Market Analysis Oddities – Pulling my hair out

I am doing a market analysis to help us decide where we want to spend our next development dollars on.

To accomplish this, I really need to get a good idea of their revenue.

Top down, I took the bible, the accepted research.  I also took the number uttered during the Q4 2011 analysts call, and started from there.  I have some historical knowledge of the business, so I could subtract big swaths right away.  They also reported “strong” performance in two segments that I knwo A LOT about.  Cool.  More clarity.

I get a number that feels right.  It is damn close whether I do a top down, or bottom up analysis.

It falls apart when I try to model for product mix, and units moved.  There is NO FRIGGIN WAY that they sold as many units as we calculate with known ASP’s.  Try a two tier (higher ASP when non-competitive) model?  Still too high.  Adjust the ASP’s to make the number reasonable, and it just is ludicrous (the ASP’s have to TRIPLE to match with what we think we know about their capacity).

Poop.  Back to the grinding stone.

Things that make you go hmmmmm

My wife has a touch of OCD.  When we are traveling, she will close the hotel door.  Then check to see it is locked. Then invariably, she will go back 5 seconds later to check it again.

When shopping, after using the remote to lock the doors of the car, she will walk about 40 feet away, and then return to check the doors again (all the doors, not just one).

Weird, compulsive and annoying.

But in the online world, she uses weak passwords (about 4 of them) and repeats them everywhere.  Can’t remember anything really difficult, so they are rediculously predictable.

I bought her 1Password, and have tried to teach her how to use it.  Can’t get it.  She must have 50 saved logins for her online banking site.  Sigh.

Disgusting Things

I exercise by walking or running on public roads.  I do this everywhere I travel, and even at home.  In my “pounding the pavement” I have come across a lot of things, credit cards (returned), drivers licenses, cash (once I found a $50 bill.. It pays to watch the road…) and more than a few dead animals.

But the one thing that I come across most often is the “spit bottle”.  For those unaware, folks who chew tobacco (or “snuff”) while driving need someplace to “spit” the juices.  Mostly, they use an old Water bottle, or a Gatorade bottle.  Better than just spitting on the road.  

But, when it becomes full, do these people find a trashcan to deposit this brown ugly mess? No. They toss it out the window.  

Hence I come across them very often.  

Please, if you chew, and spit in a bottle, toss it in the trash.  It is unsightly, unsanitary, and doesn’t belong on the roadside.

A product management community – just starting

It has been a poorly kept secret that I have had an alter ego, the snarky, White Russian drinking league bowler known as the PM Dude.  Created to be an outlet for some truly bad management from above, and with a high level of snark, it was cathartic.

However, as I have in the past 5 months started a great new job with a kick-ass company, the need for the snarky persona has lessened considerably.  What to do with the PM Dude’s blog?

First, I migrated the most insightful (hey, the Dude did make some good points in the midst of the snark) to my main page: so that you can go back and read the archives.  Look in “The Dude’s Corner”.

Second, I started playing with some forum software.  Actually, as part of a beta test for my hosting provider, I saw this thing called “Vanilla Forums”.  Dove in and love this framework.  Clean, relatively lightweight, and it seems pretty solid.  Spent about a week testing it, and creating a theme (it is STUPID easy to adjust the look and feel by messing with the CSS file(s)).

Now I am ready to launch.  Come on over to and register, start some conversations, and in general hang out and talk product management, product marketing, and anything that tickles the fancy.