Saturday, April 22, 2017

10 most useful browser addons for product managers

  1. Edit this cookie
As product manager if you do drive a lot of A/B experiments based on cookie values, this extension is of great help. This  can help you quickly set the desired cookie value and see different experiences/features attached to that cookie value and change everything related with cookie
  1. Tag Assistant by Google
This extension is handly tool to check all the Google analytics events which are firing on a particular page or a certain action. Once you enable the extension, perform the action for which you need to analytics and review the extension pane to see the tracking details

  1. Effin UTM builder
Tracking the traffic and conversions coming through various campaigns is really important to understand the effectiveness of campaigns and realign the budgets. Using UTM parameters is a widely accepted method of tracking campaign performance. This extension provides a quick way to save time and create URLs with UTM parameters

  1. Perfect pixel
It helps you understand the variations in the final page/screen from the initial design to begin with.
PerfectPixel allows you create a translucent layer on the page to add the final mock. This way you can easily compare the output and decide whether there are any variations and if in the acceptable limit

  1. SEOquake
Very handy tool to understand the SEO related metrics for any page instantly. It tells you the Keyword density, internal and external links, etc. It can also do a quick SEO audit of the page for quick and easy optimizations as it give out the tips for fixing the highlighted issues

  1. Rapportive
This extension is most useful for PMs or ppl in outbound role where they have to interact with a lot of external folks. This extension shows rich social networking profiles of  the email sender right inside your gmail account with the actional CTAs. Useful for networking.

  1. User-Agent Switcher
This extension adds a quick button to your browser to allow you to switch and mimic different user-agents. It pretty much has all popular browsers and devices and I like it because of its simplicity

  1. Awesome screenshots
As name suggests, this extension lets you take a screenshot but what makes it awesome is the ability to capture the entire scroll, add annotations, comments, blur sensitive info, and share with ease

  1. Product hunt
is a new-tab chrome extension, it replaces your default tab with latest product releases with summary and links to try them out. A good to keep track of what’s new products are getting released

  1. Sortd
This is not only useful for product managers but for anyone who uses gmail and is a fan of trello. It is basically a smart skin for gmail which allows you to drag drop and categories emails. It also embeds some useful buttons in the regular gmail UI for you to prioritize, set reminders, follow-up or snooze emails.

Other than these the 2 more extensions which I find really useful increasing the productivity but are more generic in nature are Toomanytabs and Wunderlist.

Hope you find the list useful. Do share your fav. add-ons in the comments section as a product guy

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Reinvent the Wheel

Whosoever popularized the phrase "do not reinvent the wheel" obviously failed to anticipate the fierce competition and market dynamics of 21st century that are causing wear and tear to the famous old wheel. Today, if a product needs to stay competent it not only needs to build on the existing services and product offerings but reinvent them all together. Hitherto, the phrase is so deeply imbibed in corporate language that one fails to properly think through it.

This article talks about 2 scenarios where it makes more sense in the long run to go for reinvention/redesign of the product or service. It also introduces the concept of ‘Reinvention Trap’ and how to avoid the same

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Managing App constellation and App unbundling

App unbundling is nothing but carving out specific functionalities from the app and offer them as stand alone specialty apps under the a single umbrella and in turn create app constellation. It is not necessary that App constellation will always be created by carving out some feature from the existing app, a new feature can also be launched as a new app. Unbundling has received a lot of attention from big and small players equally in the recent past.

This post will not only ask the right questions to help you decide on your app strategy, but also give you the pointers which could make all the difference

Why create App constellation?

Mutually exclusive user segments primarily use only selected functionalities of the app. Hence it makes perfect sense to unbundle the app for specific users. Also assimilating more and more features into a single app makes it bulky, clumsy, prone to more crashes and requiring more frequent releases then what users would tolerate.

It is also an effective way to use your established app with a large user base to drive traffic and distribution towards your newer app.

When to unbundle

It is easy to see the need of unbundling if you have strong use cases for separate apps or even when the app you are splitting into is not just a feature, but a full fledged service. But the need is not this clear. Some of the subtle cases which are easy to miss include 

1. The prime spot dilemma - Competition arising among different functions for the primary CTA and all are equally important for a great user experience.

