Reflections on 2016 & notes to self for 2017

I write my final 2016 blog post to you from London whilst sitting in my brother William’s apartment. Outside, the sky is completely grey and the trees have all been stripped naked of their leaves. The streets are empty, save for a few souls that dare brave London’s blistering winter weather. A few times an hour, a red double decker bus whizzes past to add some colour into my view.

Every year, this is a post I want to write. But I may not get around to doing it. I do think about my reflections for 2016 and my goals – aka hopes/dreams/fears for the next year. I do it with a good friend of mine where we’ll meet up during the year to talk about it. This post is as much for me as it is for you. Thanks to my friends Fiona Chan & Samantha Low for writing their reflections which helped to inspire me.

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Cadence is king

I want to write about a topic that I’ve mentioned in my podcast and in various discussions with other product folks.

I recently did a presentation on the Confluence Cloud mobile app to my fellow product manager’s in the Confluence team. I was giving a presentation about a decision we were making to get feedback. I got to the meeting early about 5 minutes before everyone else. So to give them some context, I drew a timeline. It was a straight line to represent the whole year, with horizontal marks for each month from January to December.

Then I did a review of the past year, writing on each month the release we had shipped in 1- 2 words. It looked like this:

* January – launch
* Feb – search
* March – notifications tab
And so on for each month.

In total, we have shipped 12 releases during the year from major feature releases to point releases with bug fixes.

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Scaling customer support for SaaS with Alex Holmes, Influx (S2E10)

S2E10 scaling customer support SaaS

We chat with Alex Holmes, CMO from Influx. Influx helps you get customer support, done. They provide elastic support which is based on a transactional model. Influx focuses on assisting SaaS and eCommerce businesses.

Alex is an online marketer by trade, having worked at Envato, Tripit and other online companies.

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Partnerships are about relationships with Jordan Sim, BigCommerce (S2E9)

S2E9 - Partnerships BigCommerce

I chat with Jordan Sim, Group Product Manager at BigCommerce. He focuses on enabling and implementing strategic business development partnerships with the BigCommerce product. Jordan oversees two areas – order fulfilment and shipping logistics.

He’s launched and managed product integrations with Intuit Quickbooks, Alibaba, and led the transition of MagentoGo & eBay Prostore clients to BigCommerce.

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Facebook marketplaces mobile app teardown

Last week Facebook announced Marketplaces. It enables users to buy and sell within Facebook. Its more like list items and make offers on items. Facebook has had Buy & Sell groups previously. I’m a member of several Buy & Sell groups, but not really an active member. I do use Facebook groups a lot as I’m a moderator of the Sydney Startups Facebook group.

Facebook Marketplaces is going head to head with Craigslist, Gumtree and eBay. It claims that it has 450mil MAU (monthly active users) for buy & sell groups. That’s huge. I’m curious how they calculate that. Given that I’m a member of several groups, I might view an update in my feed. But it doesn’t mean that I’ve engaged with it.

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Mobile User Experience Research – This Mobile Life Podcast (S2E8)

I chat to Anna Lee Anda, UX research at Zendesk for S2E8 of This Mobile Life.  This podcast is about mobile user experience research. Anna is based in Singapore. She’s worked in UX & product. Anna shares some great insights into SaaS user research from Zendesk. Previously, she worked at Seek, one of Asia-Pacific’s largest recruitment marketplace. Anna has also worked on ANZ’s Go Money app which has millions of downloads.

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Making The World More Playful – This Mobile Life S2E7

We chat to Mike Gardiner, Founder of Lime Rocket, the developers of BuzzyTV Games. Very excited to chat to Mike as its a very cool company and product! Listen below to podcast S2E7 (Season 2 Episode 7) on “Making The World More Playful“.

Making The World More Playful

BuzzyTV Games enables multiplayer big screen games at events & in classrooms that are playable using phone as game controllers. With no app required players can connect in seconds and be playing alongside hundreds of others to compete in leaderboards and win prizes.

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