More on Leadership
4 months ago
When My Remote Leadership Skills Took Off
4 Ways To Manage Remote Teams & Employees
The wheels hit the ground as I landed in Rochester.
Our six-person satellite office was now part of my team.
Their manager only reported to me the day before, but I had my ticket booked ahead of time.
I had managed remote employees before but this was different. Engineers dialed into headquarters for every meeting.
So when I learned about the org chart change, I knew a strong first impression would set the tone for everything else.
I was either their boss, or their boss's boss, and I needed them to know I was committed.
Managing a fleet of satellite freelancers or multiple offices requires treating others as more than just a face behind a screen.
You must comprehend each remote team member's perspective and daily interactions.
The good news is that you can start using these techniques right now to better understand and elevate virtual team members.
1. Make Visits To Other Offices
If budgeted, visit and work from offices where teams and employees report to you. Only by living alongside them can one truly comprehend their problems with communication and other aspects of modern life.
2. Have Others Come to You
• Having remote, distributed, or satellite employees and teams visit headquarters every quarter or semi-quarterly allows the main office culture to rub off on them.
When remote team members visit, more people get to meet them, which builds empathy.
If you can't afford to fly everyone, at least bring remote managers or leaders. Hopefully they can resurrect some culture.
3. Weekly Work From Home
No home office policy?
WFH is a team-building, problem-solving, and office-viewing opportunity.
For dial-in meetings, I started working from home on occasion.
It also taught me which teams “forget” or “skip” calls.
As a remote team member, you experience all the issues first hand.
This isn't as accurate for understanding teams in other offices, but it can be done at any time.
4. Increase Contact Even If It’s Just To Chat
Don't underestimate office banter.
Sometimes it's about bonding and trust, other times it's about business.
If you get all this information in real-time, please forward it.
Even if nothing critical is happening, call remote team members to check in and chat.
I guarantee that building relationships and rapport will increase both their job satisfaction and yours.
1 month ago
Yahoo could have purchased Google for $1 billion
Let's see this once-dominant IT corporation crumble.
What's the capital of Kazakhstan? If you don't know the answer, you can probably find it by Googling. Google Search returned results for Nur-Sultan in 0.66 seconds.
Google is the best search engine I've ever used. Did you know another search engine ruled the Internet? I'm sure you guessed Yahoo!
Google's friendly UI and wide selection of services make it my top choice. Let's explore Yahoo's decline.
YAHOO stands for Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle. Jerry Yang and David Filo established Yahoo.
Yahoo is primarily a search engine and email provider. It offers News and an advertising platform. It was a popular website in 1995 that let people search the Internet directly. Yahoo began offering free email in 1997 by acquiring RocketMail.
According to a study, Yahoo used Google Search Engine technology until 2000 and then developed its own in 2004.
Yahoo! rejected buying Google for $1 billion
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google's founders, approached Yahoo in 1998 to sell Google for $1 billion so they could focus on their studies. Yahoo denied the offer, thinking it was overvalued at the time.
Yahoo realized its error and offered Google $3 billion in 2002, but Google demanded $5 billion since it was more valuable. Yahoo thought $5 billion was overpriced for the existing market.
In 2022, Google is worth $1.56 Trillion.
What happened to Yahoo!
Yahoo refused to buy Google, and Google's valuation rose, making a purchase unfeasible.
Yahoo started losing users when Google launched Gmail. Google's UI was far cleaner than Yahoo's.
Yahoo offered $1 billion to buy Facebook in July 2006, but Zuckerberg and the board sought $1.1 billion. Yahoo rejected, and Facebook's valuation rose, making it difficult to buy.
Yahoo was losing users daily while Google and Facebook gained many. Google and Facebook's popularity soared. Yahoo lost value daily.
Microsoft offered $45 billion to buy Yahoo in February 2008, but Yahoo declined. Microsoft increased its bid to $47 billion after Yahoo said it was too low, but Yahoo rejected it. Then Microsoft rejected Yahoo’s 10% bid increase in May 2008.
In 2015, Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.5 billion, and Apollo Global Management bought 90% of Yahoo's shares for $5 billion in May 2021. Verizon kept 10%.
Yahoo's opportunity to acquire Google and Facebook could have been a turning moment. It declined Microsoft's $45 billion deal in 2008 and was sold to Verizon for $4.5 billion in 2015. Poor decisions and lack of vision caused its downfall. Yahoo's aim wasn't obvious and it didn't stick to a single domain.