2. The Growth boost selective blindness - User base and feature set combination grows beyond initial focus but continues to serve the original mission

Advantages of Unbundling

1. Faster Iterations - Less the usecases an app caters, lesser the QA cycle will be and the time to market will be slightly faster

2. Robustness - Less the features in the app, lesser will be the complexity and in turn lesser the number of crashes

3. Specialized and Simplified experience - Mobile app user is often task oriented. In other words users almost exclusively use selected features. Unbundling allows you to concentrate on more targeted user base and what they want

4. Increased ad inventory, Controlled update cycles, App size arrest are some added advantages of unbundling

Challenges in App unbundling

1. Increased cost of user acquisition - App user acquisition cost easily ranges between $1 - $10. So the more the number of apps, the higher the spends will be.

2. Navigating the development and design requirements - Since every organization has limited set of resources, the more apps you add in your portfolio the difficult it becomes to deal with the versions, interoperability and keeping pace with the app upgrades.

3. Keeping the engagement high over time - It becomes difficult to keep the users always excited about your app with a limited set of features and specialized offerings.

4. Play store visibility - Gaining visibility in the app stores can be magnified when dealing with multiple apps. Though with the latest Play store desktop revamp, I believe it turns to your advantage. At least the right rail of your app page will not be taken over by competitors apps showing up there.

5. Network effect - Demand-side economies of scale can go for a toss if the existing user base starts splitting in unintended fashion

6. App rank - Play store rank is an indirect is a function of download, which will go down with split in the marketing efforts & users

7. Authentic experience confusion - A confusion can easily arise in users mind if he sees multiple apps from a same developer to which one would fit his needs in the best possible way

8. Also, lets not forget about the fact that should matter most - Inconvenience to users. As more storage is needed for installing multiple apps, the chances of app cannibalisation increases drastically

Types of App constellations / Ways to Unbundle 

1. Based on User segment
(Zomato for business, Zomato order, Zomato restaurant finder, Linkedin Recruiter)

2. Based on a strong specific use cases
(Linkedin’s Job search, Linkedin Pulse, FB messenger)

3. Based on operating Market
(OLX Brazil, OLX Indonesia, etc.)

4. Based on Premium features
(Nova Launcher prime, CamScanner License)

5. Based on Verticals
(Gdrive – Sheets, Docs, Slides,)

Best practices

1. Keep it light - Constellation apps should be lightweight as the overlapping user segments will probably need to have more than 1 app now on their devices

2. Have a Transition period - Before you require your users to download the new app, ensure they understand what it is and how the new app is going to better serve their needs. The additional benefit of this approach is to work out any kinks in the new app

3. Cross App login - Automatic profile transition and login helps with the user adoption as they can directly start using it

4. Avoid the Nuclear approach – Don’t force the download with the approach of download the app or loose this feature. Forcing download results in –ve app rating and can potentially lose a user segment

5. Cross promotion and interaction - Create the communication bridge between different apps. Surface the entry to other apps at right places but in a subtle way. Keep the path open for cross app back and forth

Stats that matters

Following are some numbers that you should consider before deciding on going down the unbundling road

1. Apps used by users per month : ~ 20-25 (varies depending upon the user market)
2. Average Apps installed per phone: ~ 20-25
3. Most users generally use ~20% of overall experience of an app (except the game apps)

4. The amount of time users spend on apps increased from 2013 to 2014, but the average number of apps actually used remained flat year-over-year at roughly 26

5. Finally, do an analysis identifying the overlap of users between the usecases you are planning to separate. If the number of users is high, take a pause and re-assess the whole strategy

Monday, April 20, 2015

Right time to release mobile app update

Mobile apps were already taking over the center stage for consumer web products but with the latest trend from major players of closing down the websites and offering app only experience is reshaping the way companies do business.  With limited storage capability of mobile phones and data plans still being precious, it becomes even more important to understand the frequency at which you should publish updates to your mobile app irrespective of the mobile platform (Android, Windows, iOS) 

In case of websites, the updates are less intrusive. Users generally do not even notice them unless they includes user facing changes and all the users automatically get the latest experience as soon as they visit the site. So weekly or twice a week releases are fairly accepted practice. Companies even strive to attain CISD (Continuous Improvement Continuous Deployment) state. 

Mobile apps world is totally different.
Every time you need to introduce a new feature, modify existing flow or fix a bug, it needs an app release. Now your existing users need to upgrade to the latest app version to benefit from the new update.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Feature ideas for YouTube

In one way or the other every internet user has used Either for entertainment, learning or for cant speak in public purposes. I also believe that the feature offerings from the YouTube has always being on the minimalistic side. Below are few interesting feature ideas which I would love to see assimilated in YouTube in near future

1. YouTube premium - I wonder why Youtube does not have an ads free, paid subscription version with some added benefits? I am sure there is significant audiance out there who value time more than money and would happily pay for an ads free video watching experience.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Technical Product Manager- What, Why and How ?

