anecdotal research

This is especially true when faced with a multitude of different modes of data: open-end, scale, and rich media like videos. But when your analysis window is tight, you’re likely to fly past that meaty “who-they-are-data,” and scour for the flashy “clear-business-impact-data.”

Kyli Herzberg, Lindsey Brinkworth, Karen Eisenhauer, and Ben Wiedmaier in Foolproof Qualitative Analysis Tactics—For Whether You Have a Month or an Afternoon

The “who” tells you the why, which lets you foster the change management necessary to drive product success. A product that nails the “business impact” without fitting into the workflow and motivations, the “who they are,” of real humans, yields no impact.

empowering product

Recall that in product there are always four risks:

* Value risk (will people buy it, or choose to use it?)
* Usability risk (can users figure out how to use it?)
* Feasibility risk (can we build it with the time, skills, and technology we have?)
* Business Viability risk (will this solution work for the various dimensions of our business?)

In an empowered product team, the product manager is explicitly responsible for ensuring value and viability; the designer is responsible for ensuring usability; and the tech lead is responsible for ensuring feasibility.  The team does this by truly collaborating in an intense, give and take, in order to discover a solution that work for all of us.

Marty Cagan, “Product vs. Feature Teams

I would add a dimension that differentiates great products from products: lovability.

don’t sail to the wrong island

we have to acknowledge that our ideas are grounded in paradigms we know. this creates lacunae, or areas of unknown.

if we fix ourselves to a destination, and ignore signs along the way, we might get somewhere, but it may be the wrong place.

if we set our sights on problems, not solutions, we remain flexible and able to take in new information at every step.

user research

This is why I promote the mindset of Experiment Pairing during the validation phase of Product Discovery. Because, as some of you probably know, users tend to lie about your product subconsciously. At the same time, quantitative metrics only tell you what people are doing, but not why.

Tim Herbig,

what’s a pm?

a great product manager understands customer feedback first and foremost. But an exceptional PM knows how to contextualize that customer need within the broader company vision and strategy, and then decide whether or not to implement what the customer is asking for.

– Andy Johns, from “What Makes for a Good Product Manager