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As a Product Manager, You Need to Unlearn Your Product Every Day

Product managers

Product Managers (PM) are responsible for the growth of the product from the start. If the product fails, the PM takes full responsibility. To ensure a successful outcome, PMs need to spend a lot of time with their product to make it valuable for its users.

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As a Product Manager, You Need to Unlearn Your Product Every Day

As a Product Manager, You Need to Unlearn Your Product Every Day

https://hackernoon.com/as-a-product-manager-you-need-to-unlearn-your-product-every-day-sg4t3wog

hackernoon.com

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Key Ideas

Product managers

Product Managers (PM) are responsible for the growth of the product from the start. If the product fails, the PM takes full responsibility. To ensure a successful outcome, PMs need to spend a lot of time with their product to make it valuable for its users.

Unlearn your own product

Over time, you as a PM may become so used to your own product that it limits your ability to notice small flaws in the user experience.

Look at the product from the perspective of a new user, and find the missing pieces of information that prevents the user from a great experience.

The launch of a new feature

When you launch a new feature or module in your product, consider how the user will discover that feature and interact with it.

Your new feature must create an emotional response of "want to use it" in the user's mind.

The pricing conundrum

During the launch of the product, you decide on a simple pricing model for your product. When your product evolves, is your pricing changing equally? Is your pricing competitive and straightforward for the users as it was initially?

Re-work the pricing strategy of your product so that your existing customers do not feel cheated for what they have paid, and new users can see the value.

Talking to your customers

You need to continuously get feedback from existing customers and improve your product. It is equally important to talk to people who were your customers in the past and understand what turned them away.

Use consistent language and expression

Although you and your team's thought process evolves and becomes mature over time, your product needs to use the same personality and expression to communicate with each user.

You need to revisit those old modules from time to time and make changes for consistency.

What improvements to prioritize

Often improvements that will have a less overall impact get prioritized because of a specific and pressing need of your customer success/support team.

Make sure that the improvements are made based on the overall impact.

Deeply understand your users

Teams often spend a lot of time discussing outlier user behavior during their team meetings. Although these conversations are exciting and test the limits, they don't serve the major cohort of your users.
You need to know who the 80% of your users are and prioritize solutions that will serve them.

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Storytelling Is Everything

Whether it's telling inspiring stories to customers or delivering a presentation to executives and the board of directors, being a good storyteller helps us make the leap from Good to Great.

Product managers and designers can benefit tremendously by great storytelling, and so can anyone who is working with product design.

Purpose

Instead of selling products, we need to focus on their purpose and what good it does for the end-user. Focus on the need of the customer and design the product around it.

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The Better Mind Map
The Better Mind Map

Combining the Mind Map Technique with the Creativity Triggers Technique.

The novelty of The Better Mind Map is in the custom triggers tailored to a specific challenge. It is a t...

How The Better Mind Map works
  • Write your design challenge or problem in the center of a blank piece of paper and circle it.
  • Add the following five Topic Areas around the central challenge: User needs, Inspiration, Constraints, Commercial drivers, Service design triggers.
  • In the Service design triggers Area, Pick 3 triggers from Entertainment, Simplified/light, Adaptable, Economical, Integrated, Durable.
  • Consolidate what you know about each topic area into 3 triggers each.
Sketching ideas
From your mind map:
  • Divide a piece of paper into six sections.
  • Dedicate each section to a sketched idea, based on a single trigger from your Better Mind Map
Enterprization of The Consumer

Today's technology-enabled world offers many ways to capitalize on creativity: creators are now earning individually, monetizing their unique skills. People are turning their passion, the things th...

