Mike Flouton

Mike Flouton

VP, Product, Barracuda Networks
Former VPM, VPPMM, investor and advisor. Back to my roots in Product.

Content

Mike Flouton
VP, Product
As always, it depends. First, you should think of yourself as the CEO of your own career. Managers and job ladders can help, but the responsibility is on you to make it happen. If your manager isn't helping you help yourself, ask yourself why. Have you been transparent about your career ambitions...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product
This is a big part of why I love working in the mid-market - we flat out refuse one off features for enterprise accounts. My roadmap is so much more scalable and predictable than when I was large enterprise focused it's a joy.  Looking back, even when I was a large enterprise PM if I had it to...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product
First and foremost - smarts. The basketball cliche is that you can't coach height. You can't coach a PM intelligence.  Next up, is a deep relentless customer focus. In B2C, you can get away being a mediocre PM using yourself as a proxy for the customer. You probably have a decent perspective o...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product
The biggest misconception about PM is that it's a tactical, inward facing role. It should be a strategic, outside in role. Writing stories, running scrum ceremonies and crashing standups are some of the least important things on your plate, yet it's where most new PMs spend their time. You need t...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product
I think this depends on whether you've been a people manager (e.g at the Director or Head level) previously.  If you're a fist time people manager, it can be a challenging transition. The biggest trap people fall into is not delegating aggressively enough. You got to where you were by being a ...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product
My bias is always to start building a small but mighty team of A players. A players will make magic happen despite a lack of process. Process is helpful in larger organizations (and to help get more production out of less skilled players), so put more process in as you grow and things get more co...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product

My advice to you would be to have the tech writer worry about release notes. PMM should do a quick edit before they go out, but this is a highly tactical distraction. You should be focusing on more important things. 

Mike Flouton
VP, Product
Datasheets are still a bread and butter artifact in B2B. Over the past 10 years, best in class datasheets have gotten much more visual and easier to scan. The days of paragraphs of text are long over.  As far as "features" go, they are generally the least important thing that go into a datashe...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product
Become the go to expert on something - quickly. Generally, as a PMM, you want to be the expert on the buyer. Shadow as many sales calls as you possibly can. Develop relationships with customers. Call them, show up at their office, take them out for drinks. Compile a library of stories, personas, ...more
Mike Flouton
VP, Product
I always fall back on the first rule of product management - "your opinion, while interesting, is irrelevant." Back your idea up with solid, detailed customer research. A good blend of qualitative anecdotes and quantitative research data will serve you well.  Also, just general good advice for...more
Credentials & Highlights
VP, Product at Barracuda Networks
Lives In Campbell, California