Posts

Showing posts with the label Business & Career

Mentoring at VetCon 2017

Through GrowthX, I got the opportunity to volunteer at VetCon 2017 (3/25/2017), first VetCon event. “VETCON is the veteran entrepreneur [vetrepreneur] conference, an annual gathering of visionaries, hustlers, and game-changers from around the world. We promote the international community of veterans who run their own businesses.
I signed up for a Mentor Speed Roundtable. I really like this model - it almost is like speed dating. You sit at a table, and mentees are matched with you ahead of time based on your expertise and guidance they are looking for. You rotate every 15 mins and essentially a couple hours covers about six sessions. 
I hate this part of the story, but it has a good ending. I had a very rough night and morning and really did not want to go. I almost cancelled, but literally 30 mins before I was suppose to be there, I said to myself, “You committed, and there are people you are matched with that are waiting for you. Give it your best and see what happens.” I pulled mysel…

StartUp Weekend Experience

Image
Disclaimer: This is a long read, so just warning you! I have sectioned it so it’s a little bit easier for you to follow.

StartUp Weekend? What’s that? Marketing tactic that worked: Word of Mouth!
A good friend of mine went to StartUp weekend with education focus, and they told me about what a good learning experience it was. I was instantly thrilled and excited to attend one myself. I searched for few, but didn’t find one that interested at the time. I kept checking every few weeks, and found the StartUp Weekend AR/VR/AI from Jan 13-15. I bought the tickets right away, and shared it with few friends who also had interest in attending. What Happens at StartUp Weekend? Research and Read!
I had a brief idea from my friends of what their experience was, but as I was getting closer to the event, I started doing a lot of research of what to expect, how to prep, etc. This was really helpful because the more I know, the better I can prepare. TechStars does a very good job explaining the proce…

5 Questions Guide to Interviewing Product Manager

At Covisint, I have interviewed a lot because I was building a team and Covisint has been and is hiring a lot. Vincent is the VP of Product Management, and I interview all the Product Manager candidates for him. I have interviewed dozens of Product Managers over the past year and I have created a system for the interview.
In almost any interview, I need 30 minutes to know whether I am going to hire someone. Even though Product Managers come in all sizes and shapes, I get a pretty good understanding of their capabilities with these 5 questions:
Tell me about yourself. Now I know this is generic, but it’s so surprising how short and brief many people can be. Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for a long winded answer, but I am looking for a story of why and how you became a product manager! Imagine I never read your resume and you have to tell me your experience in a story form in 3-5 minutes. Why are you leaving your current job and why are you excited about this job? What I am reall…

San Francisco Elevator Pitch

Image
This week, I went to my first pitch event. It was very fascinating, and I really enjoyed my time. 
I found it on EventBrite, and immediately signed up to go after I came from San Diego to check it out!
The way it works is that there are 10 people who sign up ahead of time to do a pitch as if they were asking for investment, and the panel gives them feedback on the pitch to help them improve for when they actual go pitch to real investors.
The hardest part is that the pitch can only be 2 mins, and there is a lot of content to squeeze in 2 mins, and you have to choose words very carefully to cover all your points and not leave your audience confused. After that, the panel asks a few questions, and finally each person on panel provides feedback and score on scale of 1-5. 
Here were the pitches on 11/1 Adventures in Common, GlennFriendFinds, GregGiveYa, EugeneGoCarrot, TonyIrisVision, AmmadneoEyed, AlessioPacer Automated Solutions, KarlWatchbox, DavidWaveSolar, ColinTripTop, Basil

Other tha…

Launch Objectives

Most of my time is occupied thinking about a big product/service we are launching in a few weeks. In the last few days in trying to prioritize focus, mindset, and goals, I have come to realize three key objective to launching a new product/services (order by priority):

1) Excellent Product/Service Delivery: It's critical that priority on is around quality. This cannot be scarified for anything. When you are a new player in the market, your customer's don't have much faith in you, and you have to gain their trust through delivery of quality. 

2) Money: Second priority is making money. If you have happy customer, money will continue flowing through retention and recommendations. Poor delivery will never lead to money, so it's better to get the quality to a standard, then focus on making money. 

