RIP LinkedIn InMaps:

LinkedIn Is Quietly Retiring Network Visualization Tool InMaps | TechCrunchcc:by anacriszim on deviantartToo quietly. LinkedIn won’t say what went wrong with InMaps. This is like drug researchers only reporting positive results; it slows down industry learning, keeps weak assumptions alive, muddies sector innovation.

There’s a long history of sharing failure to promote learning. Military after-action reviews and Morbidity & Mortality conferences save lives. They live in professional cultures that make silence unreasonable. 

How can product managers cultivate that transparency in our profession?

Phil Wolff is a product manager with Code for America’s Open Oakland brigade. Phil helped personal data startups at PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff was a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project’s model Portability Policy. He’s had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora Top Writer in 2012, 2013. Phil lives in Uptown, Oakland, California.

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Metrics for Over The Top Telcos: From Nodes to Flows

in reply to Blog Geek…

Monthly active users is a good proxy for census. Tencent’s been doing something like that quarterly for years, the number of people who signed in to QQ in the last n weeks of the quarter (I think six, if I recall).

So this tells you the number of nodes that might light up.

You also want to know how much those nodes are available for conversation. For instance, early Skype didn’t have any way to ring you if you had your client turned off. So they focused hard on building dialtone: using push messaging on mobile to get you to answer a call, preinstalling Skype on desktops with the default to start at startup, etc.

The capacity of your OTT network is the census * dialtone; minutes of availability. You aspire to having every user connected 24 hours out of every 24 hours . If only for 6 hours a day, then your network has 25% dialtone. Each network has a different dialtone tipping point where users feel synchronous communication works well, at least for their part of the network and for strangers they are likely to reach..

It’s not enough that each user is connected to the network. They really need to be connected to their own social set, the people they want to talk with, the communities to which they belong. You see “add your contacts?” as part of customer onboarding for a reason. So you could compare networks for how many contacts on those networks do people know. For example, in Skype’s early days, they were doing well if users had a dozen contacts in their directory.

Now that people often have hundreds of contacts dragged in from mobile directories and facebook friends, perhaps it’s time to start measuring relationship strength; how well does this network help you repeatedly engage your friends, coworkers, customers, teammates over time?

But the whole point of a communications network is talk. How much are people talking? In landline days you might have counted total minutes served per period or minutes per subscriber. Today’s users substitute and switch modes, freely jumping from SMS to in-app texting, to voice messages, to live calls and back. We need measures of engagement, of how much conversation is happening across the network per person.

This all becomes interesting in a different way as WebRTC enables talk embedding in every medium, from blogs to banner ads, from MMOs to robotics. Human patterns of interaction won’t be bound to a handful of branded clients and devices. We need new social capacity metrics for an era where networks connect people through the Internet of Things, wearables, and dancing robots.

Phil Wolff is a product manager with Code for America’s Open Oakland brigade. Phil helped personal data startups at PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff was a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project’s model Portability Policy. He’s had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora Top Writer in 2012, 2013. Phil lives in Uptown, Oakland, California.

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Aereo: a Graceful Pause (While The Fight Continues)

Staying legal is a strong reason to change course. Aereo, smarting from a painful SCOTUS ruling, chose one path short of shutting: the graceful pause.

A Lett to Our Consumers

Here’s Aereo CEO and founder Chet Canoja in a blog post from the day the Supreme Court ruling came down. Listen for his tone, the crisp actionable information, and discussion of the path forward.

A Letter to Our Consumers: Standing Together for Innovation, Progress and Technology – An Update on Aereo

 “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” – Charles Kettering, inventor, entrepreneur, innovator & philanthropist A little over three years ago, our team embarked on a journey to improve the consumer television experience, using technology to create a smart, cloud-based television antenna consumers could use to access live over the air broadcast television.

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower Court decision in favor of Aereo, dealing a massive setback to consumers.

As a result of that decision, our case has been returned to the lower Court. We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps. You will be able to access your cloud-based antenna and DVR only until 11:30 a.m. ET today. All of our users will be refunded their last paid month. If you have questions about your account, please email support@aereo.com or tweet us @AereoSupport.

The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.

On behalf of the entire team at Aereo, thank you for the outpouring of support. It has been staggering and we are so grateful for your emails, Tweets and Facebook posts. Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org – our journey is far from done.

Yours truly,

Chet Kanojia

Aereo prepared for this. They knew when and how service would end, what would happen with money, how they were going to support customers with questions. They had their operations ready to turn things off, and probably this message too.

