Great Insights – Michael Jones

PMA.LA Event at Google Featuring Michael Jones

Started off with four Google PM’s who discussed their roles for the first hour.

The second hour was very interesting with Michael Jones providing his insight and path from start ups to corporate then back to start ups ultimately founding and starting Science.

Google Project Manager Takeaways:

Google culture is very hands off, it seemed they believe in hiring smart driven people then enabling them to work with little restraint.

When mistakes are made in projects, there is no penalty, but the lead has to document and write up what went wrong so future projects don’t suffer the same failures.

Michael Jones Takeaways:

Big first win was Userplane, a chatting app that found allot of traction with dating sites — Find one industry, latch on, and service all their needs.

Eventually was bought by and joined AOL. Learned big business strategy.

Why did MySpace fail?
– DNA of company was flawed, once it grows it’s very hard to change
– Focused on entertainment instead of core utility, impossible to get users to stick with entertainment focused companies. Google (Gmail, docs) and Facebook (Picture storage, friend connections) are utility based.
– Friendster(10m users) –> Myspace (100m users) –> Facebook (1b users)

He now takes a full mobile approach – Mindset that web is dead. 3-5 years out how would you do everything you do now but on mobile?

A great CEO = leader + passion + sales — If you aren’t that person, FIND THEM!

Starting an app / service / company? = Hack solution –> Test on real users –> Build properly with mind on scaling

Challenge of monetizing mobile transactions – Try and catch them again when they are in front of a computer (email cart next day), Don’t let user see any products until CC is put in first (Take user hit early)

Believes in paid marketing, huge spend in FB – Mobile 100% paid advertising is most effective

Discussed getting people services they want but with layman style questions – Automated financial planner, find a car, Health insurance — Operator app “I want this” then handled and done

How to make the Iwatch successful? – Get amazing battery life, make standalone (cell signal)

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