The Prodify Blog

Applying Vision-Led Product Management in the real world.

Advisor Case Study: The Behavioral Science Behind Triggers

The following is adapted from Build What Matters. I had no idea what behavioral science was until I joined Ben at Opower. There, I learned that our entire company was founded on a behavioral experiment by Dr. Robert Cialdini, who found that the most effective way to get people to reduce their home energy usage was to tell them they were using more than their neighbors. This peer comparison was more effective than any message about saving money or the environment.
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Advisor Case Study: Time Horizons and Financial Results

The following is adapted from Build What Matters. After Morningstar acquired HelloWallet, there was a grand vision for how our two products would come together to provide even more value to consumers and clients.
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Advisor Case Study: Too Many Outcomes

The following is adapted from Build What Matters. Right before I joined HelloWallet as a Senior Product Manager, the company pivoted from a B2C business model to a B2B2C model, selling our financial wellness products to large companies as an employee benefit. As a part of this transition, I started joining sales calls with our buyers: HR leaders. Of course, the sales team wanted to focus those calls on moving the deal forward, so after I did a product demo, I usually only had time to ask the prospect one question. After some trial and error, I landed on a question that provided the most insight:
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Advisor Case Study: Hidden Shipping Costs

The following is adapted from Build What Matters. One of the most fundamental experiences in an e-commerce product is called “finding,” showing buyers the items they’re looking for. At eBay, I was product manager on the finding team responsible for the item details page, which showed what sellers listed. Counterparts on my team included product managers for searching, browsing, the bidding flow, and so on. Our team collaborated well, worked hard, and learned a great deal from one another. We also made our share of mistakes.
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Advisor Case Study: Constantly Changing Priorities

The following is adapted from Build What Matters. When I joined Adchemy, a twenty-five-person startup, in 2006, the company had already built ingenious machine learning technology capable of generating and optimizing billions of ads and landing pages every day. The promise of that technology led to multiple funding rounds and a $400 million valuation in 2009.
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Advisor Case Study: The Color-Coded Product Roadmap

The following is adapted from Build What Matters. The Never-Ending Customer Commitment Cycle I vividly remember joining Opower as the VP of product in early 2010. In my second week, the board requested to see a product roadmap. Scrambling to deliver, the obvious starting point was learning from the team what had already been planned. In doing so, I discovered two surprising facts:
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Advisor Case Study: Assuming What Users Want

The following is adapted from Build What Matters. Spring 2014 was an exciting time for me. Not only was our first son due, but I also saw two exits from the startups I worked for. Opower went public in April, and HelloWallet was acquired by a strategic investor, Morningstar, in May. Nervous about working for a “big” enterprise like Morningstar, I immediately decided to launch a dating app my buddy and I had been talking about for years. The idea was simple: matching people based on the actual places they go, because people are more likely to be interested in someone who goes to the same bars, restaurants, parks, museums, and ball parks. Location-based check-ins on Facebook and Foursquare (Swarm) were rising, so we pulled data from those platforms. I called the app Wentroductions, and to this day, I cringe at the awkward name choice.
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