One of the most difficult - but highest leverage - types of product management is to define successful platforms. By platforms, I am referring to foundation software that is used by application developers to create end-user solutions. Examples include operating systems (e.g. Windows, MacOS, Palm OS), operating environments (e.g. Java, Flash), Web services (e.g. Amazon’s or eBay’s integration API’s), and game developer platforms (e.g. XNA).
Some people believe that business is all about marketing and building brand - establishing a great brand in the mind of consumers. Many of these same people also believe that one of the biggest weaknesses of Silicon Valley-style companies is that we just don’t get marketing in general and brand development in particular.