Back to the Future (1955/1985/2015)

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Roles of the Product Manager

While it varies by company, the role of product manager generally encompasses three areas:

• Experience (design). This is the user-facing aspect of the product. It means deciding which features to build for the users—not necessarily which features will make money but which ones make for a better product.

• Technology (engineering, project management). This involves understanding the implementation of the product. At the least, it means managing the schedule and checking in on accomplishments. In a more technical product manager role it might involve working directly with developers to create an API specification.

• Strategy (business). This is the piece most aligned with brand management. Strategy means deciding which business areas the product needs to grow in and why. It also means running A/B tests and other experiments to help optimize the performance and revenue of the product.

Evolution of the Product Manager: Better education needed to develop the discipline by Ellen Chisa | ACMqueue

At The Movies

Did somebody, maybe me, forget to push my laugh button before “Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy” began?

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19960412/REVIEWS/604120305/1023

This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20010420/REVIEWS/104200304/1023

“Cop and a Half” is a cheerful example of the “wunza” movie, so named because of its popular formula, as in: “Wunza cop and wunza robber,” or, in this case, “Wunza cop and wunza 8-year-old kid.”

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19930402/REVIEWS/304020302/1023

2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. A blog that has been neglected and left mostly dormant, I might add.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 550 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 9 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Big Day Downtown (Part 5)

FEATURE IMAGE: Christopher Hemsworth, Halifax SUP Background Art

The Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) has a mandate to improve conditions, advocate business and consumer needs, and keep the core of Halifax on the map. I recently moved to Dartmouth, but still do the majority of my work and occasional play here. Gosh, you should see the view!

DHBC’s Big Day Downtown is an ongoing series of programs and contests and my favourite part is when they invest in writers to spend money downtown and share their experiences. There is always a catch, and these year it focused on crowdsourcing ways to spend the money. I may not have asked outright, but I do that on a regular basis. So much so, I can’t recall the last time I have actually had an original thought online. I’m reading about and noting new businesses in Halifax from tidbits of evidence I find in the Herald, All Nova Scotia, CBC, Metro, and The Coast. I look around and notice new closed and open signs in windows. I listen to what people say about their experiences and always like to hear a good tip. Like, “Oh wow, the guy that owns the bar and does the booking says it will be great!” or “Hey, a jerk is complaining about getting bad service from a place that opened too soon.” I also (mostly just) retweet as The Dingler, so I enjoy thinking about the Haligonian relevance of things online without all my non-local personal interests mucking up the stream.

When I think of “People’s Choice”, I have mixed feelings and then focus in on my own taste, experience, and how it may mesh with my community. I immediately recalled what the best selling grocery non-perishable by units or the best selling grocery non-perishable by total sales dollars in Nova Scotia were (questions and answers courtesy of Halifax Retales). I come in and out of phase with fools but my opinion on the popularity or rarity of something rarely makes me feel like a genius. Keeping things subjective while trying to support a good effort by others, a sensible budget, and my own personal integrity is an ongoing battle.

I glanced at The Coast Reader’s Best of Halifax, but still had no inspiration. I thought about spending the money meeting with various people over a bunch of coffee breaks to make the plan, but wasn’t sure if needed any more democratic process in my life. Anyone can follow me on Twitter or Instagram. A step closer is the illusion of reciprocity I get from my Facebook friends and LinkedIn colleagues. Pinterest still skew towards cut-and-paste magazine imagery. I feel too old on Tumblr. Swarm/Foursquare tracks my whereabouts. Google+? Ha ha ha. Don’t even get me started. Old fashioned Blogging? Well, here we are.

Since squeaky wheels get the grease, I spoke with my daughter Rowan, one of the squeakiest wheels I know. We decided to take the day between summer camp and grade three starting to hit the streets. Armed with a vague sense of self-gratification, time (and $150) to burn, plus our appetite for slightly new experiences and old comforts gave us our story.

Starting with parking, which is never really as much of an issue when you realize you have to pay and walk. Metered versus garage? Street versus indoor? Uphill versus downhill? Whatever your criteria, there is a spot for you. Choice: Provincial Law Courts.

TOXIC BLOSSOM

This small shop in the Historic Properties stands out (especially to my daughters), amongst the shiny and wooden items of its neighbours. It’s filled with locally made and imported items but the influence is heavily Japanese, fantastical, cute, and pastel colours. We ended up with a couple blue and pink hand fans, but there are lots of options for gifts, stationary, and other gateway tchotchkes into another dimension.

TWO IF BY SEA

Oatmeal Raisin cookie #bigdaydowntown

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A massive oatmeal raisin cookie, a large chocolate mocha, and a bag of freshly roasted, whole Anchored coffee beans. This was definitely the “comfort” section of our day. File TIBS under great coffee and baked goods. It made the rest of day possible.

SUZIE’s SHORTBREADS

No Baked Potato #bigdaydowntown

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I was curious to try the baked potatoes from this newly relocated cupcake store, but no luck. Onward and upward! Let me know if you get a chance!

KO-DORAKU

Ko-Doraku Sushi Special #bigdaydowntown

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Rowan wasn’t hungry at this point and I had missed lunch, so I went with the sushi combo. This location is in Purdy’s Landing and offers reasonably priced, fast, and quality sushi lunches. And stamps for frequent shoppers. This is the kind of fast food that doesn’t punish you afterward.

Staring Contest

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FREAK LUNCHBOX

Nun & Communion #bigdaydowntown

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How could we not go here, right? This is Halifax’s premier candy store (now, a chain that reaches out into Calgary, Montreal, Saint John and St. John’s). We were tempted by the massive gummy bear and gummy worm, but stuck with a folded pagoda food pail filled with Rowan’s favourite treats. I found something with dark chocolate and coconut. Oh, and two Pez dispensers. C3P0 for Rowan and one of the member’s of the Hello Kitty extended family for her sister Kenna.

INKWELL BOUTIQUE

Limited Edition Emma Fitzgerald tote (free with purchase at @inkwellboutique) #bigdaydowntown

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Suffering from recent bad news of a sudden street closure, my sympathies (and a chunk of change) went out to the Inkwell Boutique. They were having a free-with-purchase Emma Fitzgerald bag promo and I filled it with some paper dolls by Briana Corr Scott (a selkie and a fairy) and a salt cod print from Lunenburg’s Kat Frick Miller.

Boring is Best

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DESERRES

Art! DeSerres has a lot of options and tools and toys. For the budding artist to the professional. It is a fun place to browse, but an even better place to stock up. And sometimes there are sales. Check out these Faber Castell Watercolour pencils, for instance. Rowan has lots of ideas on how to spend the money, but we stuck with those and some watercolour paper.

THE DISCOVERY CENTRE

Contortion

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We had some time to kill, and the Discovery Centre is a regular stop if you have kids (especially when it rains).

Digestion #hyperlapse

Thanks again to the DHBC for making this happen and caring so much about our city and the people that live and work within it. It takes a village to build this city on rock and roll.

My previous Big Days Downtown: