Everything you need to know in thirty seconds, courtesy of Mark Thomas.
In Summary: From forgiveness > permission and people > product to strong opinons, weakly held, Mark synthesises the best anecdotes, insights and pearls of wisdom from Product Leaders over the years into one paragraph.
One observer remarked that a great Product Manager would only need 25 words but that seems a little harsh. There's a few decades of knowledge and inspiration packed into these 100 words.
Communication rules, says Flybridge Capital's Jeff Bussgang.
In Summary: Do you need a Computer Science degree to be a Product Manager? Neither the question nor the debate are new. What is new is that Jeff is himself a CS graduate (as well as a veteran VC who has sat on dozens of startups' boards) yet feels strongly that making CS or Engineering a prerequisite misses the point completely.
For Jeff, the best Product Managers are simply great communicators, clear thinkers who have strong interpersonal skills and good judgment. In his view, it’s more about character and the broader skills you develop either as a professional or a graduate, especially good writing and interpersonal behaviour.
More significantly, if you accept the prevailing wisdom that only former coders can become great Product Leaders, you're limiting your funnel to a narrow pool of candidates as 88% of engineers are men.
CUI + You = BFF, says Nir Eyal.
In Summary: A friend has three qualities: they’re easy to talk to, enjoyable and dependable. We turn to important people in our lives in the same way we build habits with products.
AI Bots use a Conversational User Interface (CUI) to turn the tediousness of tapping through menus into the simple act of asking. Onscreen, a CUI looks like a text message, an interface anyone with a mobile phone understands. However, CUIs don’t require a screen at all, they can work just as well via a voice exchange.
Referencing conversation-powered bots like Sensay, Quartz and Pana, Nir demonstrates how, when built well, CUIs leverage his 4 steps of habit-forming products to create strong bonds with their users.
Product Managers need an echo chamber, says Sachin Rekhi.
In Summary: One of the first things Sachin does on joining a Product Team is to setup a 'feedback river': an open channel that provides direct access to primary feedback on the product from any channel, whether interview, support, survey or social media.
He also sets up a feedback 'system of record' which becomes the source of truth for aggregated feedback for facilitating roadmap planning.
It’s critical to integrate feedback directly into the Product Roadmap process to make the effort of analysing feedback worthwhile.
The value of feedback is not simply the features customers have requested, but the synthesis of the learnings from that feedback. Customer feedback is one input amongst many and needs to be considered alongside the strategic product priorities driven by your team’s objectives.
Yes to the mess, says MEGI's Nino Lancette.
In Summary: It's inevitable that Product Managers associate their personal success with that of their product. So when you realise that your product isn’t right for your chosen segment and need to pivot, it’s hard not to take it as a personal failure.
Pivoting can feel like you just crashed an expense racing car. Your carefully curated roadmap gets brutally cleared of redundant features and versions. So much work wasted because of you.
As your product undergoes rapid transformation it can be unsettling. It feels awkward to lead the product equivalent of a 'car-boat.' But, after a couple of weeks, you embrace the change and feel like your old self again. And next time you'll 'lean in' to the pivot like a pro.
The goal, the process, the nuance! by Drift's Brian Tod.
In Summary: Much has been written about PMF since Marc Andreessen coined the term nearly 10 years ago. Here, Brian summarises everything we've learnt so far about this mysterious moment and the 5 step process he believes leads up to it.
Brian support the view that PMF consists of 3 vectors: desirability, feasibility and viability - the latter referring to the ability to build a sustainable business off the back of the product itself. Advertising businesses, he points out, need to hit PMF twice: once for users and once for advertisers.
So Product/Market Fit means reaching a point where you’re truly solving a real problem that a large market of people need solved right now in a way that you can extract value to grow a true business. If you can’t prove those 3 elements, you aren’t there yet. You may be close, but you also might be far away and need to pivot.