On my first day as a real PM, my boss told me that “80% of the job is saying no”. I don’t think it’s too far off the mark, and saying ‘no’ to people is definitely one of the harder parts of the job.
People from around the business come to you because they need something doing. It might be marketing wanting to change some copy on the homepage, sales asking for a new feature, or someone on C-level floating an idea you should look into.
PMs end up saying ‘no’ a lot.(more…)
There’s nothing more frustrating than doing a good piece of work, sharing it, and… no reply. You’ve done all the hard work, and you need other people to read it and give a 👍, or even just tell you that they won’t read it, but to go ahead.(more…)
The product management role can be hard to understand and articulate. I think I can make it clear, but it requires changing your mindset about engineers (and everyone in a tech team).(more…)
Deciding what to work on is probably the most high-leverage task that product people can do. Spending 10 hours working on an important problem is far, far more impactful than 20 hours working on a non-important problem.
The trouble is, prioritising a list of work feels hard. There aren’t many how-to guides, and it’s a weird skill that you don’t truly learn through school or university. Unlike many product-building skills, you can’t passively learn it from playing with other products. You can see and Facebook’s design decisions, and be impressed by Snapchat’s speed, but that doesn’t give much visibility into how they make prioritisation decisions.(more…)
Reading Time: 5 minutes
I’ve been building and tinkering with digital products for 10 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to do that at TransferWise and Deliveroo – environments that force you to learn quickly. I was inspired by a good friend’s summary of what he’s learned in the startup world, to write down what I’ve learned.
After removing the most obvious ones that really shouldn’t have been lessons, I’m left with a series of learnings that genuinely surprised me.