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Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson is a recognized thought-leader on the strategic role of product management.
Interests: product marketing, product management, technology, strategy.
Recent Activity
I guess it goes back to "what are you selling?" If my plan was to sell people-you've-never-heard-of who know how to implement my techniques for product management and marketing, the "company" approach might be better. But the buyers who contact me are looking specifically for Steve Johnson. Or said another way, "where's the IP sit?" Is it in the person or is it institutionalized? Is the experience in the company or the person? As David said to me recently, "Your thought leader is the one who has the thoughts." Thanks for the advice and for sharing my experience with others.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2013 on A company or a guru? at Web Ink Now
I too love great customer service. No matter how we advertise and promote ourselves, your "brand" results from real interactions with real people. And it's not that employees don't care; it's that employees are forbidden to care. There are rules and standards and scripts they must follow; being spontaneous offends one annoying customer and a new corporate guideline is introduced; fear of being off message forces everyone to be stale and saccharin and lifeless. I'd wish for each president to say this mantra every day: Customers come second; employees come first. If you put employees first, they'll take care of your customers.
Je N'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parceque je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte. (I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter.) -- Pascal.
Toggle Commented May 1, 2012 on Say it with fewer words at Web Ink Now
Remember to exercise and not just stay stuck at your desk. And remember to interact with real people. A mind needs other minds to keep it active. Congrats. I wish you the best of luck.
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I'm reminded of the United Breaks Guitars fiasco that resulted in positive press for Taylor guitars, Calton Cases, and Dave Carroll's band. And of course, huge negative press for United. Read more in my post at http://productmarketing.com/2011/11/14/be-a-part-of-it-with-newsjacking.html
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2011 on Newsjacking! at Web Ink Now
You make a good comparison to Apple et al. Everybody spends all this ink talking about Jobs and great products, when it's really a great experience--and at the prices Apple & Columbia charge, it SHOULD be a stellar experience. That's what people miss. They think it's hardware or software or open or closed. But it's the experience from shopping to opening the box to the sound the device makes when it's started.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2011 on Efficiency as a marketing asset at Web Ink Now
"Marketing" is a word that has so many meanings that I'm inclined to stop using the word entirely. In my last firm, I renamed "Marketing" to "Communications" and it brought a lot of clarity. We were NOT an advertising group.
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2011 on Marketing is not Advertising at Web Ink Now
Sadly, i think the new 'P' is really Prayer. We created a product that people ought to want and priced it at whatever our CFO thought was right, and now we're praying that we'll sell some units.
Perhaps the most effective tool is your own calendar. Book meetings with yourself to work on specific projects. Whether you work from home or from a visitor's office or the library, allocate a half-day to get the project done. If you don't control your calendar, someone else will.
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2011 on Can you really work at work? at ProductMarketing.com
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Thanks for another interesting posting on product management on your blog. However you may underestimate the importance of the question you touched with the blog. I remember endless discussions around this topics with fellow product managers, who more often than not dream about being the CEO of the product. Behind that are two things: first the frustration with the job and the desire to be recognized as the big guy who runs the show. The second reason is that those individuals do not understand the true beauty of product management and feel their job second class always trying to become more manager like and less product. Before educating outside Product management it is mandatory to point the finger at ourselves for a moment. Unless we are not clear about our own role in the game misunderstandings are eminent and any senior manager will exploit the product managers the wrong way, product managers will mirco manager because of the missing true power. To me the role of a product manager is quite clear: · If we were to be the owner of the product we would be called “General Director of the Business Unit” and a someone else would do the role of product management. · We define the needs for products, use our knowledge of markets etc to come up with ideal solution under given (non our business) constraints, such as resources and corporate strategy. · The results of our smarts go in front of decision making bodies and we shall fight for the decision we believe is right. However we are not making the call in the end, this is general management. To the end Product Management is a knowledge worker role, requiring lots of skills in coming up with good product proposals and even as good skills to convince others following the course. CEO/ President is a power role requiring substantial less knowledge but more willingness to make a call on suggestions others have provided. – I enjoy thinking, as this is the true power to shape the companies direction. --Stephan Haux
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Trite or not, it's asked... and frequently. I do love how Cranky put all the trite questions (and answers) into her video series. Knowing how to respond is important, don't you think?
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Brilliant note! STYLISTS!! Nice.
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Agreed! "Design *Opportunities* Are Everywhere" is a better title. Or maybe Design is everywhere--good and bad.
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Apple gets many things right: they build products that address the most pressing needs of their clients; they communicate a simple idea that reveals their solution to a problem that the customer will understand. They listen to "real" people, not just power users. Any company (or department) can do this. It means listening to what customers mean, not just what they're saying. And it means making sure that you're listening to the "right" customers, not the biggest, loudest, or most recent. Identify the right persona and the rest gets easy... and much more fun.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2011 on Apple is not different at Web Ink Now
I recommend three passwords: a simple one--like orange or 0range (with a zero)--for services that don't retain your credit card info; a medium one combining two words with a number--like susan7pal--for those that retain your credit card; and a really complex one--like p8075!sj1 with punctuation, numbers, and initials of words you'll remember for bank account info. I tend to stick to 8 letters which seems to fit within the regular minimums and maximums but having a longer one 10 character one helps for some services. You should also make sure that your email password is strong since many services let you reset your password via email.
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But the challenge is often this: AT&T in Australia recently claimed to be Apple's largest customer. They are NOT a customer; they are the shelf. They resell inventory. Many product marketing managers think of sales people and distributors as their customer, and they miss out completely on the importance of the buyer.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2010 on Your Reseller isn’t Your Customer at Launch Clinic
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This cloud represents product managers, product marketing managers, product owners, and technical product managers.
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I agree: sales people know what "A" customer wants; product managers know what the market full of customers need.
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Just because sales and marketing people WANT this information doesn't mean that the customer wants to GIVE it. I'm reminded of the clerk at a government office who needs all those fields filled out--because they're on the form. While I'll comply with government forms, you'd probably laugh at the information I fill into mandatory fields in marketing forms.
Congratulations on your success. I have read and recommended the book to hundreds of folks in our product management seminars. Keep up the good work.
We hit a thousand this weekend and more. But we still want your feedback!
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2010 on Be #1000 and win a mug at ProductMarketing.com
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In the 80s it was voicemail. In the 90s it was the internet. In the 00s it is social media. Remember how the record companies failed to embrace Napster and Mp3s? Companies continue to reject new ideas and new ways of connecting with clients. What newfangled technology is next? Maybe you nailed it. These technologies interrupt the factory mindset that permeates our business world. I don't know about you but I've never worked in a factory. Thanks for another fine perspective, David.
Both "Reworked" and "Inspired" were really good. "The Long Tail" is brilliant but a little hard to read. I'll check out "Different." Thanks for adding your list.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2010 on On my reading list at ProductMarketing.com
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You know, I wonder if this generation has grown up with such faulty phone service, that they've been TAUGHT by the experience that texting is better. We had wired phones that were 100% reliable; they have only had cell phones. "When I drop the call, I'll call you back" is a phrase we didn't have to learn until we used a mobile phone.
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2010 on Those kids today... at ProductMarketing.com
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And then there's this from Hong Kong: The sticker will be put on the back of the iPhone 4 and the size and details are totally fit the iPhone 4 – the same as the the front face. When you pick up the phone, people around you will think that you must be a crazy guy, huh, who knows the truth? http://amazingcalling.com/products-page/featured/amazing-calling-from-einstein/
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