This Week in Product: Aug. 17, 2018

When was the last time you read a book?

This is not meant to be a trick question. It’s just that I’ve been increasingly hearing “I think I’ve forgotten how to read,” often from people who have been avid readers and writers their whole lives and are suddenly tapped out.

Indeed, it’s hard to turn to books — those unitasking artifacts of yore — when the Internet is so full of goodness, hand-picked for us, relevant to our interests, readable on our phones. If only. We read a little here and there, listen to that podcast or that audiobook, scroll through one feed or the other.

What we end up with is a browser full of open tabs. Surely you have a few articles open right now, things that you saw on Twitter or LinkedIn or someone Slacked you. You want to read more, but you can’t get to everything, so we did. –> Every week, we’ll share a few highlights from the Week in Product – things that are interesting to PMs, UXers, designers, engineers, product marketers, and anyone who’s really into building software people love.

Saw a really cool thing we missed? Send it to us, @ us, or comment on this post.

Everyone Loves to Hate Jira

Agile coaching sans Jira? Oh, the humanity! Neil Killick, an Australian agile coach (little a for emphasis) goes analog and agilists go atwitter. Amazingly, he manages to defy Twitter’s aversion to nuance by stressing the importance of picking a blend of tools that works for you and your goals. There is no real Swiss Army Knife in product (or anything else for that matter), so build your stack and prosper.

Humble Brags

Is saying that you’re humble really a humble thing to do? When was the last time you heard anyone say “I don’t know”? Intercom’s VP of product apparently lives in a utopia of honest-to-goodness wholesome PMs, and we want in! All snark aside, I think we can all agree that building a culture where people have permission to ask questions is paramount for continued growth. I’m with you, Paul!

Critical Context

Tatyana Mamut is probably one of my favorite people to read in product; her quintessential liberal arts POV and experience in everything from brand to product make her insights a notch above. The context that she gave this Economist daily chart is critical – optimization of products based on short-term A/B tests may be effective, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. She challenges all of us to think more deeply about the kind of choices we make when designing and building new things – be it physical products, software, or organizations.

Cool Product Job

This week we published a piece from a designer about the importance of being data-driven. We love this job description from Artsy, which hammers in the point with the following reasons to pick Artsy:

Art x Science: We believe in uniting empathy with logic, emotion with data, and intuition with research in everything we do. Whether in business strategy or design, culture or code, we seek the magic that happens when the often separate worlds of art and science come together.”

Your Moment of Zen

Not a product post per se, this tweet from the famed ad agency so beautifully captures the cultural moment we live in, we just had to throw it in.