Authors Shreyas Doshi
Very visual story thread👇🏾
Our story starts with a new product idea
PM diligently talks to customers about whether this product will solve their problems
Customers say yes!
PM reports findings to the executive team
Staffing obtained 🙌🏾
(this might be useful if you are a product manager, product leader, or founder)
Before we jump in:
Frameworks will not fix all your problems.
Used right, they should help you
1) better understand your context
2) create structure for problems
3) communicate ideas & solutions
I often use these frameworks in my product work, sometimes without realizing it.
3X framework (Kent Beck)
A product can be in one of 3 stages
For product leaders this is the most vital framework to understand because almost every important decision should account for the stage your product is
Examples of decisions you can make more rigorously with the 3X framework:
- optimize for inputs, outputs, or outcomes?
- set more qualitative or quantitative goals?
- how to measure progress?
- what skills to look for?
- how to evaluate PMs'
5Qs for product rigor
1) Who is the customer?
2) What is the problem/opportunity?
3) What is the main customer benefit?
4) How do you know customers want this?
5) What is the customer experience?
This framework provides useful structure for product proposals, reviews, etc.
Solve THE problem
3 types of product leaders
Levels of product work
Getting work done
“I don’t know”
Good people, bad managers
& much more..
A story that often plays out when we are not rigorous enough about the importance of the customer problem our product
The 3 types / hats / modes of product
3 types of product leaders:— Shreyas Doshi (@shreyas) March 26, 2021
1) The Operator
2) The Craftsperson
3) The Visionary
It is important for you as a startup founder or CEO, product manager, or a product leader to deeply understand these types, as you make decisions on whom to hire or whom to work for.
An extremely important observation about product
There are 3 levels to product work— Shreyas Doshi (@shreyas) March 12, 2021
(1) The Execution level
(2) The Impact level
(3) The Optics level
When an individual & their team are fixated on different levels, often there is conflict.
PM is fixated on (2), Team on (1)
PM on (3), Team on (2)
PM on (2), Team on (3)
A thread on getting work
How I like to plan my work:— Shreyas Doshi (@shreyas) March 17, 2021
\u21d2 Long scheduled work blocks
At end of the work day, plan next day
\u21d2 Easier to disconnect, be present
Fit the next day's tasks in calendar
\u21d2 Forces prioritizing
Plan next week on Friday evening
\u21d2 Go into weekend with a clear mind
Or, why does YMM often respond with trivial feedback (e.g. formatting) & not substantive feedback?
Answers in this thread👇🏾
Have you set an entirely new password on a site & said to yourself: “surely, I’ll remember it becos this site is so important for me”. Have you then gone on to forget that password the very next week?
The reason for YMM’s odd behavior & my password optimism is the same.
That reason is the Focusing Illusion, first described by Daniel Kahneman.
The Focusing Illusion:
Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.
When YMM asked you to create that doc as one of the follow up actions during the Product Review, YMM fell prey to the Focusing Illusion.
Trust me, YMM had no intention of making you do busywork.
YMM truly believed that it was very impt & urgent to create that doc & review it.
This was YMM’s conception of how much of their future time was appropriate to spend on the item for which they requested that doc (Item A):
(should also be useful for Eng, Design, Data Science, Mktg, Ops folks who want to get better at PM work or want to build more empathy for your PM friends ☺️)
(oh, and pls also share *your* favorite resources below)
Product Management - Start Here by @cagan
(hard to go wrong if you start with Marty Cagan’s
Tips for Breaking into PM by @sriramk
(I’ve recommended this thread in my DMs more often than any other thread, by a pretty wide
Breaking into PMing - a \U0001f9f5 // A question folks from eng/design/other functions often have how to become a PM in a tech co.— Sriram Krishnan (@sriramk) April 14, 2020
It can seem non-obvious and differs with each company but here are some patterns I've seen work. All the below assumes you have no PMing on your resume.
