Tag Archives: Work


There are particular kinds of games where you have to spend alot of time doing simple things to get your level up. An example is killing a million squirrels in the forest so you can buy the sword to go after a dragon in a cave. This technique is called grinding. Some games specialize in… Read More »

An ABM Adventure

I am Head of Product for Engagio, a SaaS application with lots of features and users who use them. (Is there any other type of SaaS application?) Warning: This blog post throws data around the web with total abandon and gets confusing. You have been warned. My Mission: To activate and spur usage in the system.… Read More »

Sphere of Influence, Control, Concern

An interesting way to frame an employee is by spheres, specifically three of them: Sphere of Control is the stuff you can decide on your own. This is people you manage and project you do the work personally. Sphere of Influence is stuff that you can guide through collaboration or subtle techniques. Your friendly co-worker… Read More »

Facts, Fakes and Fox

English is funny. Spelled different, pronounced the same, spelled the same, pronounced different. It’s like English doesn’t want to be “understood”. It’s like the language itself it trying to obfuscate the truth. Why is phonetic not spelled phonetically? Language is behind this whole issue. Whether you are in the world of product development or politics, the facts… Read More »

Product Management Bullshitometer

Recently, I’ve been interviewing candidates for Product Manager and sometimes I hear phrases that set off my bullshitometer. This is a finely tuned piece of equipment that I keep with me at all times. It can detect bullshit intensity from any source. When I interview people, I keep a close eye on it. CEO of… Read More »

Masterful Conversations

I’ve mentioned this technique in other posts, but I was searching for it and thought it deserved its own spot. The technique is one that I learned during my 12 months at Intuit in 2006 called Masterful Conversations. The basic premise of the technique is that we collectively spend all of our time talking about… Read More »

Hiring UX Designer 2016

I am starting my search for a UX Designer to join our team at Engagio. I actually prefer people in the earlier stages of their career. (Directors need not apply) Designer Characteristics: Creative. Can come up with new solutions to problems. OCD. Does it bother you that their is a mistake in this question? Productive.… Read More »

Happy is not my preferred state of being

My mom asks me all the time, “Are you happy?” I find the question to be annoying. (Sorry mom) The reason is that I don’t actually want to be “happy”. Happy to me implies blissful cow-like behavior. It implies sitting and staring at the sunset and thinking, “Gee, this is swell.” To me, it’s boring to… Read More »

Hiring a Product Manager – 2016

I just started a search for a product manager on my team at Engagio. Summary Smart, intuitive, empathetic, energetic, friendly, fun person who can put on a professional game face for customers and partners. Here are some additional qualities I look for. Works well with others A Product Manager works with engineering, sales, design, customer… Read More »

The Gooey Emotional Center

Marketo Retrospective Part 9 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. This might be the last one. It’s the part that very few people understand, but I think it is the reason Marketo did well. Some people call it Product Market Fit, but to me that doesn’t do… Read More »

Marketo Marketing

Marketo Retrospective Part 8 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. Today, I focus on the Marketo’s Marketing. Like building a Sales Team I think this is an area that Marketo really shined and set the benchmark for thousands of other companies in the past 10 years. Content Marketing… Read More »

Email Transparency, Pandora’s Box

If you have a corporate email address, you should read this post. You currently may not realize, but IT and the management of the company have full rights and access to your email..right now. They can copy your entire inbox and see every message. This probably doesn’t bother you too much because the reality is… Read More »

Building a Startup Sales Team

Marketo Retrospective Part 7 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. Today, I focus on Building a Startup Sales Team. I think this is an area that Marketo really shined and set the benchmark for thousands of other companies in the past 10 years. In the beginning of… Read More »

Brand, Culture and Recruiting

Marketo Retrospective Part 5 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. So far, the learnings have been in fits and spurts. Also, not much complaining so far.  Today, I’m thinking about how Brand Identity evolved at Marketo and specifically how it related to culture and recruiting.… Read More »

UI Frameworks (2006-2016)

Marketo Retrospective Part 4 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. I learned alot of things and this is my way of processing all of that experience into bite-sized nuggets of wisdom. Today, a little deep dive into how the client-side technology has evolved. UI Frameworks… Read More »

