with, learn from, grab a beer with, or at least talk with most of these folks already; and hope to do the same with the rest!

One great thing about a Twitter-chat session like this is that when you’re passionate about the topic and want to join in the discussion, you just do – without having to bide your time or risk talking “over” someone else.  Everyone’s thoughts are shared and consumed – often simultaneously.  Occasionally, some contributions go by too fast – but it is great to be able to carry multiple-threads of conversation at the same time, without ever feeling frenetic.

One downside – thoughts are expressed in 140 character chunks.  For many things we do, and think, care, and talk about in product management; 140characters are inadequate.  And yes, Stewart, I know that 1,000 words probably aren’t “required”.  There’s probably a happy medium.

Market Insights

Steven Haines, author of The Product Manager’s Desk Reference, got the discussion started with some great questions around “Best in Class Product Management.”  A great conversation thread (multi-thread, really) was started around what it means to have market insights.  In her writeup of the session, Adrienne pulled together a lot of great quotes around the theme.

Combining some of the ideas from the folks in the session:

  • Market data = (data about) the industry, market trends, your competitors, your (existing and prospective) customers, your market segments, and your competitors’ products.
  • Insight = understanding that is distilled from market data.

Unfortunately, the conversation only lasts for an hour.  Not enough for me.  I think there’s an important next topic for the group:

  • OK, you have market insights.  What do you do with them?  And how?

Next Week

Make sure and join in the #ProdMgmtTalk conversation next week (follow the link for times and instructions).

And here’s a tip – there will be a link to this article, as “prep material” for the session.

If you want to seed the conversation with some long form (more than 140 character) thoughts and answers – add them to the comments here.  Folks will read them before the session starts.

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