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When you get deep into your customer’s shoes and see the solutions, you jump into the ‘how.’

As a mobile app marketer, you have to stay afloat in a rapidly growing field. To help you, we've put together a massive guide to the must-know marketing resources of the year.

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Team 2 vs. Team 4 rematch of the first inaugural pumpkin race at the 2018 BCGDV PM West Coast Off-site. Team #4 lead by @tonypelosi gets revenge and tops it off with some style points and taunting. #bcgdv #productmanagement #pmoffsite #pumpkinracing #pimpmypumpkin #pumpkinnation #revengeissweet (at Wells Fargo Center (Los Angeles))

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Use the Mum Test nice video!


Product innovation case study: Improving the value of cancer care

Empowering medical providers and payers to measure quality and cost of care

I consulted a client to help define and create an intuitive system that enables actionable, clinically significant reports to accelerate data-driven decisions. The goal was to create a shared, high-quality data platform that providers, payers, and researchers can turn to for evaluating and improving cancer care.

The status quo is complex and costly. We needed to turn that into an experience that creates more value for users.

The healthcare reporting platform combines clinical details of diagnosis and initial treatment, cost, and validated outcomes data to produce clinically-relevant population-level metrics.


  1. Enable providers to improve quality of the care delivered at their clinics through comparable metrics across physicians and peer organisations.
  2. Enable payers by showing objective supporting data on their network for quality, cost and satisfaction to inform payer selection by employers or individuals.

Defining the project goals

  • User-centered. Develop a system that effectively achieves the user goals of both clinical providers and payers.
  • Multi-device. Encourage users to interact through a consistent, clear and intuitive experience across any device.
  • Self-service. Ensure the Pathways tool is self-service and effectively produces insights across quality, cost and value.
  • Scalable. Build an experience that supports current and future use cases.

Understanding the users

I undertook research to learn the motivations of users within the health care system. Working closely with the clinical team, together we conducted qualitative research to understand the problems and needs in delivering value-based care across the chain. We needed to understand the humans behind the stethoscopes and statistics.

The providers wanted to illuminate quality gaps in the administered care. The providers include medical directors and physicians that compare patient care outcomes with other providers, measure improvement over time and monitor standards of adherance.

The payers wanted to better identify cost issues to provide value-based care. The payers include national account managers and contracting departments that want to evaluate reimbursement models and providers on a value-based system.

We needed to find a way to visualise complex treatment maps across various patient pathways, and make it useful. The information needed to be easy to understand, beautiful to consume and not difficult to build.

We became consumed with data visualisations and dashboards across different industries. After pouring over many examples we picked up our sophisticated prototyping tools — coloured pens and paper.

The outcome

The platform is allowing medical directors across regional cancer centres as well as commercial insurance payers to visualise how patients are treated in the system. For the first time, these users have a holistic view of patient care across the entire system and are empowered to make informed decisions. This is allowing institutions to prioritise pain points and identify areas for targeted intervention.

Ultimately, this means better patient outcomes.

Product and Artist Management

           For this course, my initial goals were to learn and understand the realities of the field, enhance my problem-solving skills, and further develop my management skills. The assignments and resources provided definitely hit every goal and expectation I had for this course. Furthermore, I learned the logistics of both artist and product management. A special takeaway from this class was that it does not matter what stream of entertainment you want to pursue, you are in a business, and you should try it as such. Even though I don’t necessarily agree with the current practices and think we should strive to change some of the industry standards, I was able to learn the actual practices on the music business so I can see how things can be improved. A video that I found very informative, was the one titled “Artists Managers as Entrepreneurs”. I could see “old school” practices, as well as “new school” ones (, 2015). I can definitely say that I don’t completely agree with either one of these managers, however, a combination of what I think are the best practices presented could definitely help me in a future with my career. In other videos and materials presented in this class, I learned about new technologies and ideas that could help me further my target audience’s expectations (, 2015). In addition, many examples of indie artists were given, which was really appreciated.

           Moreover, I was able to understand and apply the sales funnel, which could definitely help with the development and research of my artists, as well as my own business.  On the other hand, through the development of a mock product, I was able to further understand the logistics of product management and feel empowered and knowledgeable enough to do this again in the future with a real-life opportunity. All in all, it was a complete and eye-opening experience, and I feel confident that this course has prepared me for the realities and status of the music business.


M. (Director). (2015, June 7). The Future of Social Commerce & Direct D [Online video]. Retrieved May 26, 2018, from

M. (Director). (2015, June 5). Artist Managers as Entrepreneurs - Midem 2015[Online video]. Retrieved May 26, 2018, from

Mastery Journal - Product and Artist Management

During my first course, Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership, we had to identify goals for all of the courses in the EBMS program. My goals for Product and Artist Management were to (1) identify the role and importance of an artist manager - what they do and their impact on an artist’s career and brand - (2) understand the lifecycle of developing a product, and (3) be able to start the foundation of a management career. Eight months ago, all of these goals were applicable to where I thought I would be. But since my career goals have shifted, I had a new set of goals for this course. Nevertheless, all of those goals were still accomplished.

