70 slides of awesome from LinkedIn's Sachin Rekhi.
In Summary: Vision, strategy, design and execution. These are the vectors that a Product Manager must drive and co-ordinate for their product. Sachin's epic deck is packed with great case studies, examples and methodologies for each one.
Highlights include why you should minimise your dimensions of innovation, the importance of emotion in your product and the 'iteration loop' of relentless improvement that ultimately defines success.
Essential reading for any Product Manager, at any stage of their career.
The most competitive and rewarding job in tech says MixPanel's Christine Deakers.
In Summary: Christine chats with Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia, founder of Product School, about why he wanted to teach others how to become Product Managers.
Recognising that there's still no formal path into Product Management, Carlos advises on the best routes into the role but also touches on the intensity of competition, the importance of domain expertise, data immersion, time management and motivation.
Little and often wins the day, says Lakshmi Mani.
In Summary: Part 2 in her series on 'How to train your human', Lakshmi focusses on how Product Managers can ensure new behaviors become long-term habits.
Referencing products such as Joyable, Jawbone, Carrotfit and Pillow, not to mention the behavioural psychology of Nir Eyal and Roberto Cialdini, Lakshmi analyses how products can leverage human need for status and competition via leaderboards, challenges and unpredictable rewards.
With the increasing popularity of gamification, it's tempting to use it all in our products. But slapping gamification concepts onto a product, without consideration about who the users are, will only lead to poor product design.
An excellent study on why Product Managers need to understand users’ deep pain and true motivation.
Detailed teardown of the challenges of managing products long term by Steven Sinofsky of Andreessen Horowitz.
In Summary: The first rule of product management is to expect change and to prepare for it. But, once your product is woven into the fabric of your customers' lives, change becomes extraordinarily difficult. Yet a product that fails to dramatically change is one that will certainly be bypassed.
Over time, it's hard to stay simple as more features are added but a failure to embrace some complexity can prevent important and strategic change. The reality is you have to respond to the marketplace. You can choose to continue to iterate on the same path with the same customers but to do so means you focus on a shrinking market.
Growth is the friend of change and if you’re not growing you are, by definition, shrinking. The most adaptable part of the entire technology stack is the human being at the very top.
Note: Steve's writing can be dense at times but perseverance is invariably rewarded.
How to move fast without breaking things, by Thoughtworks' Suzie Prince.
In Summary: A comprehensive teardown of the what and the how (with a bit of the why) of merging and deploying to production at ninja speed.
Continuous Integration ensures that building, testing and integrating code happens on a regular basis. Continuous Delivery means that new changes, integrations and builds are automatically tested on environments that are very similar to production before release.
'DevOps' (Development Operations) is associated with Continuous Delivery because both aim to increase collaboration between developers and operations teams, and both use automatic processes to build, test and release software more quickly, frequently and reliably.
Organisations practicing CD and embracing a DevOps culture will deliver more valuable, reliable software to customers, more often.
Great primer for PMs on managing the curveball of feature requests from Aha's Ron Yang.
In Summary: It's tough to disappoint potential customers - especially when they could impact your business in a major way. But when you bend to feature requests from a single customer, you set a dangerous precedent. You imply your product is less about your strategy and more about popular opinion.
Product Managers need to remind the sales team to value the product as it is now - not the promise of what it could become. We need to learn to say 'No' to irrelevant feature requests and steer the conversation from 'What's missing?' to 'Here’s what we have; and why it matters.'
Your real, loyal users will reward your good sense.
Boring no more, says Google's Luke Wroblewski.
In Summary: In summarising Anna Pickard's presentation on Slack's app release notes, Luke draws attention to a creative outlet for Product Manager's that's often overlooked.
Once a fairly dry list of technical changes (think 'Bug fixes and minor improvements'), release notes now contain poetry, stories, jokes, and much more. Product Managers shouldn't miss this opportunity to connect with their users as people and express the passion they have for their product.