3) Efficiency: Third priority is doing the above two efficiently. Delivering good product/service in a cost-effective manner. This relates to automating workflows, reducing timeline …

Customer Services & Support - 5 Ps and Measurement Framework

As I am working on building and developing my Customer Services & Support group for hosting, I have been doing some research, and I came across this great article from Zendesk

The 5Ps to measure and build: 
1) People - tasks, roles, and responsibilities well defined 
2) Process - day-to-day activities with maturity of process and consistency in execution 
3) Products - technical tools 
4) Partners - internal and external suppliers that support the system 
5) Performance - value to the organization 

Measurement Framework:
1) Critical Success Factors (CSF): something that needs to be met or true to achieve your goals
2) Key Performance Indicators (KPI): “chosen“ metrics that measure actual performance to 
determine the state of CSF. Four vectors include quantity, quality, timeliness, and compliance
3) Activity Measures: provide knowledge on the production

Examples:
Number of new incidents/requests logged 
Number of incidents/requests by priority 
Number of incidents/requests by category 
Number o…

Pragmatic Marketing

Image
Few years ago (VSS Monitoring years), I found this Pragmatic Marketing framework that provides standard language for product marketing. It's a great model for the marketing and product development team to use to launch and manage products. 

There is an entire coursework and certification around this process, and a lot of great resources on the website.







Strategic Marketing Process eBook

Image
When I started my career in Marketing at VSS Monitoring, I came across this great eBook for marketing that was very helpful. It includes 29 marketing subjects that are categorized in three main categories: 
1) Develop Your Strategy 
2) Create Tools & Processes 
3) Generate & Manage Customers

Here is the complete eBook that goes into more detail on each one, and provides key concepts and steps for each subject: Strategic Marketing Process eBook by Don Peterson








MBA: Management Theory & Communications - Personal Management Case Study

In this class, we went through the whole Becoming a Master Manager: A Competing Values Approach text book to learn about all the eight roles of manager as wells the three competencies within each role.  At the end, we did a personal management case study; here is the cliff notes version of the my personal case study. 
My Johari Window
Open: Good communicator, open and approachable, and organized
Blind: Indecisive, too focused, and too organized/structured 
Hidden: Strong headed and stubborn
Unknown: Management ability

Objectives

overview of management process from theoretical and practical perspectivelearn sound management concepts and practice of concept in a changing management worldcommunication with audience in variety of channel mediums and formatsexamine internal and external impacting manager’s responsibilitydevelop approached for “effective management” keeping stakeholders and organizational goals in mindFive Major Learnings 1) Managing in New Career article 2) Master manager roles con…

MBA: Team Dynamics - Cases Structure and Guidelines

In my MBA, we were required to take a "Team Dynamics" course that entailed doing management cases in different forms: Brief Form Format and Long Format. 


Brief Case Format Case Name
Central Issue: In what ways might I....

Recommended Course of Action: Listing of possible alternative actions which could be taken
Significant Factors:
Communication, External influences, Facilities and equipment, Finance, Human Behavior, Management style,Marketing, Mission, Objectives, Organizational Structure, Personnel, Policies, Processes, Production, Products and services, Raw materials, Resources
Long Case Format Case Name
Central Issue: must be specific to the content of the case. Start with "How to...." or "In what ways might I...". 
Recommended Course of Action: outline of action to be taken.  
Basis for Recommendation: summarize the important reasons for selecting this recommended course of action instead of the others listed in the Reasonable Alternatives section. 
Reasonable A…

Reflection on Management / Leadership

Image
In the past few days, I have been thinking a lot about how much I have evolved as a manager. I think I am mostly coming to realize this as I am managing managers who have the same qualities and traits that I use to have few years ago, which revolves a lot around micromanagement. Every manager goes through the ‘micro-manager’ phase at some point in their career, and in most cases it’s at the early stage of their management career.

I am not sure if it’s a maturity thing, age thing, experience thing or the position I am in that my management style has significantly changed from being a micro-manager to being a leader, and I can see and feel that difference in my thinking and execution.

I have learned a lot about management and leadership in MBA school, in work place, reading books and articles, talking to people, etc. so here is a very small inventory of the leanings and concepts. 

Becoming a Master Manager: A Competing Values Approach (from  Quinn R.E. et al. 1996). This is a management mo…