The Varieties of Product Management Tension

Starting with The Product Management Triangle, I’ve argued that a chief responsibility of product managers is to release the tension surrounding a product. In the PM triangle article, I focused on business model tensions and tensions between teams. But since then, I’ve explored an additional four types of product tension.  This post takes a zoomed outContinue reading “The Varieties of Product Management Tension”

Introducing Double-Loop

Double-Loop is an app for predicting and recording the impact of your launches. It enhances your ability to make strong bets moving forward. The principle of Double-Loop is that your product development process will continually improve if you enact the following key behaviors. Behavior #1: After each launch or event related to your product, record the context andContinue reading “Introducing Double-Loop”

DNA is the Wrong Metaphor

In Images of Organization, Gareth Morgan describes corporate DNA as “the visions, values, and sense of purpose that bind an organization together…” Leaders face diminishing control as their organizations grow. DNA appears to be a good metaphor for how they can encode their core principles into the minds of their employees at scale. I likeContinue reading “DNA is the Wrong Metaphor”

Object-Oriented Product Thinking

Introspective product builders can find themselves trapped in a paradox between (A) the product-driven Steve Jobs mentality of bending the world to your vision, and (B) the customer-driven lean startup mindset of adapting our products to the environment and the marketplace. This fundamental tension in product mirrors an ancient philosophy puzzle. The product-driven mindset echoes an anti-realistContinue reading “Object-Oriented Product Thinking”

Autopoietic Product Thinking: A Frame for Long-Term Impact 

[People] make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past. – Karl Marx (quoted by Levi Bryant) Cognitive biologists Maturana and Valera argue that the defining quality of livingContinue reading “Autopoietic Product Thinking: A Frame for Long-Term Impact “

The Fox-Hedgehog Collaboration Loop

The dichotomy of the fox and the hedgehog is fascinating, in part, because it gets at a paradox we face in trying to achieve our goals. On the one hand, we need to be monomaniacal hedgehogs to relentlessly execute a vision. On the other hand, we need the fox’s open-mindedness and sound judgment to fitContinue reading “The Fox-Hedgehog Collaboration Loop”

The Superforecasting Playbook for Product Development

When you inject new software into an environment, it’s difficult to forecast what will transpire. Product teams continually try to predict what will work. We predict that a certain new feature will increase conversion, that a targeted ad spend will bring critical mass, or that market conditions will change in our favor. We expect manyContinue reading “The Superforecasting Playbook for Product Development”

Really Bad Chess: A New Way to Interact With AI

Some of the most interesting inventions spark new ways for people and machines to interact. One of the best examples I’ve seen of this, lately, is the iOS game Really Bad Chess.  Conventional chess programs come with adjustable difficulty meters controlling the prowess of your computer opponent. At some difficulty levels, you can easily win. But whenContinue reading “Really Bad Chess: A New Way to Interact With AI”

The Amazing Trisociation Cube: A Visual Model of Creation

Product managers don’t create things the way people often think of creating. We usually aren’t writing the code or crafting pixel-perfect designs. Instead, our role is to synthesize diverse inputs from customers and contributors into a singular direction; a narrative that guides the team who hands-on builds the product. On the surface, synthesis feels different from creation. CreationContinue reading “The Amazing Trisociation Cube: A Visual Model of Creation”