product managementIn this Topical Zoom episode, I speak with John Cutler, Senior Product Manager at Zendesk about the evolving field of Product Management and the role of customer feedback in a world of service touchpoints.

Product Management is rapidly changing. With the notion of Products changing rapidly, there is an imminent need for a fresh new look at the way we make these products. In this episode, I speak with John Cutler to understand some of these changes and understand how we could poise ourselves to make better products. In this episode, we speak about:

  • Common thread that runs across music, UX research and product management.
  • The evolution of products to services and touchpoints.
  • Rapid evolution in the way we looked at customer and user feedback.

Who is John Cutler?

John Cutler is keenly focused on user experience and evidence-driven product development.

He is currently Senior Product Manager for Search and Relevance at Zendesk. As a former UX researcher at AppFolio, a product manager at, AdKeeper and RichFX, a startup founder, and a product team coach, John has a perspective that spans individual roles, domains, and products. His viral enthusiasm has been heard through speaking engagements at Agile 2015, Heart of Agile Philadelphia (2016), and various ProductCamps (Vancouver, Los Angeles, Raleigh NC) and MeetUps (Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, New York).

Mixing in some less-than-typical experiences — driving rickshaws in NYC, and touring the US with “five other weird creative people in a van playing music” — John blogs prolifically about collaboration, product development, diversity, UX research, lean startup, and user experience. Some notable posts include The Evolving Product Manager Role, Persona(s) Non Grata, 12 Signs You’re Working in a Feature Factory, and Stop Setting Up Product Roadmaps To Fail.

What you will learn – Product Management as Service / Touchpoint management and more!

  1. You started as a Game Developer and have been a UX Researcher and now a Product Manager. Could you quickly talk about this journey and what made you undertake these transitions between game development, ux and product management?
    • Is there something that’s common between these different roles that keeps you hooked?
  2. You wrote a nice piece of article sometime back titled “Product Management Must Adapt”. I’d like to dig deeper into a couple of points in that nice little table you have in that article.
    • Can you explain what you mean by the change in thinking from Product to Service / Touchpoint design? Do you see the roles of “Product Managers” and “Product Designers” change
    • How do you see customers and users change in this changing product landscape?
    • You talk about “teams interfacing directly with customers”. Let’s maybe talk about this in the context of development processes. I’ve seen Drift talk about this in their “Responsive Development” practice. Have you seen interesting ways teams have managed to bring in customer interaction with everyday work? What processes have you seen teams do?

Continued in Episode127.

Useful Links

Join DYT Insider

DYT Insider is our newsletter program. I share episodes, my best work on product and design and give away my best ebooks and other resources for free so you can download them and read at your own pace. Join me here.

Getting Started & Resources

  • Tiny Book Of Triggers for actionable triggers to learn fresh new Product Management & Design skills & more. (click here to download)
  • Get Started with Design Your Thinking (click here)
  • Handpicked Resources (click here)

Struggling To Sell Your Online Course or Membership?

Download the Irresistible Offer Playbook to learn my three-part, step-by-step process to creating highly irresistible offers that will get people to shut their brains, open their hearts, and surrender their wallets!

Irresistible Offer Playbook