Product Management

Last Updated on September 21, 2021

If I had to be pigeonholed professionally right now, I’d be some kind of technical product leader. I love leading product development – collaborating with both the commercial and engineering sides – in order to create something customers love.

Here are some of my personal product management principles.

Build something people want

I stole this from Paul Graham. There is nothing more important to remember.

Make good decisions

This is importantly different from making the decision that turned out to be the right one. This is about making the right decision, at the right time, based on the information available at the time

In product management you are always making decisions under uncertainty, and creative decision making is very important. One thing that is crucial, is integrative thinking, which is

The ability to face constructively the tension of opposing ideas and, instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing ideas but is superior to each.

The Opposable Mind

Write things

Writing organizes and clarifies our thoughts … writing enables us to find out what we know โ€” and what we donโ€™t know.

William Zinsser

Writing allows you to be more precise. As an idea moves from talking to writing to coding, the precision level increases.

Writing things down makes them more permanent. The assets you create can then be consumed more widely and asynchronously.

I think about this a lot and I wrote a long post about why writing is so important here.

Keep a transparent roadmap

I have a high level roadmap freely accessible to everyone internally at all times. I look at it every day.

Ruthless prioritization could be a principle of it’s own, but roadmap transparency actually leads to more realistic goals/OKRs which drive better priority setting.

Protect momentum

Velocity matters more than speed. Be careful not to impact your teams momentum with changes. I learnt this the hard way. It might seem counterintuitive at times, but even if the team is working on something that is a secondary priority, it’s better they finish that before jumping onto the primary priority.

Keep focused