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The "Joel Test" for Product Managers

Marco Moreira

The product management profession has been around for a long time, but it’s still amazing to me how different the day-to-day job actually is from company to company. It wasn’t long ago that software engineering was on the same boat, so Joel Spolsky, of Microsoft/Fog Creek/StackOverflow fame, wrote the “Joel Test” outlining the best practices at the time. This idea gave engineers a common benchmark beyond their company walls.

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Fixing income inequality won't save us

Marco Moreira

Everyone is talking about income inequality again and the argument is the same as it’s ever been: the rich are taking all the money from everyone else and we need to take it back in order to make things fair. More recently, Paul Graham tried to help by arguing that we should differentiate WHICH rich people we should take money away from (Wall Street, not Silicon Valley). Ezra Klein replied by saying “duh, that’s what we’ve saying all along, what else is new?”. We have candidates on both sides of the presidential campaign making this a central issue in their platforms, and it goes on and on...

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The "Dirty Secret" of Innovation

Marco Moreira

As I’ve come to realize, the “important truth” that seems to be hidden from most successful organizations nowadays is the story of how they managed to win in the first place. I don’t mean the biography of the founders or the timeline of key achievements, but rather the curious fact that ONE big idea, executed by competent operators, is often how today’s leading companies got to where they are.

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How to get into innovation

Marco Moreira

As the robots continue taking over the world, the less room there is in the economy for human labor. Just like every other technology in history, automation (software or hardware) starts out by taking over jobs in the bottom of the skills ladder and works its way up over time. This trend is not going to slow down or stop, so this is the context that a young person considering their career options faces going forward: you can first expect to compete with other people to land a job and you will eventually compete with automation to keep that job. The good folks at BBC even put up a handy tool called "Will a robot take your job?" to help you find out how soon you can expect to be competing against them!

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