Part-time product manager, full-time hero
When I'm at my best, I'm a proud father of two wondeful boys. Together we enjoy endless challenges, solving problem, learning about how people work and what people need. It's also why I chose Product Management.
Strategic thinking starts with asking the right questions. It is about understanding current market, competition and trends to define the winning product. It is about making informed choices.
"If you don’t invest in the future and don’t plan for the future, there won’t be one."
"Be stubborn on vision, but flexible on details."
"The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do."
When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, other people build windmills.
The product manager needs to know how to identify customer needs, be able to tell when a design is good and when a design is bad and if it addresses the customer need in the most efficient way.
"Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product."
"The value is in what gets used, not in what gets built."
"Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent."
Ability to Prioritize
The product manager needs to map the product strategy down to the individual features, and prioritize them in the right order across product development stages so as to maximize the winnings.
"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas."
"The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities."
Empathy with the consumer
It is very rare to find somebody that is good and has relevant industry experience. That’s why it’s important to recognize the importance of talking to customers. A good product manager will look for every opportunity to learn from the target customer.
"No matter how good the team… if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails."
"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better."
Analytics and Data
This is about making informed decisions based on data instead of instincts and gut feel. Lack of data does not say anything about how correct or wrong are your intuitions. Lack of data means you did not make testable hypothesis or you are not looking for proxies. The rule of thumb is, it’s always go support your decisions with data. So a good product manager is always prepared.
"The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else."
"Feedback is the breakfast of champions."
While the product manager is the CEO of the product he or she does not run rest of the organization needed to make the product a success. He or she needs to be able to negotiate while prioritizing the backlog and clearly communicate why a particular feature was chosen over the other one for the current release.
"A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat."
"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values."
"Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language."
Product managers need to be biased for action. In order for a product to be shipped there are hundreds of things to get done and a product manager should be able to get down and dirty to get them done. At the end of the day, product manager need to make things happen.
"Nothing is a bigger buzz-kill than over-intellectualizing. Design is about rolling up your sleeves and making things."
"Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times."