Happy Friday everyone. It’s nothing like November here in Bucks County PA, more like early spring. Here’s what I’ve been reading in product management this week.
I started my career play testing video games so this article really resonated with me…
There is a canard rampant in Startup Land that you need to have a computer science or engineering degree to be a great startup product manager. As a computer science major whose first job in tech was as a product manager, and as someone who has worked with (as both an entrepreneur and venture capitalist) and taught (as a professor at Harvard Business School) hundreds of product managers, I can tell you that this line of thinking is simply bull. Let me explain by first focusing on what the product manager job requires.
Brainmate asks “If Mary Poppins was alive today, would she be a product manager?”
Product managers are expected to be like Mary Poppins – absolutely perfect in every way. We need to rely on our skills, experience and sheer doggedness to deliver products which delight our customers and stakeholders. The gradual expansion in the product manager role has meant that it’s moved from being a process-oriented role to much more strategy-led.
Tesla is such a great case study on business strategy and product development. This article focuses how Tesla PMs should deal with customers trying to break their product.
The smart product managers at Tesla realize that making the jump from today’s people controlled cars to tomorrow’s computer controlled cars is going to be quite jarring for those of us who grew up taking driver’s ed. By releasing this feature now, even though it’s still in beta, they are starting to introduce their customer base to the idea that a car can someday drive itself. No, it can’t do it today, but with the technology that is available today, everyone can start to see what tomorrow is going to look like.
However, now that it’s out their customers are trying to break it. Not only did they do this, but they also fully used social media to show people how they were trying to break it?
Customer on boarding is a critical part of your application. Check out this deck with patterns to apply and anti-patterns to avoid when building your onboarding.
Something to think about…
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
– Bill Gates
That’s it for this weeks #5Things. Subscribe to the newsletter so you never miss an issue.
My first professional job involved playing video games for 9 hours a day. After experiencing early signs of brain rot, I decided to teach myself how to write software.
My entire career is characterized by this “why not?” attitude.
I'm currently applying my experience at product development to help early to mid-stage companies develop a “product first” mindset.
You can also find him at the links below.
On blog posts where I discuss products I may include affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and buy something then I get a teeny-tiny commission. As of this writing I think I make enough to buy a cup of coffee once every couple of months.
I don't get any paid compensation directly to write product reviews. I think that's pretty scammy.