Eric Picard is a product leader with more than twenty years of experience building world class products and high performing teams and companies. His experience ranges from very large public companies to late stage startups and turnarounds, as well as founding his own startups. Eric has extensive M&A experience, as well as a track record of leading through transitions.
Several offerings to help your business succeed.
This is strategy consulting through the lens of Product.
- True North Planning: The idea is to paint a 3-5 year vision for the product, or the company, that aims the group at a hard deliverable that will take a lot of moves and investments and effort to get there.
- Ecosystem and Competitive Analysis: Review of the overall ecosystem that the company is playing in, detailed analysis of companies playing within that ecosystem, and pattern analysis of the competition.
- Technical Review: Review of the company’s offering, architecture, development approach, and overall capabilities
- Talent Review:
Assess the quality and skill level (seniority) of the leadership team, with a particular focus on “maker organizations” like Product and Engineering.
- Product Definition: Define what the product should be at maturity, this a next step after a “True North” document. If True North defines where things ultimately should be, this is the work-back plan that defines the next few versions of the products.
- Product Process:
How does Product work with engineering and operations? How does Product work with Sales, Product Marketing and Marketing teams? What documents and approaches and tools should be in place? What should internal partners expect in terms of roadmap and communications? All of these things fall out of a great product management process that should be at the heart of any great product management organization.
- Expectation Setting & Resetting Group Dynamics:
There are natural tension points between revenue-facing teams and the builders who create the things being sold. It’s hard for engineers and product people to have empathy for sales, who live every day with a number on their back that must be hit, and that they’ll be clinically judged by – this is a foreign way of working to builders. It’s also hard for sales to have empathy for builders because they have immense numbers of stressors on hitting their numbers, and often are getting pressure from customers for new features or functionality. And great engineering organizations and product oriented companies have moved away from “date-driven” development schedules, making it harder for sales to communicate effectively with customers about what is coming, and when.
I’ve worked with many companies as an advisor, and this ranges from work directly with CEOs to work with Product and Engineering Leadership and other teams. Typically the approach here is to help people find a path from whatever stage they’re at to the next stage.
I’ve been part of fourteen acquisitions, some on the buy side, some on the sell side.
I absolutely recommend that companies work with bankers to help buy other companies, or to help sell themselves. But bankers rightfully only care about one thing – helping you buy or sell companies. It’s not their job to think about what happens afterwards, except in as much as it affects the deal. To them, this is just a financial transaction. And that’s their job. Just like it’s the job of the lawyers to ensure that the transaction is legal and not signing you up for unexpected legal risk.
You can’t expect your bankers or lawyers to help you understand the personal impact to you, or the employees that rely on you. And generally while they consider the strategic goals of the acquisition as part of the work, ensuring success post close is not their job.
My work is related to ensuring the success of my client’s goals.
For those selling, I can help you understand what is likely to be the case post close, and can help you chart a course that you find at least acceptable if not excellent.
For those buying, I can help you ensure that the goals you’ve established for acquiring the target company are built into the deal terms, and used as guideposts for post close integration. The goal in either case is clarity of purpose, clear goals, clear intent, and ultimately success of the deal.
Paid Career Coaching & Talent Development
Over the years I’ve worked directly with about 100 people, specifically on helping them with professional development and their career, nearly all of whom had rapid career acceleration after I worked with them.
I’ve especially had success when doing this for Product and Engineering leaders, but also for Sciences and Product Marketing people, and across disciplines to help people to shift from one point in their career to the next point in their career. Some have gone on to huge careers, others have just honed their interests and found the right career direction.
“Eric is one of the most trustworthy people in this business. I have relied on him countless times to provide both deep technical understanding and high-level business advice, and he has always come through. I believe wholeheartedly in his vision and his raw brainpower. He is one of those rare personalities who you always want to root for and see succeed.
Tom Hespos, Founder Underscore Marketing, CEO PitchMD