Be Humble, Reflect, and Improve Your Processes Continually - Product Science Journal #25
Some key principles for great product leadership that I try to follow include: be candid and humble, make time for reflection, and continuously adapt and improve. Read these articles for deeper context.
How is it already March?! To be candid, I'm embarrassed at how long it's been since I sent a newsletter email out. If there's any defense, it's that I've been up to all sorts of new things - like launching the Product Science Podcast, speaking at the Lean Startup Summit in Berlin, running the first round of the online workshop beta, growing our team, and coaching lots of wonderful and hard-working product managers.
But really, those are poor excuses. I believe making time for communication and feedback gives us the space we need to think and change so that we're not just working hard - we're working smart. With all this activity lately I've been thinking about how I want to invest my time, and I've redesigned my schedule to make more time for reading and writing.
I'm sharing that all with you because I believe it aligns with a few key principles for great product leadership - be candid and humble, make time for reflection, and continuously adapt and improve.
Below are some articles and podcasts that share deeper perspectives on those principles. Enjoy!
The Teresa Torres Hypothesis: The Best Product Teams Continually Improve Both Their Product and Their Process
In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, Teresa and I discuss how to use continuous improvement for your product teams and even for your own workweeks. Give it a listen or check out the show notes for her advice on structuring teams for using continuous discovery to drive better product decisions.
This article from Rian van der Merwe calls out the importance of humility for a product manager (and also references Marty Cagan's 2018 article CEO of the Product Revisited), pointing out that we don't hear humility talked about enough in product manager training. I completely agree.
This article from Andrea Hill is an evidence-based argument for why we need to be humble. Founders, product managers, and designers don't like to admit the role of luck, but it's there. Great practices just increase the likelihood of a good outcome, they don't erase the possibility of bad luck getting in the way.
Other Recent Articles and Podcasts
In this Interview on Awkward Silences about Encouraging Collaboration Between UX Research and Stakeholders, I talk about a passion area of mine - helping to bridge the gap between researchers and those who use the research to make decisions. Check it out for some tips, including a shout-out to Teresa Torres!
I had a blast at the Lean Startup Summit in Berlin. While I'm still planning to write my own thoughts from the event, I think Six Ways to Prompt Lean Innovation from Elisheva Marcus of The Next Big Thing is a great overview. Thanks for including me, Elisheva!I also loved talking to Floriana Scanteie from Global Women in Tech on surviving success in lean startups and being a woman in the tech industry. We discussed modern product principles as well as focusing on the things you can have an impact on.
Brought to you by H2R Product Science
Our team at H2R Product Science partners with startup founders and product leaders to share The Product Science Principles and the accompanying framework, the Product Science Method, which I've developed over my time in tech startups. Through our coaching and consulting work, we help our clients figure out which product growth opportunities they should pursue and build the product management skill to deliver on their goals. Reach out if you'd like to explore working together.
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The Path to Product-Market Fit Requires Steady Iteration - Product Science Journal #37
The path to product-market fit is a steady cycle of iterations. In this issue I share the Product Discovery Loop, stories from JH Forster at User Interviews, and an article from First Round Review about Airtable's path to product-market fit.
The Brent Tworetzky Hypothesis: Savvy COOs Can Use a Product Lens to Effectively Drive Company Operations
Brent Tworetzky, COO of Parsley Health, shares how he has transformed his company by following product principles on an organizational level.