Frustrated salesperson
Frustrated salesperson
Photo by ahmad gunnaivi on Unsplash

How Not To Piss Off Prospects

I checked. In the past week, I received over 200 demand generation outreaches (emails, LinkedIn requests, webinar invites, phone calls). There were 152 emails, 25 of which were personalized. There were 18 LinkedIn connection requests. Only one didn’t try and sell me something on first contact. I was invited to 23 webinars — none of which I attended. There were 14 calls from unknown numbers that I didn’t even bother to answer A lot of companies spent a lot of money to connect with me and got zero results. Demand generation in 2021 is tough. …


Balance sheets are a somewhat esoteric topic for product managers. Balance sheets describe a company’s assets, liabilities, and stockholder equity on a specific date. Balance sheets contain many interesting facts. They help product managers do a better job of understanding customers, competitors, and even their own company. Product managers should care about balance sheets.

Three Examples of Why Product Managers Should Care ABout Balance Sheets

To help product managers understand why it is important to care about Balance Sheets. Let’s look at three examples.

Avoiding a Major Contract Renegotiation

A vendor-provided an outsourced service to a mortgage processing company. The service received mortgage applications, used OCR to extract data, and loaded them into an Oracle database… Blog Viiew Growth Blog Viiew Growth

It took me 10 years, but I finally learned blogging and SEO

Once a quarter I take a few minutes to look at my Google Analytics report for my blog Sometimes I find some interesting stuff. I have been blogging for a little over 10 years on enterprise product management and mergers/acquisitions/divestitures. I was a senior executive for several software companies. I have been a VP of Marketing, Product Management, Customer Service, and Corporate Development for over 20 years. I have led five acquisitions and over a dozen divestitures. I blog because I like to write and have the crazy idea of writing a book one day. I am a novice…


There’s more to them then what they taught you in business school

Financial literacy is not one of the top skills most product managers have. They may have learned about financial statements in university, but it is not something they use daily. Understanding how Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and Cash Flow Statements work is critical for several reasons. These skills can help product managers build better product value equations, business cases, and competitive analyses. The learning process starts with Income Statements (aka P&Ls).

Three Examples of Why Product Managers Should Care About Income Statements

To help product managers understand why it is important to care about income statements let’s examine three examples.

Customer Income Statements

Customer Income Statements give product managers insight into their business. You…

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

I wouldn’t want to be the VP of Product Management for Kaseya this week

Somewhere a product manager is waking up, checking their email, and discovering their SaaS application had a major outage overnight. He mutters to himself “Oh shit”. His email is filling up with concerned emails from customer success managers, salespeople, and his boss. The operations team is frantically trying to resolve the outage. The issue might involve a new feature that was promoted to production last week. As the product manager races to the office, he debates in his mind “Did we allocate enough capacity to non-functional requirements in the last two Sprints?” Once again he faces one of the major…

SEG Q1 2021 SaaS Index Public Market Update

Another quarter of record valuations

The Software Equity Group (SEG) regularly publishes quantitative research on the software and SaaS market M&A activity. It is always great information and clearly shows the trends in the industry. While information providers like PitchBook and dealroom offer comprehensive data and analysis, they are paid services that cost thousands of dollars a year. SEG offers their research for free. In a few weeks SEG will publish their Q2 2021 updates. To put 2021 in context, let’s take a look at their Q1 2021 M&A Update & SaaS Public Market Update.

SEG Q1 2021 Update

SEG publishes two major updates every quarter — one on…

Imagine you are a product manager of a high growth $150 million SaaS company. Your product accounts for over 70% of the company’s revenues. Two years ago your firm reached a $1 billion valuation by successfully executing Battery Venture’s infamous “Triple, Triple, Double, Double, Double” (Establish a great product-market fit: Get to $2 million in ARR. Triple to $6 million in ARR. Triple to $18 million. Double to $36 million in ARR. Double to $72 million. Double to $144 million.) This year the company’s total revenue is forecasted to be only 20% — a far cry from last year’s 200%…

Three choice, one decision
Three choice, one decision
Inc. Magazine

A product manager discovers a new market problem and believes it represents a great opportunity. After completing some initial discovery he/she creates an initial product vision statement. As the 280 Group describes, “The Product Vision Statement is a description of the essence of your product: what are the problems it is solving, for whom, and why now is the right time to build it.” At this point the product managers faces a difficult decision. Should they buy an existing solution/company? Or should they build it themselves? Or should they partner with another company to take a solution to the market…

Technology Adoption Life Cycle

What Can a 50 Year Old Software Product Teach Modern SaaS Companies?

The software market is ever changing. The market evolution from mainframes to mini computers to PCs to generic Linux servers to cloud services (AWS, google Cloud, etc.), has driven the evolution in software technology. As Aldous Huxley noted “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” 50 year old software products can teach modern SaaS companies about longevity.

The Story of Mark IV Introduced in 1968 and Still Going Today

Mark IV was one of the first fourth generation languages introduced in 1968 by Informatics General. It ran on IBM 360/370 mainframes. Mark IV combined…

Business Case

A critical responsibility of product management is to drive revenue through new products. Unfortunately business cases are usually required to secure the funding needed. Google can help a bit — there are 1.4 billion Google Search results for “Product Management Business Cases”. Regrettably, after about 30 search results Google kind of craps out. In spite of insistence on formal business cases, over 90% of new products in 2020 failed according to Harvard professor Clayton Christensen. Harvard Business School lecturer Shikhar Ghosh says in a WSJ article that 75% of venture-backed companies never return cash to investors and in 30–40% of…

John Mecke

John has over 20 years of experience in leading product management and corporate development organizations for enterprise firms.

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