Author Archives: Paula

Anthropology | Product Management  November 8, 2010 10:31 am

Knees and Elbows for the Product Manager

Editor’s note: We invited Laurie Jane, Product Management Director at Yesmail, to wrap up our exploration of martial arts insights for product managers with her personal Muay Thai perspective. The three of us co-facilitated a session at ProductCamp Seattle last … Continue reading

Anthropology | Culture | Product Management  October 11, 2010 9:00 am

Guiding Principles of Karate for the Product Manager

There is a legend of a great karate master that I’m sure circulates in many dojos (karate studios).  The story is that of a young karate student who begins his practice and shows a natural talent.  He is aware of … Continue reading

Anthropology | Culture | Ethnography | Product Management  August 10, 2010 2:13 pm

The big bang and the evolution of brand and product management culture

An excerpt from the white paper entitled “Business Anthropology and the Culture of Product Managers.” Brand or product management was born from intense, sustained and rigorous trial and error in the market research department at the giant consumer packaged goods … Continue reading

Anthropology | Culture | Product Management  August 2, 2010 8:00 am

Tribes in Conflict… in the Same Village!

In previous posts (as well as in ProductCamp and conference sessions) I’ve mentioned the various professional tribes within organizations and the challenging dynamic they present to an observant, socially-curious product manager. I’ve also suggested ways in which a product manager … Continue reading

Anthropology | Culture  July 8, 2010 3:44 pm

Bonobos in the Boardroom

Yes, we walk bipedally, we think in abstract terms and we can do integral calculus, but just maybe we might have something to learn from our primate cousins, the Bonobo.  Bonobos (Pan paniscus), also called pygmy or gracile chimpanzees share … Continue reading

Anthropology | Culture  May 7, 2010 12:45 pm

Humans are Social Animals

Cover via Amazon Human beings are social animals. Our lives depend on other humans. Human infants are born unable to transport or care for themselves. Their survival depends on another human’s efforts. We develop and learn about the world around … Continue reading

Anthropology  April 5, 2010 6:57 am

So you think you work with morons…

So, you think you work with a team of morons.  You are certain that your life is being hindered by the sheer incompetence of your cross-functional team mates and you have no choice but to grind through the endless days … Continue reading

Product Management  March 11, 2010 1:42 pm

3 Ways to Avoid Groupthink

Groupthink is a concept within social psychology (okay so I’m stepping off my anthropology soapbox and borrowing one from my friends at soc-psych) that defines a style of group decision making where individuals are more motivated to agree rather than … Continue reading

Anthropology | Product Management  March 2, 2010 1:24 pm

A Lesson from an Old Anthropologist

One of the first things we gain in the study of anthropology is the realization that there is both tremendous diversity and similarity in the world. We learn that while all societies share some basic characteristics, their expression can vary … Continue reading

Anthropology | Culture | Product Management  February 15, 2010 11:48 am

Why this blog?

Product managers are the central hub for products within companies. You deal with tribal dynamics within the organization and ultimately move a product from the company into the hands of the customer.You need to understand the company culture, the culture … Continue reading