What is Technical product manager - Role, expectations and responsibilities?

'Technical Product manager' is a variation of Product manager's role and as name suggest expects the candidate to be technically strong apart from being able to perform regular product functions. A general misconception is that a 'Technical product manager' (TPM in following occurrences) need to know how to code. While it is true that a TPM should have good understanding of the product he is managing from the technical standpoint like - API standards the product is using/offering or what the data model for the product is, but as a TPM you are never expected to code even though you might know coding. TPM is expected to get deeply involved in the design and architectural discussions to shape the product as customers need it. You should know the capabilities and limitations of the your technical stack. This in turn will empower you to take decisions like when to prioritize tech debt over new feature development.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Paradigm shift in advertising with pay per performance

Marketing executives in television work with a relatively stable advertising medium. In many ways, the television ads aired today are similar to those aired two decades ago. Most television ads still feature actors, still run 30 or 60 seconds, and still show a product. However, the differing dynamics of the Internet pose unique challenges to advertisers, forcing them to adapt their practices and techniques on a regular basis.

In the early days of Internet marketing, online advertisers employed banner and pop-up ads to attract customers. These techniques reached large audiences, generated many sales leads, and came at a low cost. However, a small number of Internet users began to consider these advertising techniques intrusive and annoying. Yet because marketing strategies relying heavily on banners and pop-ups produced results, companies invested growing amounts of money into purchasing these ad types in hopes of capturing market share in the burgeoning online economy.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ramanagara: Silk City, Vulture Sanctuary and Sholay Hills

Ramanagara, known as the Silk City of Karnataka is situated at about 60 kms from Bangalore. It is a small town between Bangalore and Mysore but has many attractions.  Some of the main attractions are Asia's largest raw silk market, Vulture Sanctuary and the famous Sholay hills.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Photography Calendar 2014

Here is the 3rd edition of my Photography Calendar. 12 selected photos which I clicked in 2013.

Download link for high resolution images -

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wallpaper Calendar 2013

Here is the second edition of my photography calendar. It has 12 selected photographs which I clicked this year. The calendar also has major Indian holidays listed for easy reference.

As always suggestions & feedback are welcome

Download Link : Archit Shrivastava's Photography Calendar 2013  (go to File and then Download)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bangalore Roaming Guide

Hi All, After a long break (as I was busy with college/placements and later shifted to Bangalore) I am back to blogging.
As now i am kinda settled here in Bangalore so I started looking again for places to roam/eat/hangout etc. 
and one of the forwarded email became one stop solution for all my search. Kudos to whoever consolidated this list below as it seems pretty exhaustive to me. Probably Bangalorians who are here for a long time can comment on the up to date nature of this. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The MBA underworld -

Guys i am very happy to share the good news that finally after so many days of delay the website is up and running. About an year back when I was sitting with  Kiran and Krishna and struggling to find right resources at right time to keep pace with hectic MBA life, I got this idea to build a website so that at least the following batches need not go through the same trauma :-/ The idea was so intimidating that Krishna instantly told me to book the domain name and luckily I found available.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An ad Idea

*this is written in hindi english mix as i was planning to post it on FB

Kindly visualize the story to get the feel

Ek middle class family ki subah ka sceen (dadaji aram kursi pe bethe paper padh rahe hein, wife parathe bana rahi he aur husband tayyar ho raha hai. Husband ka mobile bajta hai (husband ki mnc me job karta hai). Wo late hota rehta he to speaker pe dal deta he aur tie theek karne lagta hai. Udhar door bell bajti he wife darwaja kholti hai. Dekhti hai ki raddi wala hota hai. Usko gate pe hi rukne ka bol ke wo raddi (newspapers, purani magazines etc) lene chali jatai hai.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Photography workshop for students of Y! Parikrama School.