Suspension can be a vital choice for some situations. Here, Aereo doesn’t need to shut down for cash flow, engineering, or market reasons. The ruling opens a window of uncertainty – they won’t know if or when their business will be legal again until lower courts rule or even if Aereo’s management and investors will choose to continue legal action.

Aereo, back in courtis still fightingIn the latest news, the local judge says Aereo’s cash flow problems don’t justify letting Aereo reopen while the next round of appeals and arguments are decided. We’ll see if investor cash will litigate to the end.

Phil Wolff is a product manager with Code for America’s Open Oakland brigade. Phil helped personal data startups at PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff was a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project’s model Portability Policy. He’s had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora Top Writer in 2012, 2013. Phil lives in Uptown, Oakland, California.

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RIP Qplay: One Week Notice; Refunds for the Quick

Qplay logo 450x345

Qplay shut down

The good: 

  • Wide notice on the web site. 
  • Clear language for setting expectations. 
  • Refunds offered. 
  • Bonus: tool to help you find a place to recycle your electronics
  • Bonus: “sad” logo Qplay ID Master Sad 0200 

The bad: 

  • No download or export of your viewing history, account history, sharing activity, etc. 
  • No explanation for why the business is shutting down. 
  • No personal notes from staff or founders. Well, there’s this: 
We did our best, and we’re sorry this is the end for Qplay. Farewell.
  
Thank you again,
The Qplay Team
 
So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

So Long and Thanks For All the Fish

The ugly: 

  • Four-day notice for refunds. 
  • Six day notice for end of service (19 to 25 July). 

Phil Wolff is a product manager with Code for America’s Open Oakland brigade. Phil helped personal data startups at PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff was a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project’s model Portability Policy. He’s had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora Top Writer in 2012, 2013. Phil lives in Uptown, Oakland, California.

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76 Startup Failure Post-Mortems

76 Startup Failure Post-Mortems compiles anguish, human frailty, strategic weakness, miscalculation, unfortunate timing, gambling, loyalty and betrayal, despair, and relief. These founders pick through their failures for meaning. I’ll probe for action items to include in our Graceful Exit handbook. 

Phil Wolff is a product manager with Code for America’s Open Oakland brigade. Phil helped personal data startups at PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff was a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project’s model Portability Policy. He’s had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora Top Writer in 2012, 2013. Phil lives in Uptown, Oakland, California.

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Hey, Google Bump! Why The One Month Eviction Notice?

Hey, Google! Let My Data Go!

Dear David Lieb, why only one month notice that you were deleting Bump user data? Why not zero notice? Or a year? The cost to Google for keeping the servers running is nominal. The cost of short notice to users can be severe. Why not err on the side of more notice? 

Was your attempt at notice effective? Aside from your blog post, how else did you attempt to provoke users for a last visit to your app? What push notifications have you used to warn users you’re deleting their Bump profiles, histories, and other data? I haven’t seen an email or push message from you.

Why not a web way to extract personal data from your Bump and Flock apps? Technical unfeasibility or just inconvenient? 

Have you checked in with Google’s own Data Liberation Front? I don’t see a Bump section in Google Takeout from the team that helps users export and backup data from Google products. 

Thanks for the great products and the years of service. Please try for a more graceful exit. 

Phil Wolff is a product manager with Code for America’s Open Oakland brigade. Phil helped personal data startups at PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff was a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project’s model Portability Policy. He’s had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora Top Writer in 2012, 2013. Phil lives in Uptown, Oakland, California.

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A model Product Retirement Project Outline #prodmgmt #eol

Your product has six weeks to live. Where do you go from here? Here’s my project outline, a rough sequence from the early decisions, through the choices that shape how you dispose of the product, to the detailed scoping, rollout, and responding to the shut down.

It’s a draft, of course. And your context will shape how approach it. But I think I’m on the right path.

So ping me. Send me your grizzly tales of exits gone bad, brag your Graceful Exits, share anything that can make all product managers smarter about sending products to that upstate farm where they’ll play in the tall grass under clear blue skies.

Continue reading

Phil Wolff is a product manager with Code for America’s Open Oakland brigade. Phil helped personal data startups at PDEC, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, a Small Data NGO. Wolff was a director of the DataPortability Project and co-author of the project’s model Portability Policy. He’s had management, technology, and marketing roles at Adecco SA, LSI Logic, Bechtel National, Wang Laboratories, Compaq Computer, the City of Long Beach, the State of California, and the U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command. On LinkedIn, ORCID 0000-0002-7815-4750, Quora Top Writer in 2012, 2013. Phil lives in Uptown, Oakland, California.

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