I gave each of my Product Managers a copy of Cluetrain Manifesto. I don’t know how many of them will read it.
Read the post for more on what A, B, X and Y represent.
The idea of product or concept alignment is so true:
Ideally, you want A and B to be identical as possible, or at least, in sync. The things that A is passionate about, B should also be passionate about. This we call “alignment”. A good example would be Apple. The people at Apple think the iPod is cool, and so do their customers. They are aligned.
When A and B are no longer aligned is when the company starts getting into trouble. When A starts saying their gizmo is great and B is telling everybody it sucks, then you have serious misalignment.
So when you get misalignment – what then? How can you or should you ‘fix it’? Back to MacLeod:
The answer lies in “x”, the membrane that seperates A from B. The more porous the membrane, the easier it is for conversations between A and B, the internal and external, to happen. The easier for the conversations on both side of membrane “x” to adjust to the other, to become like the other.
… nothing, and I do mean nothing, pokes holes in the membrane better than blogs. You want porous? You got porous. Blogs punch holes in membranes like like it was Swiss cheese.
The more porous your membrane (”x”), the easier it is for the internal conversation to inform the external conversation, and vice versa.
Not to mention it makes misalignment, if it happens, a lot easier to repair.
Putting this in context – for Product Management people:
We need to talk to customers; they need to be passionate and enthused about the products we “build”
We need to break down the barriers that historically have made these conversions difficult.
And that goes back to the first paragraph. Every one of my Product Management team has a copy of Cluetrain Manifesto. It’s not a guidebook, nor a bible, nor a ‘how to text’. At best I hope it’s food for thought.