This Week in Product: Aug. 31, 2018

Published Aug 31, 2018

It may be the last week of summer, but product Twitter didn’t disappoint this week. Here are some reads to take you into the long weekend:

Konmari That Product!

This tweet made my week — I’m already hard at work writing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Roadmap. As Jeremy points out, less is sometimes more – piling on features is not the only way to your users’ heart, especially if your product is a behemoth. Props to Atlassian for removing features that don’t work, and then celebrating that fact with a product release.

Don’t Get Off the Rocketship

David Cancel's Personal Growth

Everyone wants to be on a rocketship, right? Honestly, I find both term and emoji 🚀 a bit overused. And rocketships tend to leave people behind, as David Cancel, the CEO of Drift, points out in this piece on LinkedIn. But rocketships are the perfect training ground for product-managers-in-waiting. If you get in at the ground level at a company that’s growing rapidly, you can get some of the best education in product: learning new things every day, moving around between departments and roles, failing quickly (and often). And yes, sometimes when you’re on a rocketship, your personal growth rate might not mirror that of the company. This is totally normal, Cancel points out. Instead of getting discouraged, stick it out and see how you can ride the wave.

You’re a Hit

It may be easy for Jeff Morris Jr. — a director of product at Tinder and the owner of an enviable Twitter handle — to preach positivity. I heard Tinder is doing okay. But I do appreciate this perspective. Yes, not all products will succeed, and not everything can be a hit. So, embrace failure, just learn to do it faster so that you don’t get bogged down.

A New Kind of Product Job

I look at a lot of job descriptions for product jobs. They have lots of suffixes — owner, designer, manager, strategist — and a lot of prefixes — junior, senior, associate, technical, director. Occasionally, you’ll see a good chief product officer req. What you don’t usually see in the “product” section of the careers page is a fraud analyst position. But unicorns are real!

This job from Dialpad caught my eye because it reports directly to the CPO, and while it’s mostly traditional in its fraud responsibilities, I appreciate its very heavy focus on PM diplomacy. This analyst will have to “educate internal teams and external parties on processes and procedures,” and have “excellent interpersonal skills, including negotiation and problem resolution in a cross-functional team.” Help catch the bad guys!


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