Dear Product Manager, start from the experience, not the tech

This is an attitude I am also only just learning to inculcate. Often product designers are tempted to start from how a piece of technology works, then start trying to cobble a user experience around it. In this article, I propose a step by step approach to go from idea to happy users (or customers).

Ope Adeoye 7 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dealing with not-invented-here syndrome (NIHS)

Every company needing to get into a new area has to take a build-buy-partner decision. If you go with anything other than build, you take the risk of irking the internal forces. How to deal with this?

Ope Adeoye 1 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Product Manager, you can't avoid doing rogue projects.

I don't believe a Product Manager that will be effective can play strictly by the book. It's always hard to get EVERYONE on the same page. At times, if you want to move forward, you've got to just do it. It's easier to seek forgiveness than to seek permission in a large group.

Ope Adeoye 5 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Product Manager, here's a tip for getting buy-in for your product design proposal

In theory, a Product Manager spends so much more time covering all aspects of the product that she's in the best position to have a well rounded view for how the product should function and be used. This makes a lot of PMs become overzealous at times and get ahead of themselves completely designing a product's features and then they get an argumentative roadblock when they try to get others to agree to their approach. Here, I propose a way to get round it.

Ope Adeoye 6 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Successful incumbent struggling to innovate? Here's a proposal for you to consider.

As a company becomes financially successful, it becomes harder to innovate and break into new areas; often because of various factors including risk aversion, organisational bloat, opportunity sizing, etc. Everyone accepts that this is dangerous to the long term health of a company, especially in technology. Here I propose an approach that can particularly suit tech companies.

Ope Adeoye 7 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Is Hotels.ng pushing a good culture?

Having been watching from afar the kinds of moves Hotels.ng is making, I think I like what I'm seeing and this for me is a "salute post" from the back of the audience gallery.

Ope Adeoye 4 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Startup, here are two ways to spend the money you just raised

When a startup just raises money (at times for the first time). There are usually so many pendings to clear out. Like getting a real office (at last!), having official cars with the company logo on it, etc. But is there another way? Can those very pressing needs wait a bit till one is sure revenue is sustainable? Or at least chances of raising next round is guaranteed?

Ope Adeoye 3 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Product Manager, you don't need more features

Too often I hear customers and business leaders ask the product manager to get more features into a release. But really, is that what the product needs at this time? Do more features hurt or improve the product?

Ope Adeoye 6 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Setting off on a new adventure...

After spending the last two years anchoring strategy at Interswitch and pursuing partnership opportunities, one of those "partnerships" has evolved into something more and I'll now be moving on to a new role.

Ope Adeoye 1 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Bots. Bots. Bots. How will it end?

Bots are the new rave. You know, that intelligent conversation you can have inside your favorite chat app that will then execute a service for you. Here, I postulate on various ways this rave could end.

Ope Adeoye 6 minute read

Ope Adeoye

If you could rewind 15 years, what would you do differently?

Had lunch with a (new) friend recently who asked me this question. I had never given it thought before, and I really struggled to answer. I think it's a profound question to ask oneself. It may help in charting a course for the next 15.

Ope Adeoye 3 minute read

Ope Adeoye

My list of recommended features for Twitter

I know they didn't ask me and they probably have folks waaaay more genius-y than me recommending what features they can add, but please, humor me. Right? So, here are the list of feature I'd love to see on Twitter

Ope Adeoye 1 minute read

Ope Adeoye

This thing about Nigerian new tech companies and layoffs

In the past 12 months or thereabouts, there's been news after news of aggressive cost cutting measures by the new companies on the Nigerian tech scene. I take a jab at why this is so and suggest there's a better way.

Ope Adeoye 5 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Proposal: An online stock exchange for small tech companies in Nigeria

I'm of the opinion that as more people are embracing the "startup" culture, there's a need for some mechanism that makes it possible for investors to get their money out at a reasonable profit without negatively impacting the business. In this piece I suggest some form of internet based stock exchange.

Ope Adeoye 6 minute read

Ope Adeoye

A tale of two startups

Two people, same business, roughly same results so far. But the difference? One has so much "packaging" overhead and the other is an obscure little operation. Which will you invest your pension money in?

Ope Adeoye 9 minute read

Ope Adeoye

In defence of the FartApp

Too many apps and "startups" these days doing stuff that makes the heads of most reasonable people spin. What does "Yo" do again? But on closer look, maybe the phenomenon of meaningless apps and companies is not that bad.

Ope Adeoye 9 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Product Manager, Here are MY lessons from the rise (and rise?) of 737

In recent times, GTBank's 737 banking has been the hot product in the Fintech space in Nigeria that quite a number of us have looked at with longing and expectations of how it can be extended to cover more use scenarios. In this piece, I look at lessons a product manager can extract from the execution of this service

Ope Adeoye 8 minute read

Ope Adeoye

The suited-up windscreen cleaner vs the cardboard lady. And Frank Donga.

How does one take the little one has to get ahead in life? Recently 2 stories hit the Nigerian internet, one about a lady graduate who couldn't get a job and stood at a street corner till she got noticed. The other about a guy who cleans windscreens all dressed up like a business man... I take a critical look at the similarities and differences of both scenarios.