Hence, a corporation needs a clear vision and a leader who can see its future.
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7 days ago
Metrics for product management and being a good leader
Never design a product without explicit metrics and tracking tools.
Imagine driving cross-country without a dashboard. How do you know your school zone speed? Low gas? Without a dashboard, you can't monitor your car. You can't improve what you don't measure, as Peter Drucker said. Product managers must constantly enhance their understanding of their users, how they use their product, and how to improve it for optimum value. Customers will only pay if they consistently acquire value from your product.
I’m Solomon Ayanlakin. I’m a product manager at CredPal, a financial business that offers credit cards and Buy Now Pay Later services. Before falling into product management (like most PMs lol), I self-trained as a data analyst, using Alex the Analyst's YouTube playlists and DannyMas' virtual data internship. This article aims to help product managers, owners, and CXOs understand product metrics, give a methodology for creating them, and execute product experiments to enhance them.
Product metrics assist companies track product performance from the user's perspective. Metrics help firms decide what to construct (feature priority), how to build it, and the outcome's success or failure. To give the best value to new and existing users, track product metrics.
Why should a product manager monitor metrics?
to assist your users in having a "aha" moment
To inform you of which features are frequently used by users and which are not
To assess the effectiveness of a product feature
To aid in enhancing client onboarding and retention
To assist you in identifying areas throughout the user journey where customers are satisfied or dissatisfied
to determine the percentage of returning users and determine the reasons for their return
📈 What Metrics Ought a Product Manager to Monitor?
What indicators should a product manager watch to monitor product health? The metrics to follow change based on the industry, business stage (early, growth, late), consumer needs, and company goals. A startup should focus more on conversion, activation, and active user engagement than revenue growth and retention. The company hasn't found product-market fit or discovered what features drive customer value.
Depending on your use case, company goals, or business stage, here are some important product metric buckets:
All measurements shouldn't be used simultaneously. It depends on your business goals and what value means for your users, then selecting what metrics to track to see if they get it.
Some KPIs are more beneficial to track, independent of industry or customer type. To prevent recording vanity metrics, product managers must clearly specify the types of metrics they should track. Here's how to segment metrics:
The North Star Metric, also known as the Focus Metric, is the indicator and aid in keeping track of the top value you provide to users.
Primary/Level 1 Metrics: These metrics should either add to the north star metric or be used to determine whether it is moving in the appropriate direction. They are metrics that support the north star metric.
These measures serve as leading indications for your north star and Level 2 metrics. You ought to have been aware of certain problems with your L2 measurements prior to the North star metric modifications.
North Star Metric
This is the key metric. A good north star metric measures customer value. It emphasizes your product's longevity. Many organizations fail to grow because they confuse north star measures with other indicators. A good focus metric should touch all company teams and be tracked forever. If a company gives its customers outstanding value, growth and success are inevitable. How do we measure this value?
A north star metric has these benefits:
Customer Obsession: It promotes a culture of customer value throughout the entire organization.
Consensus: Everyone can quickly understand where the business is at and can promptly make improvements, according to consensus.
Growth: It provides a tool to measure the company's long-term success. Do you think your company will last for a long time?
How can I pick a reliable North Star Metric?
Some fear a single metric. Ensure product leaders can objectively determine a north star metric. Your company's focus metric should meet certain conditions. Here are a few:
A good focus metric should reflect value and, as such, should be closely related to the point at which customers obtain the desired value from your product. For instance, the quick delivery to your home is a value proposition of UberEats. The value received from a delivery would be a suitable focal metric to use. While counting orders is alluring, the quantity of successfully completed positive review orders would make a superior north star statistic. This is due to the fact that a client who placed an order but received a defective or erratic delivery is not benefiting from Uber Eats. By tracking core value gain, which is the number of purchases that resulted in satisfied customers, we are able to track not only the total number of orders placed during a specific time period but also the core value proposition.
Focus metrics need to be quantifiable; they shouldn't only be feelings or states; they need to be actionable. A smart place to start is by counting how many times an activity has been completed.
