From the cradle to the grave

During the last couple of month's worth of conversations with product managers and product marketers, the following questions popped up with conspicuous regularity:

  • What's the difference between an offering and a product?
  • How much do service offerings need to be treated as products, meaning that they need real product management?
  • How do you know when something is ready to be called a product?
  • How do other companies handle "productization"?
  • What best practices do other vendors use when defining the product roadmap?
  • Should we put our product into maintenance mode?
  • Realistically, when can we cut off support?

The order in which I've placed these questions is no accident. They're the cycle of birth, maturation, old age, and death that all products face.

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