Ope Adeoye 6 minute read

Ope Adeoye

What if you ran your life like a company?

Vision. Mission. Strategy. Team. KPIs. Roadmap. Budget. Assets. Liabilities. Etc... Would you have a more fulfilling experience with your time on this planet if you lived this way?

Ope Adeoye 12 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Product Manager, your winning idea will likely not be yours...

It is often assumed that Product Managers have the primary responsibility of coming up with brilliant and creative ideas for features, customer experience scenarios and new products. This assumption is far from accurate. Mostly. In the area of idea generation, the PM gets better mileage by fostering an environment that let's others come up with great ideas that she then works to validate.

Ope Adeoye 3 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Want to be creative? Here's a way.

We all want to constantly express creative ideas or come up with solutions that are perceived to be creative to specific problems. Maybe creativity is more of grunt work & deliberate pre-practice than flashes of genius?

Ope Adeoye 4 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Are you a pipe, a tap or the water corporation?

It's important to be clear on which part of the value chain for a specific problem-solution domain your business sits. This way you can properly optimize for that position while keeping an eye out for people that may be trying to encroach into your corner...

Ope Adeoye 7 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Product Manager, be insanely focused

Don't get sucked into a thousand little irrelevant activities; rather, identify the key levers that significantly impact your product's success. Maintain insane focus on your vision. Guard your product positioning jealousy

Ope Adeoye 2 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Dear Product Manager, influence is your biggest asset

A product Manager has to wear many hats and be part of many things. For such a role with diverse responsibilities, we have all come to accept that one who will do well must pack a Swiss army knife. But of all the blades in the knife, which is the most crucial?

Ope Adeoye 4 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Hilarious: This is how to scam a scammer

We all get those text messages and emails that say "CBN wants you to update your card". So, I got one and Sandra thought we should have some fun and yank the people's chain a bit...

Ope Adeoye 2 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Evolution of my reading habits

The way my reading habits have evolved over the recent years might be a representation of changes in the bigger world and predictor of where the world is going?

Ope Adeoye 1 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Of Netflix, iROKOtv and DSTV

Netflix announced yesterday that the streaming service will now be available in a number of countries where it was not before. Including Nigeria. The usual "disrupt" crowd has started getting excited again. Let me jump into the kpotokpoto too...

Ope Adeoye 3 minute read

Ope Adeoye

The rise of the returnees

Look around you. A lot of the new ventures grabbing the buzz in Nigeria today and getting funded are led mostly by people who have gone off to live abroad and come back home. It's true. It's real. I'll throw some ideas up in the air as to why I think this is so.

Ope Adeoye 3 minute read

Ope Adeoye

The pursuit of career happy-ness

I posit that for everyone who gets out of bed in the morning and hits the road to get about the day's business, it's one of four things that's motivating him/her. Having a clear self-awareness of which of the four can help with focus and career planning.

Ope Adeoye 9 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Why am I often dressed in black?

I have 2 answers I often give to people who notice that I am often dressed in black. The one I choose depends on which I think will be funnier at the time.

Ope Adeoye 1 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Of elders and the young

Watching my Twitter timeline, I have been seeing a pattern. A tech big Bros somebody dishes out advice to supposedly younger starry-eyed ones. And the younger ones asking Bros to support the movement or keep his advice to himself. Or herself as the case may be. My take? It's the cycle of life. Why fight it?

Ope Adeoye 2 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Maybe there’s no market yet for Stripe in Nigeria

Companies like Stripe, Braintree, 2CO, etc represent the proposition to make it easier for developers and new(er) businesses to integrate consumer payments into their digital services. This is very much required in the mature markets where they focus their operations. Unfortunately, the Nigerian market has not reached that stage yet and while the same need is here, the demand is not sizeable enough to attract highly capitalized businesses like that to jump in feet first into Nigeria

Ope Adeoye 4 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Nigeria will soon produce her first set of dot com millionaires

I feel I'm kindof stating the obvious. Watching how things are playing out, it seems safe to assume that in 5 years or less, the Nigerian tech scene will produce a few interesting exits or funding rounds that permit founders to take cash off the table or businesses that grow to become true cash generation engines.

Ope Adeoye 3 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Why customer service is everything

The benefits of providing brilliant customer relations far outweigh the problems. Just give your customers a great experience doing business with you and you’ll end up with positive PR and ultimately more customers soon enough

Ope Adeoye 12 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Context over dogma

If you can create your business processes, then manage to give it some open ends that make the judgement of your team important, the benefits to team morale and overall creativity in the execution of business functions far outweigh repeat-ability and business continuity.

Ope Adeoye 8 minute read

Ope Adeoye

Letting plumbers duplicate your product

If you are in the process of creating a product, ask yourself ‘what can I do to make it allow others spread it for me and also benefit?’. Also if you are already in business and you are trying hard to ‘protect your turf’, re-think your strategy and see how you can create ‘some kind of platform’ around what you do that allows others to also play.

Ope Adeoye 11 minute read

Ope Adeoye