Remote Offices

Marketo Retrospective Part 3 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. I learned alot of things and this is my way of processing all of that experience into bite-sized nuggets of wisdom. Today, here is what I learned about remote offices. Sales Offices Marketo had many… Read More »

The Power of a Single Word

I am a firm believer in retrospectives. How can you expect to improve without looking back at what you did? I am going to do a series of lessons learned from my 9 years at Marketo. Doing one giant post will be too long, so I’m breaking it up. This is Lesson 1. The Power of… Read More »

Engagio closed $22M Series B

Original Haiku Post I am currently Head of Magic (PM/UX) at Engagio. The experience so far has been excellent. The culture is authentic and vibrant. The product vision is very strong and the market dynamics couldn’t be better. Engagio has a strong analytics product already in the market, which is doing very well. Additionally, we have built… Read More »

Product Responsibility Framework v0.1

I’ve been thinking about how product teams are organized. I have seen several good frameworks out there, but none felt quite right to me. There are traditional models, but of course, I want to try something new. I took the framework from Pragmatic Marketing and started moving things around. I put the columns into chronological order… Read More »

Managing via Dials

Often, I will have feedback for a product manager, marketer or designer when they are writing text. I find that people have a hard time taking the feedback in a very specific way. If you say it’s too serious, they assume you want to take it to the extreme. As if there are only 2… Read More »

Marketo Summit 2016

My first summit was in 2010. It was a simple affair, more like a meetup. There were about 120 people total all fitting in one room. It was fun and familial. I remember we had a thing called Marketo Idol where users would describe the coolest thing they did with a Smart Campaign. Alexandre Pelletier won.… Read More »

Head of Magic Business Cards

My title at Marketo was Mayor, Awesome Town. I requested it on a lark, as a joke of sorts. They let me have it. Since then, I loved giving my cards to people. I figured I should leave Awesome Town behind with my new gig at Engagio. Now my title is Head of Magic. I… Read More »

Google Inbox/Calendar vs Outlook

I have not had an easy time adjusting to Google Apps. GMail is ugly, Inbox is pretty but severely limited and Google Calendar is deeply frustrating. More and more, I have been missing the power and elegance of Microsoft Outlook. I decided to try and use Outlook on top of Google Apps. At first, I… Read More »

A Few Rules for a Good Resume

I’ve been helping my sister with her resume. Here are a few good rules of thumb: Make it look nice visually Before anyone reads it, they look at it. The first impression happens in less than 2 seconds. Make it look nice. I downloaded a free template and then modified it. If you aren’t sure, ask… Read More »

Head of Magic (Startup Motivation)

I don’t work at a startup to make money for the company. I try to make money for the company so I can work at a startup. The opportunity to make something new, solve a problem in a new way, change how people do their jobs is what I work for. Innovation is a word that… Read More »

Right hand needed for two weeks

The doctor said not to use my right hand at all for two weeks. This gave me an idea. This is a long shot but I figured I would ask. Is there a junior designer without a job who wants to sit at my desk and be my hands for two weeks? I’m right in… Read More »

The UX Pie of Caring

I just realized that I really don’t have a blog post about this design principle. It is not specific to the design, but rather to the process of designing within a company. In the real world, you don’t get to define 100% of the product, nor should you. You need to collaborate with other people to… Read More »

Succession Plans

A few years before I left Marketo, I started thinking about my succession plan. I knew that I might leave one day, so it was important to me that I leave the organization in good shape to live without me. This was complicated by the fact that I had designed most of the product. For… Read More »

Different Kinds of HR

HR departments are supposed to do a bunch of good things. However, I think they don’t quite work out that way most of the time. Which kind of HR do you have? The “Avoid Lawsuit” Department From misconduct and harassment to injuries and workers comp, this kind of HR almost want people to wear helmets… Read More »

Account Based Marketing

For the better part of the last ten years, I have seen the world through the eyes of a demand generation marketer. Starting with Kelly Abner and working through thousands of others, my point of view was how to help them create more leads and nurture them through a funnel. Now that I have started… Read More »