Top 100 Product Management Resources by @sachinrekhi
(well-categorized index so you can focus on whatever’s most useful right
It’s important to understand your preferred learning style and go all in on that learning style (vs. struggling / procrastinating as you force a non-preferred learning
There is no One Correct Way\u2122 to learn— Shreyas Doshi (@shreyas) August 15, 2020
Don\u2019t feel pressured to read 70 books/year just becos Super-Successful Person X does that
Videos, Podcasts, Audiobooks, Discussions\u2014all are fine
What to do:
Understand your preferred learning style
Don't resist it, embrace it
Commit to it
No matter where we look on social media, we will find people who seem wealthier, luckier, prettier, healthier, more popular, smarter, happier than us.
As highly ambitious people, what are we to do?
A solution to consider👇🏾
The solution, in three words:
Aim for Mediocrity
Here’s what I’ve done for years now:
1) Aim to be mediocre at most things.
2) Celebrate this mediocrity.
3) Then focus on excellence at a few things.
4) Make sure those few things align with my passions, my strengths, and what the world needs.
5) Work hard at those few things for long periods of time.
6) Find rewards in the act of getting better, not in immediate external feedback.
7) Get clarity on what rewards really matter.
8) Trust that those rewards will come.
9) Tweak my approach as I learn more.
An acceptance of our mediocrity is a ticket to freedom.
Very few smart & ambitious people recognize this.
This isn’t about giving up or "being a loser".
It’s about recognizing that very few of the things that bring us lifelong anxiety actually matter, when all is said & done.
Stupid arguments & the fallacies that feed them, a thread:
Just because it’s true that all squares are rectangles, you argued that all rectangles must be squares. (And you did it with so much swagger.)
Example of Fallacy 1
X says: Successful people aren’t afraid of hard work.
Y argues: That’s BS. I work 90 hours a week at Tech Co and am still stuck in this dead-end job.
Just because you found an exception to a general pattern, you argued that the entire pattern is false.
Example of Fallacy 2
X says: Venture capital is useful for startups.
Y argues: Not true. Foo’s startup took VC money and they crashed & burned.
Z piles on: I agree with Y. In fact, Bar’s startup did not take VC money and it’s worth a bajillion.
I was a bad listener most of my life.
Then I fixed that a few years ago.
Night & day difference in my leadership ability.
I learned that we can learn to listen well.
A thread on listening (and learning it from movies🎞️)
First, why is listening hard?
It’s because we have:
- the fear of being wrong
- an inability to be present
- a desire for validation
- a lack of curiosity
- the urge to impress
- a feeling of superiority
For an example of *bad* listening, let’s learn from this epic scene from the movie, The Darkest Hour.
The setup: World War II. There are disagreements among British leadership about whether they should pursue peace talks with Germany or an all out war.
Go on, watch the scene.
Really, watch the scene before proceeding to the next tweet.
So what can we learn from this scene about listening?
The superficial lesson is not to interrupt others.
But the deeper lesson is that most of us are like Churchill w.r.t. listening.
While we may not interrupt vocally, *we are interrupting others with our thoughts*
And then you need to make that tax work against the Gorilla—with your product's positioning & features
A thread on Gorilla taxes👇🏾
Getting two or more product groups at a megacorp to collaborate on creating a seamless end user experience is the hardest problem in computer science.
(I am not joking)
Examples of Collaboration Tax:
Calendly exists because the Gmail team & Calendar team haven’t worked together on creating a more seamless experience for that use case.
Loom might succeed because the Gmail, Video, Meet teams at Google are probably too busy with their own goals.
The takeaway for startups:
If you can create meaningful value by seamlessly integrating features of two or more distinct Gorilla products, you will typically have a lot of runway before the Gorilla can get its act together and eliminate its Collaboration Tax.
Once a Gorilla’s product reaches massive scale (i.e. the denominator for its metrics gets very large), the pressure of OKRs & incentives will often force the Gorilla’s product teams to prioritize breadth of usage more than depth of usage.