Joe Cotellese

πŸ‘‹ Hi! I'm Joe – product guy, coach and founder.

Why don't you just ...


“Why don’t you just do …?”

“You should just …”

If you have worked in product management for more than a few months someone has said this to you. It’s deeply frustrating and can feel condescending.

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Product managers should embrace constraints


Force constraints on yourself as a way to change your thinking.

I β™₯ grocery shopping and am always looking for ways to make things more efficient.

In our most recent release of ClipDish I wanted to add support for sending ingredients to a shopping list. The obvious solution is to add a grocery list feature into ClipDish.

Upon reflection, I realized that would take longer than I wanted with no clear return on the time investment.

Instead, I ended up integrating ClipDish with Apple Reminders. This cut the implementation time from weeks to hours. It also added some additional features like Siri and shared lists that I wouldn’t have even thought to include in the first version of a feature built from the ground up.

The value of product management


I’ve spoken with a lot of CEOs from engineering led organizations who don’t understand how a much a good product manager helps their bottom line.

Here’s what I tell them.

Great product management drives down the cost of development because it front loads mistakes where the cost of being wrong is low.

In other words, if you’re learning that you’ve built the wrong product after you’ve released, you just ran a $$$$$ experiment that I could have probably done for less than $1000 and some interviews conducted via

Don't Expect Product Managers to be Project Managers: Here's Why


Product managers who are asked to do project management are always miserable.


Because they are performing roles that have competing needs. If they understand this then they are always fighting an existential battle over which “hat” wins.

Product managers are externally focused and make decisions based on what they learn about the market and customers.

Project managers are internally focused and make decisions based on the operational needs of the business.

These two goal are sometimes at odds with each other. One person can’t wear both hats and be effective.

Always Be Testing

2022-02-25 Joe Cotellese

Early in my career I worked in QA. Part of the process in those days was running around with a floppy disk on a Friday afternoon and sticking it in a bunch of machines.

In my rush to get to Happy Hour my testing sometimes lacked thoroughness. A couple of problem releases over the years taught me a valuable lesson.

It’s easy to gloss over testing.


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What are the hidden costs of a company policy?

2022-02-14 Joe Cotellese

A number of years ago I heard a talk from a Ritz Carlton executive.

The executive told the audience that Ritz employees are empowered to spend up to $2,000 without manager approval when solving a customer problem.

Ritz Carlton trusts their employees to make decisions that are in the best interest of the customer, which in turn, is in the best interest of the Ritz Carlton.

Recently, I read the book No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings. They have few company policies because they discovered that employees are more accountable when there are fewer rules in place.

Netflix’s rationale is that if you have the right people in place then they will act in the best interest of the company. Policies manage the exceptions and get in the way.

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How-to quickly clean old newsletters in Apple Mail


I receive a ton of email newsletters. I try to unsubscribe but let’s be honest who really wants to go through and manually click “unsubscribe?”

I know there are paid services that will manage your inbox for you. I just don’t feel like spending the money.

Here’s a way to nearly automate batch deleting tons of email in macOS Mail.

So, if you want to follow along, launch your Mail app and let’s get going.

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