IoT Safety – For Consumers & Makers

IoT-CityscapeIn a prior post, I poked a bit of fun at some IoT fails. Some might not be so funny. And so far, I’m not aware of anything resulting in a great deal of personal injury or death. So far. But here’s the thing… we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. The rush to market and possibly the industry mantra of Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is going to dump some more bad products on the market. Unfortunately, security is still very poor across the IoT marketplace. There’s a lot of reasons for this. Not the least of which is there’s not a lot of value to building it in; just costs. The sad reality is that security costs are often a so-called “negative externality.” That is, any impact is suffered by a third party. This will likely change once some more lawsuit hungry lawyers get more deeply involved.

So what can you do for now? That very much matters whether you’re a Consumer or a Maker of such items. As a Consumer, I’ve got a bunch of this stuff rattling about. As a Product Manager, I’ve only worked briefly on one effort, so hardly an expert. But here you go… [Read more…]

Self-Driving Vehicles – Cascade Consequences & Product Opportunities

Things. And the Relationships Among Them

SelfDrivingCars-300Many years ago I’d read a discussion about a few early science fiction writers. One thing that particularly struck me was thoughts about how it was one thing to imagine a few potential possibilities for technology or products, but quite another to brainstorm all of the side impacts of such things, both obvious and non-obvious. Those writers who thought of flying cars well before their time may have been prescient. But the ones who thought about how that might require new air traffic patterns, accident management, skyborne fast food pickup windows and more, they were even more visionary. They thought through what a lot of the cascade side effects might be; both for adjacent technologies and systems, and sociologically.

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Book Review: Inspired

Worth Reading?


Inspired- Marty Cagan.


This book was embedded somewhere in my “To Be Read” pile for several years. It should have been closer to the top. Marty Cagan, founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, former VP, Product at eBay, and other things… has provided a really great group of insights in this work. [Read more…]

Internet of Things versus Internet of Stupid

IoT-1-300pxInternet Of Things, (IoT), can run from a sensor to keep track of watering your lawn to your car to who knows what. Pressing a button or just giving a voice command to have your vehicle pull up in front of the restaurant sounds like a great idea. So does having your car call for help if you hit something with it and you’re non-responsive.

Still, we’re not quite there in terms of all the smarts with smart devices just yet. It’s called the Internet of Stupid. Here’s a fun summary of some idiot savant servants, (perhaps one day our masters), have been up to over the past few years!

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SaaSalytics – Some SaaS Services Lacking in Tracking

SaaS (Software as a Service), and its variants, PaaS (Platform as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), DaaS (Data as a Service or Desktop as a Service), and more… are all on a tear right now. In the classic Buy vs. Build argument, we’ve now got more reasons than ever before to hire out for more and more components of our businesses. Unfortunately, these still nascent services may often lack core analytics capabilities or the ability to provide hooks or tags to insert your own collection capabilities.

Quick Review on Why to Build Your Own Code

There remain some key reasons for continuing to build your own technology, even when there’s some great aaS out there for you. Among them… [Read more…]

More Most Annoying Ecommerce Mistakes – Part 1

We’re Really Still Here?

After so many years in digital commerce, we still see what I think I’ll call “average practices” in surprising places.

I’ll admit I’m not a typical user or digital product manager. Probably from having been in this business for some time, I’m just amazed at some of the things I still see  brands doing online. (Or not doing.) William Gibson, the guy who first used the term “cyberspace” in print once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” This certainly seems true of Best Practices in ecommerce. [Read more…]

Holiday Marketing Fails 2016

Digital Marketing 101 Mistakes in 2016

Know Your Customer. Know Your Customer Journey. Understand their Messaging Needs. Do this… Before you send messages!

It’s funny we’re still here in terms of minor league mistakes for major brands. I’m not here today to pick on Macy’s in particular. I like Macy’s. Decent store and brand. They’re a generous corporate citizen with a great Thanksgiving Day parade and they put on great NYC fireworks. My wife and I get stuff there sometimes. I think my mom used to take me there when I was a kid. And then there’s this email my wife got Christmas Day I’ll show you below. So even though I like Macy’s just fine, it’s important to point out errors like this so that maybe digital marketers or more junior digital professionals can learn from the mistakes of others. [Read more…]

Chip Cards – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


EMV-chipcardpicProfessionally, I’ve only been involved in the Payments industry peripherally. However, as any industry observer would note this industry has changed drastically over the last decade or so. This stands to reason of course as all things digital have evolved. Once upon a time, a merchant would pass a variety of checks, get themselves a merchant account and could then take credit cards as payment methods. Varying rules applied – and still do – for those at retail, (card present transactions), and those taking payments remotely, (card not present transactions), be they Internet, Mail Order, Phone, or whatever. On the Consumer side, things have always been easier. Unless your credit rating is wholly in the dumper, just about everyone wants to get their plastic in your hands. (Or more recently get you signed up for some form of digital wallet payment using traditional banking systems as a back end. And then there’s the nascent adoption curve of Bitcoin.) [Read more…]

Pokemon Product Manager(s) – Killers?

Last week I posted about some issue regarding safety and such for autonomous vehicles. My goal was to make some points about the nature of some new technologies and to a degree how they relate to product management and such.

What I really didn’t anticipate is that within a week a new product craze would create a major public safety hazard. [Read more…]