Empathy

Nothing beats going into people’s homes or offices, and following them as they go about their days. While quantitative and marketing methods such as usage analytics and surveys provide data as to where things aren’t working, findings from such efforts focus on optimizations and point solutions. Good user research, particularly out in the field, reveals a richness of understanding that you simply cannot get anywhere else. It is this work that ends up revealing a customer’s journey, and inevitably, the experiential breakdowns that happen when people try to accomplish things that require them to unknowingly cross siloed departments in an organization.

– Peter Merholz & Kristin Skinner, Org Design for Design Orgs

degrees

many entry-level product management jobs request heavily technical degrees. however, product management is much more like writing an essay than it is like completing a problem set. perhaps the concrete details are technical, but the context of those details is wrought with narrative and persuasion.

titles

If good product people get rid of the crap and take hits to protect their team, doesn’t Butt of Product make more sense than Head of Product? Still working on this one with my team. Will keep you posted.

optimization

Optimizing is not impossible, but often leads to opportunistic decisions for short-term gains. By focusing on learning about the product you set yourself up for better future decisions and more effective tests.

Jan Overgoor, From Experiments at Airbnb