A great focus metric is one that can be measured within predetermined time limits; otherwise, you are not measuring at all. The company can improve that measure more quickly by having time-bound focus metrics. Measuring and accounting for progress over set time periods is the only method to determine whether or not you are moving in the right path. You can then evaluate your metrics for today and yesterday. It's generally not a good idea to use a year as a time frame. Ideally, depending on the nature of your organization and the measure you are focusing on, you want to take into account on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Everyone in the firm has the potential to affect it: A short glance at the well-known AAARRR funnel, also known as the Pirate Metrics, reveals that various teams inside the organization have an impact on the funnel. Ideally, the NSM should be impacted if changes are made to one portion of the funnel. Consider how the growth team in your firm is enhancing customer retention. This would have a good effect on the north star indicator because at this stage, a repeat client is probably being satisfied on a regular basis. Additionally, if the opposite were true and a client churned, it would have a negative effect on the focus metric.
It ought to be connected to the business's long-term success: The direction of sustainability would be indicated by a good north star metric. A company's lifeblood is product demand and revenue, so it's critical that your NSM points in the direction of sustainability. If UberEats can effectively increase the monthly total of happy client orders, it will remain in operation indefinitely.
Many product teams make the mistake of focusing on revenue. When the bottom line is emphasized, a company's goal moves from giving value to extracting money from customers. A happy consumer will stay and pay for your service. Customer lifetime value always exceeds initial daily, monthly, or weekly revenue.
Great North Star Metrics Examples
🥇 Basic/L1 Metrics:
The NSM is broad and focuses on providing value for users, while the primary metric is product/feature focused and utilized to drive the focus metric or signal its health. The primary statistic is team-specific, whereas the north star metric is company-wide. For UberEats' NSM, the marketing team may measure the amount of quality food vendors who sign up using email marketing. With quality vendors, more orders will be satisfied. Shorter feedback loops and unambiguous team assignments make L1 metrics more actionable and significant in the immediate term.
🥈 Supporting L2 metrics:
These are supporting metrics to the L1 and focus metrics. Location, demographics, or features are examples of L1 metrics. UberEats' supporting metrics might be the number of sales emails sent to food vendors, the number of opens, and the click-through rate. Secondary metrics are low-level and evident, and they relate into primary and north star measurements. UberEats needs a high email open rate to attract high-quality food vendors. L2 is a leading sign for L1.
Where can I find product metrics?
How can I measure in-app usage and activity now that I know what metrics to track? Enter product analytics. Product analytics tools evaluate and improve product management parameters that indicate a product's health from a user's perspective.
Various analytics tools on the market supply product insight. From page views and user flows through A/B testing, in-app walkthroughs, and surveys. Depending on your use case and necessity, you may combine tools to see how users engage with your product. Gainsight, MixPanel, Amplitude, Google Analytics, FullStory, Heap, and Pendo are product tools.
This article isn't sponsored and doesn't market product analytics tools. When choosing an analytics tool, consider the following:
Tools for tracking your Focus, L1, and L2 measurements
Adaptations to include external data sources and other products
Usability and the interface
An investment in the appropriate tool pays off. To choose the correct metrics to track, you must first understand your business need and what value means to your users. Metrics and analytics are crucial for any tech product's growth. It shows how your business is doing and how to best serve users.
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1 month ago
You may not know about The Merge, yet it could change society
Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency. The Merge, a mid-September event that will convert Ethereum's consensus process from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake if all goes according to plan, will be a game changer.
Why is Ethereum ditching proof-of-work? Because it can. We're talking about a fully functioning, open-source ecosystem with a capacity for evolution that other cryptocurrencies lack, a change that would allow it to scale up its performance from 15 transactions per second to 100,000 as its blockchain is used for more and more things. It would reduce its energy consumption by 99.95%. Vitalik Buterin, the system's founder, would play a less active role due to decentralization, and miners, who validated transactions through proof of work, would be far less important.
Why has this conversion taken so long and been so cautious? Because it involves modifying a core process while it's running to boost its performance. It requires running the new mechanism in test chains on an ever-increasing scale, assessing participant reactions, and checking for issues or restrictions. The last big test was in early June and was successful. All that's left is to converge the mechanism with the Ethereum blockchain to conclude the switch.
What's stopping Bitcoin, the leader in market capitalization and the cryptocurrency that began blockchain's appeal, from doing the same? Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever he or she is, departed from public life long ago, therefore there's no community leadership. Changing it takes a level of consensus that is impossible to achieve without strong leadership, which is why Bitcoin's evolution has been sluggish and conservative, with few modifications.
Secondly, The Merge will balance the consensus mechanism (proof-of-work or proof-of-stake) and the system decentralization or centralization. Proof-of-work prevents double-spending, thus validators must buy hardware. The system works, but it requires a lot of electricity and, as it scales up, tends to re-centralize as validators acquire more hardware and the entire network activity gets focused in a few nodes. Larger operations save more money, which increases profitability and market share. This evolution runs opposed to the concept of decentralization, and some anticipate that any system that uses proof of work as a consensus mechanism will evolve towards centralization, with fewer large firms able to invest in efficient network nodes.
