Know any Great Product Managers?

I’m now leading a new team at the Comcast Silicon Valley Innovation Center to develop apps across Xfinity’s mobile and TV platforms. This is a chance to reach over 30 million households with the next generation ways of interacting and consuming media content. 

If you or someone you know has a passion for building great consumer product experiences for mobile or the TV itself, let me know as I’m looking to hire. I

Open roles on my team:

  • Product Manager, Apps for the TV – Innovate the “10 foot experience” on interactive TV apps for the new cloud-based Xfinity X1 platform. 
  • Product Manager, TV Apps for Mobile – Build apps for iOS and Android around how people discover, engage, and share what’s on TV.
  • Product Manager, Entertainment Apps for Mobile – Build apps for iOS and Android around targeted audiences (e.g. Music Videos, Kids).
  • Plus lots of developer roles for iOS, front-end web, and server technologies. 

Should be a lot of fun!

Update 8/17/12: Most of these positions are now filled but I am still looking for the “Apps for the TV” role if you know anyone that might be fit.

An Important Milestone at Plaxo

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my thoughts here and so I thought I’d give you a glipse in what I’ve been up to the past 9 months or so in my new gig at Plaxo. Here’s a copy of what I wrote up on the Plaxo Blog:

An important milestone – and it’s only the beginning!

This week’s relaunch of Plaxo and introduction of Plaxo Personal Assistant marks an important milestone for our company, and I hope a key signal to you that we’re focused on building always accurate, up to date contact list – accessible wherever and whenever you need it.

Our CEO Justin Miller has said, “Plaxo is back and we’ve got a relentless focus on the address book,” and we are determined to solve the two customer pain points Plaxo was founded in 2002 to address:

  1. Contacts scattered across multiple devices, services
  2. Maintaining up-to-date address book info

The Plaxo Personal Assistant goes after that second problem with updates sourced by publicly available information and for our Plaxo Basic users we’ve also recently added contact card sharing. As for problem #1 we’ve reinvested in Plaxo Platinum Sync and made our mobile sync apps all free.

For a glimpse into our mission here at Plaxo check out this 60 second video.

To give you a sense of the scale of our efforts, we’ve reviewed 3 billion contacts in Plaxo’s Cassandra database, compared them with publicly available data sources, and identified approximately 600 million unique people with contact info—as a comparison the White Pages, which powers the Hiya contact management system, claims 200 million. It’s this massive scale that enables us to make suggestions that our customer’s report is correct about 92% of the time.

While this week’s news marks a big step forward in solving the problems above we’re far from done and you should expect a regular cadence of additional improvements as we continue to listen to your feedback.

The smart address book category is finally starting to see some focus, maturity, and a healthy dose of competition, which has sparked an unprecedented era of innovation. We expect to play a leadership role as this space continues to grow and evolve.

Interesting Product: Dropbox

I’ve decided to try periodically sharing interesting products I come across here. First up, Dropbox…

What is it: Dropbox is a service that syncs your files online and across your computers. It keeps copies of files synced across my Mac and PC as well as making them available in the cloud which I can access via the web or my iPhone. See their 2 minute overview video (great prod. marketing example)

Why I like its design:
Dropbox-WinI like that I can use the standard file system built into the OS on my Mac and PC without worrying about how it’s getting synced or stored—in other words the primary way I interact with Dropbox is actually not thru their UI at all. No matter where I open the file, I know it’s always the latest version—but I don’t have to wait on the sometimes slow speeds of working directly off the cloud since it’s synced locally. They have designed their product to fit my workflow rather than ask of me that I change my workflow to fit their product—true user-centered design.

They have added a subtle addition to the OS iconography which shows if the file is properly synced with my other computers and the cloud. This helps reinforce to me that the service is working and that my files are safe and synced. This UI also enables me to go back in time and view older versions of the file (their website even features a DeLorean for us Back to the Future fans) when I need to.

Finally, their iPhone app enables me to access read-only versions of my files wherever I’m at. Here they’ve smartly optimized for storage keeping all the files in the cloud. However they have offered an easy wait to tag a handful of files I’d like to keep locally on my iPhone.