Artist managers are multifaceted. More importantly, their jobs are tailored to the artist that they are employed by. But their primary role is to act as a facilitator. Career wise, artist managers are the working force between artists and everyone else. They alleviate all the pressure that comes from the business aspect of the industry so that the artist can be creative. Artist managers create plans, timelines, and strategies all for the betterment of their artists and their careers. In essence, the artist manager coordinates the entire team representing the artist – an artist’s record label, publicist, lawyer, stylist, etc. Depending on when the artist manager is hired, their role can change. Artist managers can have different roles based on when and why they are hired. Some artists need help as they develop in the industry. Some artists need help negotiating deals and booking gigs. Some artists need help managing the personal lives. And managers can start working with an artist at any point in an artist’s career, so they must be prepared for the artist in their current state. The key is: knowing where to meet your artist and understanding how you can be an asset. Of course, a good artist manager will always be looking to move an artist forward in his/her career. However, the planning and the implementation to do this have to fall in line with the artist’s vision for himself. If the artist does not have a vision, it is part of the artist manager’s duties to help identify the vision and, then, work accordingly.

More recently, I have become less focused on artist management and more concerned with product management. Opening a nightclub, everything you offer becomes a product. Some products yield financial gains. Others aid in the experience that you want to provide which can in turn provide financial gains in another area. Either way, I - as a business owner – have to act similar to an artist manager. The same way an artist manager meets an artist where he/she and offers them a service, I am meeting my patrons where they are to provide them with a product and an experience. I am also coordinating a team to provide exemplary service to a group of people. I am connecting with the right people or the right resources to increase brand awareness and customer retention. I am engaging with consumers through a variety of platforms to tailor my products/services to my target niche.

나눌 수 있다는 것은.

처음에 Brad Frost의 Atomic Design 글을 봤을 때는 여러모로 놀라웠다. 물론 이전부터 디자인 패턴이나 컴포넌트에 대한 얘기는 있었지만. 저 수준까지 나눌 수 있다는 것은 흥미로웠다. 당시에는 Design System에 대해 놀라움과 가능성에 관해서 확인했기에 그 부분에 집중했지만, 지금 다시 생각해보면, 늘 일을 나눌 수 있어야 한다는 얘기를 들었던 터라, 결국은 그런 문제로 다시금 바라보게 되었다. 특히 최근에 Atomic Design의 논리를 활용해서 Product System에 대한 글도 있었고, Product Management 관련한 도구들도 있기에 메타적으로 조망하여 바라본다는 것은 결국은 내가 일을 얼마나 장악할 수 있느냐를 알 수 있게 하는 게 아닌가 싶었다.

그런 관점으로 다시 바라보게 됐을 때 여러 생각이 들었다. 어쨌든 내가 생각했을 때는 특정한 업무에 시스템이 갖춰진다는 것은 결국은 200% 전에 없던 새로운 것을 만들기 위한 뿌리이고, 빠르게 변하는 세상을 따라잡기 위한 도구로서의 의미가 있다고 생각했다. 결국은 이것을 따라잡는 것도 사람이 한다는 전제인데, 이렇게 점점 나눠진다는 것은 결국은 기계가 할 수 있는 바탕을 만들고 있지 않나 하는 생각이 든다. 물론 어떤 의도로서 이렇게 한다는 것에 대한 것은 여전히 잘 쌓고 있지 않은 것 같기도 해서, 쉬운 일은 아닐 것 같지만, 의도 보다는 양적인 것이 중요한 곳은 이미 이 방향으로 가고 있지 않았을까 한다. 알리바바만 봐도 이미 그렇게 흘러가고 있음을 알 수 있다.

또 한편으로는 물리학자 처럼(?) 생각하면 통일장 이론 같은 것을 만들려는, 아니면 이에 대입해서 뭔가를 설명하려고 하지 않을까 싶기도 하다. 그렇다면 우리 시대의 힉스 입자는 무엇이 될 수 있을까, 표준 모형은 무엇이 될까. 무언가가 있겠지만 확실히 콘텐츠에 대한 연구나 실험은 부족하지 않나 싶다. 콘텐츠 작성은 그나마 기계로 접근하고 있는 것 같긴 한데 같긴 한데, 활용 부분에서는 아직 까지는 잘 모르겠다.


This is a video of a talk I did for Product Tank Toronto. 

When you are working at a startup that’s found Product Market Fit, have a lot of happy customers and may even be making a ton of revenue, you still need to keep a foot on the innovation pedal. 

Make time, don’t Find time.
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Finding time to do … well, anything, is almost an impossible task. Being busy is relative and unique to each person. A student might say they’re super busy, and so will a working parent of two toddlers (me!).

Working at an agency or consultancy will always be crazy busy. I’ll sheepishly admit that I only recently came to this realization. And following that realization, I also realized that getting time learn something or do something wasn’t going to magically appear. It’s something I had to be very intentional about.

A discussion between a few co-workers around this topic happened shortly after my realization. Hearing others having a similar mindset to “one day I’ll get time to do X” was the catalyst for this post.