Yet radical bitcoin enthusiasts share an opposite argument. In proof-of-stake, transaction validators put their funds at stake to attest that transactions are valid. The algorithm chooses who validates each transaction, giving more possibilities to nodes that put more coins at stake, which could open the door to centralization and government control.
In both cases, we're talking about long-term changes, but Bitcoin's proof-of-work has been evolving longer and seems to confirm those fears, while proof-of-stake is only employed in coins with a minuscule volume compared to Ethereum and has no predictive value.
As of mid-September, we will have two significant cryptocurrencies, each with a different consensus mechanisms and equally different characteristics: one is intrinsically conservative and used only for economic transactions, while the other has been evolving in open source mode, and can be used for other types of assets, smart contracts, or decentralized finance systems. Some even see it as the foundation of Web3.
Many things could change before September 15, but The Merge is likely to be a turning point. We'll have to follow this closely.
3 months ago
$100M in NFT TV shows from Fox
Fox executives will invest $100 million in NFT-based TV shows. Fox brought in "Rick and Morty" co-creator Dan Harmon to create "Krapopolis"
Fox's Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) will develop these NFT TV shows with Bento Box Entertainment. BCL markets Fox's WWE "Moonsault" NFT.
Fox said it would use the $100 million to build a "creative community" and "brand ecosystem." The media giant mentioned using these funds for NFT "benefits."
"Krapopolis" will be a Greek-themed animated comedy, per Rarity Sniper. Initial reports said NFT buyers could collaborate on "character development" and get exclusive perks.
Fox Entertainment may drop "Krapopolis" NFTs on Ethereum, according to new reports. Fox says it will soon release more details on its NFT plans for "Krapopolis."
Media Giants Favor "NFT Storytelling"
"Krapopolis" is one of the largest "NFT storytelling" experiments due to Dan Harmon's popularity and Fox Entertainment's reach. Many celebrities have begun exploring Web3 for TV shows.
Mila Kunis' animated sitcom "The Gimmicks" lets fans direct the show. Any "Gimmick" NFT holder could contribute to episode plots.
"The Gimmicks" lets NFT holders write fan fiction about their avatars. If show producers like what they read, their NFT may appear in an episode.
Rob McElhenney recently launched "Adimverse," a Web3 writers' community. Anyone with a "Adimverse" NFT can collaborate on creative projects and share royalties.
Many blue-chip NFTs are appearing in movies and TV shows. Coinbase will release Bored Ape Yacht Club shorts at NFT. NYC. Reese Witherspoon is working on a World of Women NFT series.
PFP NFT collections have Hollywood media partners. Guy Oseary manages Madonna's World of Women and Bored Ape Yacht Club collections. The Doodles signed with Billboard's Julian Holguin and the Cool Cats with CAA.
Web3 and NFTs are changing how many filmmakers tell stories.
2 months ago
Why the Creator Economy needs a Web3 upgrade
Looking back into the past can help you understand what's happening today and why.
"Creator economy" conjures up images of originality, sincerity, and passion. Where do Michelangelos and da Vincis push advancement with their gifts without battling for bread and proving themselves posthumously?
Creativity has been as long as humanity, but it's just recently become a new economic paradigm. We even talk about Web3 now.
Let's examine the creative economy's history to better comprehend it. What brought us here? Looking back can help you understand what's happening now.
No yawning, I promise 😉.
Creator Economy's history
Long, uneven transition to creator economy. Let's examine the economic and societal changes that led us there.
1. Agriculture to industry
Mid-18th-century Industrial Revolution led to shift from agriculture to manufacturing. The industrial economy lasted until World War II.
The industrial economy's principal goal was to provide more affordable, accessible commodities.
Unlike today, products were scarce and inaccessible.
To fulfill its goals, industrialization triggered enormous economic changes, moving power from agrarians to manufacturers. Industrialization brought hard work, rivalry, and new ideas connected to production and automation. Creative thinkers focused on that then.
It doesn't mean music, poetry, or painting had no place back then. They weren't top priority. Artists were independent. The creative field wasn't considered a different economic subdivision.
2. The consumer economy
Manufacturers produced more things than consumers desired after World War II. Stuff was no longer scarce.