Recently I conducted a Photography workshop for students of  Y! Parikrama School.

school wall painted by students
I along with Madan, Shakira and Abhinav (all Yahoos) visited Yahoo! Parikrama School last Friday. During our visit apart from conducting the workshop we also got a chance to meet the principal madam. She is a very energetic and charismatic lady. She explained us the way they are running the school and the kind of fantastic result they are getting. The school helps to identify and groom the talent in the students. They keep on conducting acting, music, sports, painting etc. workshops and trainings for their students and even support them to participate in state/national level events. They are trying to build a school in which a child will always happily look forward to go to.It actually reminded me of the school ‘Amir Khan’ build in ‘3 idiots’.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Visit to Bannerghatta National Park

On the lazy Sunday morning I along with my friends –Aditya, Shiva and Vipul, left IIM Bangalore campus to check out Bannerghatta National Park. Before starting we googled for directions and reviews and it really helped. We now knew that we need to catch bus no. 365 that will directly drop us at park’s gate.We reached there around 11 a.m. but by that time queue had already taken shape of the largest reptile :P It would have easily taken 1-2 hrs had we also lined up. I did some “Jugaad” :P and we got the tickets of grand safari in minutes. Now we have to wait for the forest bus which came in about 15 min.

Grand Safari
I was praying that there should not be any children or girls in our bus because they cannot keep quite even for an hour. But as it was Sunday so I guess God was also sleepy by that time. Finally we started for a 16km safari. Bannerghatta National park is divided into fenced zone and roads covering every part of zone. So citing is almost sure. In around 15minutes bus reached in dense forest area and we started spotting animals. Spotted dear, Sambar, Ducks were among the first few. I took out my camera and figured that I did the biggest blunder of the day. I forgot the batteries at my place…ahhh. Luckily I had an extra set in my bag but it was not fully charged.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shivsamudram Trek and waterfalls

It was my 2nd free weekend in Bangalore and I along with 3 other friends Aditya, Vipul and Satyam, decided to go to Majestic Shivasamudram Waterfalls. While deciding the place I asked many bangalorians about whether it is the right time to go there as it was midsummer. Most of them either said no or said they don’t know. Oh what the heck, finally we decided to go ahead with the plan. We hired a cab and reached there at around 12 in the noon.  It was a sunny day and at the first site the place looked only OK as neither the valley nor the fall was visible.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Photoshop cs5: Top 5 features

I realized lot of  my friends are interested in photography and design. So I thought it might a good idea to post some of the useful Photoshop tutorials available over internet. In this series here is the first video showcasing the power of Photoshop cs5. Top 5 features

Monday, January 31, 2011

Printable Photo calendar 2011

I know it is a bit late to publish a calendar now but as it is said its better to be late then never. So here is the link for an easily printable photo calendar 2011 with few of my selected photographs, marked Indian holidays and plenty of notes space. hope you all find it useful.

thanks to Krishna for suggesting this.
let me know what you all think of this  :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to decide Vision and Mission Statements for your company

Parameters which should be kept in mind while making Vision and Mission statements for your company: 
  1. Clarity: A Vision statement should be clear in the terms what company wants to achieve and what are the goals it has set for itself 
  2. Motivation: Vision statement must be motivating for the associates working for the company. they should always feel proud and get propelled to work every time they read it 
  3. Ethical: Vision statement should also portray that company will always follow ethical practices in order to achieve the goal
  4.  Comprehensible:  A vision statement should be easily understandable for all the stack holders (vendors, clients, employees and society). For the same reason it should not use any jargon, industry specific terminologies or complex sentence structures 
  5. Sync with business: company’s vision statement should be in sync with the kind of business it does. For making a flashy vision statement company should not depart from the sole reason of its existence 
  6. Guiding Star: A company’s vision should always provide guidance to its employees in situation of dilemma.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mystery of dead birds falling from sky

First of all a happy national bird day to all the bird lovers. As I was surfing web, checking photos and reading the articles about the day a shocking piece of news grabbed my attention. It was about the dead birds falling from sky in Arkansas and Louisiana, NA. Now when I searched deep in this matter I found similar incident took place in other countries too like Brazil and Japan. Though all the govt. and local agencies have given different reasons and theories for the massive deaths but none of them is sure about what has actually happened. 

It all started on the very 1st day of 2011 in Arkansas where an estimated 5,000 red-winged blackbirds dropped dead from the sky. In the small town of Beebe in central Arkansas, scientists said celebratory fireworks on New Year’s Eve likely sent thousands of discombobulated blackbirds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths. "The blackbirds were flying at rooftop level instead of treetop level" to avoid explosions above, said Karen Rowe, an ornithologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Popular Posts