At Elevator Up we’re encouraged to do 6.4 hours of billable work a day, which leaves 1.6 hours for both company and personal related events or tasks. Those numbers seem odd (6.4 and 1.6) that’s because we aim for 32 billable hours per week. So the math works out to be weird on a daily level.

On Thursdays we have Team Time, we write blog posts, most days we have a daily stand up, and other days we’ll have spontaneous singing and dancing. Ok, not that last one. But besides these scheduled company events, it leaves time for individuals to pursue an interest of their own. 

I’ve heard individuals talk about:

  • Defining a Best Practices guide for development
  • Pulling together materials and thoughts for a new co-Learning course
  • Start learning a new dev language
  • Read industry trends or basically upskill yourself

It’s easy to do stuff and I’m a good example of doing the next task that’s in front of me. Especially if you’re given a list of tasks to check off, that’s what you’ll focus on until you don’t have tasks anymore. It’s a psychological happiness trigger - completing a set of tasks actually makes you feel satisfied. 

What’s difficult is to make time to do things that matter. Exercises that help you grow your career, your character, your health or just grow in general in a personal and professional context. 

Since I’ve started to watch co-workers track their time, I’ve noticed that it’s uncommon for people to spend that 1.5 hours / day intentionally - myself included! Putting in an 8+hr day might make you feel good (for a variety of reasons) but is it going to pay off in the long run - for you personally or for the business? I doubt it. Just the other day I told one of our developers to stop putting in such long days. Burnout is real, I’ve experienced it and I’ve seen it as a manager. And although I love our developers digging deep to get features deployed, it’s more important to me that they play the long game.

Time tracking is a post all of its own. Similarly, so is planning your day, week, year, etc. But with some intentional time spent on reaching a goal, over time it will pay off. So this is a challenge to myself and anyone else who reads this - be intentional about how your time is spent throughout the day. Make relaxing intentional, make getting a workout intentional, make your commute intentional … this list could go on.

Till next time!

Joel Taylor - Product Manager


Kevin Wiel - ex Twitter and now Head of Product at Instagram, shares one of Instagrams core values. To ‘do the simple thing first’. Great advice.
#entrepreneur #startups #uktech #siliconroundabount #siliconvalley #advice #wisewords #quote #productmanager #productmanagement

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Creative ways to say yes

It’s relatively common for a product owner to define his/her role as, at least in part, finding “creative ways to say no.” That is, requests for features or new products come in on a daily basis, and the product owner must find ways to say no to all those requests, allowing the team to remain highly focused and steered directly at the goal. To do this, one must be very good at saying no in new and creative ways, so as not to look like a jerk.

I would posit that this is backwards thinking. Of course it is important to focus. Of course you’ll have to say no to many various things. But it misses the point of a product owner’s actual role: to find creative solutions to give customers what they want.

The goal isn’t to find creative ways to say no. The the best product owners find creative ways to say yes. How can you fulfill a customer need in the shortest amount if time possible, while still keeping the puck pointed toward where the player is headed, not where they’re currently at? How can you take advantage of work your team has already completed to offer something in a slightly different, more interesting way?

Saying no is compelling in theory, but saying yes in truly creative ways can be much more powerful in practice.

Mastery of Artist & Product Management

In the beginning, I must admit I was wondering how we were going to discuss two very extensive subject areas in four weeks. But we pulled it off. The first two weeks we discussed the beautiful world of Artist Management. One of the first terms we discussed was show business, which is defined as the business of the show. The goal of any entrepreneur is to be able to thrive off your business until you’re able to fund yourself, and the music business is no different. As an Artist Manager, your job is to create revenue streams for a Talent. One of my assignments gave me the opportunity to look into the last days of Michael Jackson’s career along with his manager Tohme. Tohme was asked to assist Jackson with his debt and he did just that. He managed to find avenues for Jackson to make money to clear his debts and regain control of his finances. Unfortunately, Jackson passed before this could come to fruition. The job of an artist is to create a product that can be managed, which takes us to the next half of the course, Product Management.

Product Management is the process of analyzing markets and competitive conditions in order to devise a product vision that is different and delivers unique value based on customer demands. This area of discussion allowed me to take a deeper look into my own brand, XRO, and come up with a few products that could possibly take the brand to another level. After coming up with three distinctive products, the course transitioned into finding your distinctive audience. Finding the proper audience to sell to is called Target Marketing. The most important thing I learned about target marketing is breaking your audience down to the least common denominator by a particular certain criteria called demographics. There’s a wide range of statistical information available on social media sites like Facebook that can assist a product manager, artist, or promoter on where to market and sell. Anybody can create a product but do you know how to sell it. This course taught me the benefit of digging deep into demographics even more, in order to make a solid prediction on how many people buy your product.

Finally, we discussed the importance of social interaction and the new era of marketing. Social media platforms have given fans the ability to have a more personalized relationship with their favorite artists. Social media platforms have also given independent artists an environment to thrive in the music industry without a major label marketing team. Nowadays, an artist has the ability to manage and be in total control of their own career.