Freeman Ding's Blog

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August 18th, 2009

First Dive into Case Method

We all know case method is a teaching method widely used in business schools.  In this Orientation week, I have gone through two sessions of case method.

One is the “Introduction to Case Method” in day one, August 17th Monday.  The case is a Market Entry Strategy problem for Dolby Laboratories.

The second case session is today Tuesday’s Company Workshops.   Actually HP, Adobe, Deloitte, LucasArts, Abbott, Chevron, and Del Monte each has a workshop today with us.   I attended the Adobe session.  A Director from Adobe discussed a real case with us today:  Suppose you are an Adobe Product Manager, you are trying to evaluate alternative monetization models other than traditional perpetual license pricing model.

We discussed different alternative monetization models such as:

  • Subscription
  • Free (actually tiers like basic edition for free, but charge with standard or advanced edition)
  • Advertising, like many share-ware, or GMail.
  • Utility.  End users only pay for what they consume, but you need some monitoring or measurement tools.

It is an interesting and valuable session.  I learned a lot from the Adobe director and my smart fellow classmates.

August 11th, 2008

[Reading] Websites and Blogs about Product Management

I am a regular reader of quite several websites or blogs related to Product Management. I would like to share the top 10 websites/blogs from them.

Website title: Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG)
Intro: A website with lots of very good blog posts and articles about Product Management.
SVPG Blog:
SVPG Articles:
RSS Feed: (It seems that their feed has problems. It is better to subscribe their free newsletter via email on the website.)

Blog title: How To Be A Good Product Manager
Intro: Written by Jeff Lash, this sites provides regular tips on good product management practices. Every post is always structured as “If you want to be a bad product manager…” and “If you want to be a good product manager…”.
RSS Feed:

Blog title: Ask A Good Product Manager
Intro: Put together by Jeff Lash, this sites provides real answers to your real product management questions. This site is an offshoot of How To Be A Good Product Manager.
RSS Feed:

Blog title:
Intro: Pragmatic Marketing provides training, consulting services and an online community for technology product management and marketing.
RSS Feed:

Blog title: Michael on High-Tech Product Management & Marketing
Intro: Although this website is not updated for a long time (most recent post was on December 17, 2006), Michael Shrivathsan published quite several excellent posts of Product Management and Product Marketing in the high-tech industry.
RSS Feed:

Blog title: The Productologist
Intro: A blog by Ivan Chalif, who is Senior Product Manager at StrongMail Systems in Redwood City, CA. He has over 10 years experience in technology marketing, building web-based products and services at companies like ValueClick, The Gale Group and Acxiom Digital. Ivan is also a founding member of the Silicon Valley Product Management Association (SVPMA).
RSS Feed:

Blog title: All about Product Management
Intro: By Derek Morrison, this blog is designed to give tips on various aspects of the Product Manager’s and Product Development Manager’s role including interview and career suggestions.
RSS Feed:

Blog title: On Product Management
Intro: Three professionals (Alan Armstrong, Ethan Henry, and Saeed Khan) co-author this blog.
RSS Feed:

Blog title: Product Beautiful
Intro: A blog about Product Management and Marketing created by Paul Young, who had worked in various Product Management and Marketing roles for Cisco’s Security and WAN managed services for several years.
RSS Feed:

Blog title: Product Management Tips
Intro: Gopal Shenoy is currently the Director of Product Management, Small Business at in Waltham, MA. Prior to, Gopal Shenoy has worked at RSA and also spend 11 years at SolidWorks Corporation, the leading manufacturer of 3D mechanical CAD software used by over 635,000 users in 80,000 companies.
RSS Feed:

Of course there are many other websites/blogs about Product Management and Marketing, such as 280 Group Blog, Forrester Product Management Blog, The Cranky Product Manager and many others. But generally speaking, the above ten websites/blogs are updated regularly and the article’s quality are generally very good.

June 21st, 2008

[Thinking] How I became a Product Manager

This blog article is the response to the question I received from a reader’s email:

Hello Freeman,

I ran into your Chinese blog site when I was searching “Femtocell” over Internet. Currently I am a test engineer working on home networking gadgets like xDSL home gateway, etc. My current job is way too far from customers. We do not have to talk with our customers in person. Instead, we just hold the PRD (Product Requirement Document) and make sure if all of the requested features are working fine. Therefore, it’s not easy to get a deep understanding of the industry and marketplace. Actually I feel that I am kind of losing the big picture. That’s why I am always thinking to be a product manager. But I just have no idea where to start.

Now I think maybe I can learn something from you. How did you become a product manager? Transitioned from developer? And what is important to be a successful product manager (of course I have read the articles like “10 tips to be a good product manager”, I just want to know what you think from your own experience).

It will be great if you can take some time to read and reply this mail :-).

Thank you.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 18th, 2008

[Reading] Does being ethical really pay or not?

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article on May 12 titled “Does Being Ethical Pay?”. It talked about:

Companies spend huge amounts of money to be ‘socially responsible.’ Do consumers reward them for it? And how much?

In the end of the article, the author information are: Mr. Trudel is a doctoral candidate in marketing at the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business. Dr. Cotte is the George and Mary Turnbull faculty fellow and associate professor of marketing at the Ivey School.

Here are my excepts from the article as their key findings:

In all of our tests, consumers were willing to pay a slight premium for the ethically made goods. But they went much further in the other direction: They would buy unethically made products only at a steep discount.

What’s more, consumer attitudes played a big part in shaping those results. People with high standards for corporate behavior rewarded the ethical companies with bigger premiums and punished the unethical ones with bigger discounts.

Finally, we discovered that companies don’t necessarily need to go all-out with social responsibility to win over consumers. If a company invests in even a small degree of ethical production, buyers will reward it just as much as a company that goes much further in its efforts.

Interesting research result?

Stay tuned.

An even more interesting thing is that an MBA student from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley responded in the Berkeley MBA Student Blogs by a blog entry titled “Does being ethical really pay?“.

Here are the Berkeley student’s key findings:

In our survey we found that consumers were not rewarding high ethical standards over a control group.

Unlike the study cited in the WSJ we found that in both the immediate questions and the delayed questions, participants actually had a lower willingness to pay when they were informed about the company’s ethical practices and we had to reject our initial hypothesis that ethical standards would increase our participants’ willingness to pay.

So at the end the blog article said:

So does being ethical really, really, really pay? As much as I would like to say “Yes”, all I can say is “Sometimes… Maybe“!

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April 21st, 2008

[Reading] e-book: The Strategic Role of Product Management

I am a regular reader of Pragmatic Marketing blog. Recently they released a good e-book in PDF format:

The Strategic Role of Product Management: How a market-driven focus leads companies to build products people want to buy.

The e-book PDF file can be downloaded here.

Links to the original page at Pragmatic Marketing website:

Some words in this e-book are very hilarious, while some words are very thought-provoking:

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