Evolution of The Passion Economy
  • On-demand marketplaces established, in the last 10 years, new ways for people to make money - workers could easily monetize their time in specific, narrow services (food delivery, parking, or transportation). 
  • These marketplaces automated the matching of supply and demand, as well as pricing and used platforms that were convenient for both the user and the provider.
  • Specific platforms provided a path to self-employment for millions of people and they also homogenized the variety between service workers, prioritizing consistency and efficiency. 
The Passion Economy

New digital platforms are enabling the 'passion economy', where individuals with certain creative skill sets can earn a livelihood while doing the very thing they are good at. These platforms provide:

  • Greater ability to build customer relations. 
  • Increased support for expanding their business. 
  • Better tools for standing apart from the competition.

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Assembling the Team

... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

  • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
  • Hire people you can trust....
Software/Tools

In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

Processes

Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.

A few examples from Zapier:

  • Weekly Hangouts;
  • Weekly One-on-Ones;
  • Bring the team together 2 times/year somewhere cool;
  • Automate anything that can be automated.
Balancing shallow and deep work
Balancing shallow and deep work
  • What should be done when your team's "shallow work" is just as important as their "deep work"?
  • How do you empower your team to find a balance between small improvements and general m...
The Hero Role
  • Each month one person on each product team becomes the "Hero." Their primary responsibilities are to communicate with their support team and take care of smaller improvements.
  • The Hero should be able to focus entirely on their support duties. They're not assigned to any other product development work during that month.
  • Being attentive to the support team and users means the Hero is unlikely to block off 4 hours or more of deep work, but it will enable everyone else on the team to do so.
  • Being so close to user's requests and feedback gives the Hero a unique perspective into their problems and struggles.
Housekeeping Days

Each member of the team (except the Hero) spends one day per week on Housekeeping. It gives them time to focus on small but important tasks.

Housekeeping is a personal day. If the Hero hasn't explicitly asked for help on an issue, people can choose which tasks they want to work on. Sometimes this time is used to learn something new related to current or upcoming work.

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Perfect Vs Good Enough

For work that is not mission-critical, sometimes it is better to be just good enough, instead of being perfect.

Striving for 'Good Enough' instead of perfect can increase productivity if done...

Minimum Viable Product

The Minimum Viable Product is the simplest, most basic form of a product or service, which can be sold in the market. This doesn't have all of the bells and whistles but has enough features to work. Basically, it is good enough but not perfect.

Releasing an MVP allows one to get feedback at an early stage, and improve the product later on.

First of its Kind

If a product is being launched in the market that is new and does not have competition, then launching it with bare minimum features is the right way.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product) strategy does not work for a generic product.

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Mentally Prepare

Think if you are willing to sacrifice your free time to struggle to establish a side hustle and if you can handle the consequences of it. 

If you are willing, develop a system of ...

Your Skills And Areas Of Interest

Acquire relevant skills, experience or industry knowledge necessary and ensure you have the passion and competence for what you are going to work on.

A good start is to monetize the skills you already have that are related to the side hustle you want to establish this. And if you lack key skills that relate to your interests or the side hustle you want to create, there's no better time than the present to learn them. 

Validate Your Side Hustle

Your side hustle idea may seem awesome and disruptive to you, but your potential customers will likely ignore it like most “brilliant ideas” or even not have a need for it. So, ensure you're not creating a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, as this is one of the top causes of startup failures.

You can do that with objective feedback from potential customers and asking them to join a waiting list, pre-purchase your solution or hire you as a service provider. 

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Anti-Social Social Media

Studies show that the younger demographic wants restricted, private, secure and exclusive networks which cannot be thronged by unwanted people, like their parents.
These exclusive online social ...

Private Messaging Campfire

Private messaging services like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp are where private interactions happen and people are comfortable sharing details in private group messaging.
There are new applications like Tex-Rex, The Infatuation, or Community which are helping brands penetrate this private space.

Micro-Communities Campfire

Micro-communities are platforms where people gather around shared interests, beliefs or passions. Some examples are Facebook Pages and Groups, Instagram Stories, Slack and Youtube.

Brands can tap into this by partnering with influencers who have the kind of demographic they are targeting.

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