Monday, December 12, 2016

Personas - Buyer vs. Customer vs. User

The other day, I was talking to a friend about the important difference between the buyer, customer, and user of your product.

For a product to be successful, we need to not only understand our personas, but we also need to understand their relationship to acquisition and usage of the product. While the end user of your product may be your ultimate customer, they may have almost no say in the decision making process of the purchase. So, to give your product the opportunity to be their amazing solution, it's good to take a moment to decide who the "real customer" will be at given stages.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Running A Convention - What Is Your Product?

[Why? I have been helping run conventions in my volunteer work since 2001.  The goal of this article is to communicate my experiences so that they might benefit from them.]

The Field of Dreams tells us, "If you build it, they will come."  That's a nice thought, but they have to want what you build. Continuing the Product Management exercise, we need to figure out what our product is.

Your convention is a product and your attendees and staff are the customers for that product.  To be successful, you need to give them a product that they want.  All of the best intentions in the world will not make a mismatch work.  So, let's figure out what should go into this product.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Running A Convention - Understand Your Customer Personas

[I have been helping run conventions in my volunteer work since 2001.  The goal of this article is to communicate my experiences so that others might benefit from them.]

So, you may be asking yourself at this point, why are we talking about conventions? Well, aside from knowing a lot of folks that need this information, it's an illustration that products are not just things you buy off a shelf, they are just about anything you are trying to sell to a customer. So, as we plan a convention, we can benefit greatly by approaching this as a Product Management effort.

Before we start to roll up our sleeves and really dig into planning our convention, we need to first understand our audience.  Any successful product needs a customer base that wants that product. Otherwise, we run the risk of building a convention/product that no one wants to attend/buy.

Personas are, essentially key archetypes of your customer base.  By fleshing them out, we can better understand our intended audience/customer, e.g., for a customer-facing healthcare application, one persona might be a patient and another might be a caregiver.

Let's consider what personas we might want to define for a convention.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Running A Convention - Scheduling & Dates

[I have been helping run conventions in my volunteer work since 2001.  The goal of this article is to communicate my experiences so that others might benefit from them.]

When planning a convention, one of the early key decisions is when you should hold it.  Choose poorly, and you can sabotage your event before it even starts.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Clearing Out Your Facebook Timeline/Activity

Facebook is fascinating application that is part of a suite of transformative social technologies.  It's a great way to share thoughts, feelings, moments, memories, and knee-jerk reactions.  However, as well-designed as it is for ingesting that content, it's not so good at letting you clear it out.  Some might argue that Facebook is actually well-designed to make it hard to clear things out, because it would certainly be easy for them to code mass deletion tools, given the remarkable development skill they have demonstrated.

Some folks put a LOT of information into Facebook.  And there are a host of reasons they may want to turn back the clock on that decision and clean some things out.  For me, I just like to keep the amount of info cluttering up my timeline as lean as possible.

Good news, I like solving technical problems.  So, follow me down the rabbit hole of cleaning out your Facebook activity and maybe Arnie will be able to tell you, "Relax, you've been erased".

Monday, May 16, 2016

Basic Browser Troubleshooting With Minimal Pain

A while ago, I suddenly became unable to create LinkedIn "posts", on one specific computer, in one specific browser.  I knew it would be a bit like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack, but I figured it would be educational.  It was, and the problem was solved.  Based on my experience, here is my basic advice on troubleshooting browser issues for Chrome, Internet Explorer (IE), and Mozilla's Firefox.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Can Optimism Kill You?

It has been said that humans are "hard-wired for hope".  It is generally true and, while it can have many positive benefits, and most certainly helped us survive this long, it can also be a dangerous thing as can any bias to our perceptions and thinking.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Community Chronicles - The Value of Community College

I firmly believe that community colleges are a vital part of the American dream and keeping our country strong.  If not for community college, I am not sure I would have a PhD or have had the chance to conduct research with a Nobel Laureate.  There are many reasons for this, most of them are personal. Time to share...