The economy must make customers want to buy what the market offers.
The consumer economic paradigm supplanted the industrial one. Customers (or consumers) replaced producers as the new economic center.
Salesmen, marketing, and journalists also played key roles (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.). Mass media greatly boosted demand for goods, defined trends, and changed views regarding nearly everything.
Mass media also gave rise to pop culture, which focuses on mass-market creative products. Design, printing, publishing, multi-media, audio-visual, cinematographic productions, etc. supported pop culture.
The consumer paradigm generated creative occupations and activities, unlike the industrial economy. Creativity was limited by the need for wide appeal.
Most creators were corporate employees.
Creating a following and making a living from it were difficult.
Paul Saffo said that only journalists and TV workers were known. Creators who wished to be known relied on producers, publishers, and other gatekeepers. To win their favor was crucial. Luck was the best tactic.
3. The creative economy
Consumer economy was digitized in the 1990s. IT solutions transformed several economic segments. This new digital economy demanded innovative, digital creativity.
Later, states declared innovation a "valuable asset that creates money and jobs." They also introduced the "creative industries" and the "creative economy" (not creator!) and tasked themselves with supporting them. Australia and the UK were early adopters.
Individual skill, innovation, and intellectual property fueled the creative economy. Its span covered design, writing, audio, video material, etc. The creative economy required IT-powered activity.
The new challenge was to introduce innovations to most economic segments and meet demand for digital products and services.
Despite what the title "creative economy" may imply, it was primarily oriented at meeting consumer needs. It didn't provide inventors any new options to become entrepreneurs. Instead of encouraging innovators to flourish on their own, the creative economy emphasized "employment-based creativity."
4. The creator economy
Next, huge IT platforms like Google, Facebook, YouTube, and others competed with traditional mainstream media.
During the 2008 global financial crisis, these mediums surpassed traditional media. People relied on them for information, knowledge, and networking. That was a digital media revolution. The creator economy started there.
The new economic paradigm aimed to engage and convert clients. The creator economy allowed customers to engage, interact, and provide value, unlike the consumer economy. It gave them instruments to promote themselves as "products" and make money.
Writers, singers, painters, and other creators have a great way to reach fans. Instead of appeasing old-fashioned gatekeepers (producers, casting managers, publishers, etc.), they can use the platforms to express their talent and gain admirers. Barriers fell.
It's not only for pros. Everyone with a laptop and internet can now create.
2022 creator economy:
Since there is no academic description for the current creator economy, we can freestyle.
The current (or Web2) creator economy is fueled by interactive digital platforms, marketplaces, and tools that allow users to access, produce, and monetize content.
No entry hurdles or casting in the creative economy. Sign up and follow platforms' rules. Trick: A platform's algorithm aggregates your data and tracks you. This is the payment for participation.
The platforms offer content creation, design, and ad distribution options. This is platforms' main revenue source.
The creator economy opens many avenues for creators to monetize their work. Artists can now earn money through advertising, tipping, brand sponsorship, affiliate links, streaming, and other digital marketing activities.
Even if your content isn't digital, you can utilize platforms to promote it, interact and convert your audience, and more. No limits. However, some of your income always goes to a platform (well, a huge one).
The creator economy aims to empower online entrepreneurship by offering digital marketing tools and reducing impediments.
Barriers remain. They are just different. Next articles will examine these.
Why update the creator economy for Web3?
I could address this question by listing the present creator economy's difficulties that led us to contemplate a Web3 upgrade.
I don't think these difficulties are the main cause. The mentality shift made us see these challenges and understand there was a better reality without them.
Crypto drove this thinking shift. It promoted disintermediation, independence from third-party service providers, 100% data ownership, and self-sovereignty. Crypto has changed the way we view everyday things.
Crypto's disruptive mission has migrated to other economic segments. It's now called Web3. Web3's creator economy is unique.
Here's the essence of the Web3 economy:
Eliminating middlemen between creators and fans.
100% of creators' data, brand, and effort.
Business and money-making transparency.
Authentic originality above ad-driven content.
In the next several articles, I'll explain. We'll also discuss the creator economy and Web3's remedies.
The creator economy is the organic developmental stage we've reached after all these social and economic transformations.
The Web3 paradigm of the creator economy intends to allow creators to construct their own independent "open economy" and directly monetize it without a third party.
If this approach succeeds, we may enter a new era of wealth creation where producers aren't only the products. New economies will emerge.
This article is a summary. To read the full post, click here.