Maha-Product (Episode 1)

*This is the first episode of a series of notes on the theme of product management. Thoughtful, useful and minimalist.

  1. Avoid users’ cognitive leaks. A great product is what users can seamlessly use without thinking.
  2. A good product is part of users’ contexts. It is the product that makes a user becomes amazing to self.
  3. Prioritize the features of product. Rarely say yes to feature requests. Beware the “fre(quent-re)cently” bias. Every time you say yes to a feature, you say no to a googolion others.
  4. The art of product management is to make sure everyone in the team clearly understands and agrees on the vision of product. Everyone should have a copy of that vision, and work towards the same goal.
  5. Segment the market by “jobs-to-be-done”. Always ask the question as customers do something: why did they do it that way?
  6. The elementary forces of product design are: users’ needs, trade-offs, and priorities. Make a checklist of users’ needs, document the decisions that are made, and understand the impact of feature changes on users.
  7. Prioritize and build your product based on users’ feedbacks. From their brain-storming. From the noisiest ones. From the most popular changes. From what they are willing to pay. From risk priorities.
  8. Identify game-changers, showstoppers, and distractions. The rule of thumb is 1~3 game-changers, minimal dozens of showstoppers and very few distractions.
  9. Ask yourself about your product: Does it fit your vision? Will it still matter after 5 year? Will everyone benefit from it? Will it improve existing workflow? Does it grow the business? Will it generate meaningful engagement? Can we afford to support it? Is reward greater than design effort? Can we do it well? Can we scope it well?
  10. Golden rules of internal communications: over-communicate to make sure it is heard. Be very clear that who is to do what, when, where and most importantly, why. Deep listening, with reciprocity. Always think from a board range of perspectives. Build communication architecture for transparency and efficiency.
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