Several forces have conspired to make online checkout the center of attention:

  1. COVID has accelerated retail’s shift from offline to online.
  2. Starting an online store is easier than ever due to Shopify and other platforms.
  3. Creators are making a living selling digital goods directly to consumers.

Yet, 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Why is this the case and how are companies solving this problem?

What is the customer problem?

Think back to the last time you purchased a product online (excluding Amazon). You probably struggled with:

  1. Filling in long forms only to be surprised by extra costs.
  2. Creating yet another account that comes…


With tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, Square, Coinbase, and Shopify all going remote, the need for remote work tools is greater than ever. Below is a primer on the remote work ecosystem — including leaders and notable players in each category. At the end of this post, I’ll also share some thoughts on how I think the ecosystem will evolve.

Why do companies hire remote work tools?

I believe companies hire remote work tools to help their teams perform three jobs:

  1. How can teams communicate with each other?
  2. How can teams manage projects and share knowledge?
  3. How can teams develop employees and build culture?

Traditionally, companies hired…


A traditional classroom teacher gets ready to live stream a class in China. Source: Xinhua

In 2003, SARS jump-started China’s e-commerce industry. Taobao, launched during the height of that epidemic, is now the world’s largest shopping website.

This year, Coronavirus is poised to become what Bill Gates calls a “once-in-a-century pathogen.” For tech, the virus will dramatically accelerate several trends that are already underway. China, which has been under lockdown since January, is at the forefront of these trends:

1. Remote work

Chinese collaboration apps like Alibaba’s DingTalk, Tencent’s WeChat Work, and ByteDance’s Lark are topping the App Store as millions of people work from home. …


In 2019, I decided to write a book to help new and aspiring product managers land a PM job and launch their careers.

I’m excited to share that Principles of Product Management is now available! For the next two weeks only, you can get the book on Amazon for just $2.99 (80% off regular price).

Get the Book on Amazon

What This Book is About

Through my experience and conversations with others, I’ve learned how tough it is to become a product manager and launch your product career. This is the book that I wish I had when I first got started.

The book includes almost 200 pages of best…


Building trust is critical to success in product management or any other career. Trust is hard to gain but easy to lose, so here’s my advice on how you can earn it:

  1. Be good at your job
  2. Own your mistakes
  3. Build relationships

1. Be good at your job

To build trust, you first need to be good at your job. As a PM, that means focusing on customer problems and rallying your team to build a product that addresses those problems. It also means collaborating well with others and working with them towards a shared goal. That’s easier said than done — it’s natural to want…


Source: Dilbert

I was a management consultant early in my career so I feel qualified to make this somewhat controversial statement:

Slides are a poor form of communication compared to written narratives for discussion and decision making.

Based on my experience, slides are inferior to narratives in meetings where you need to make a decision with a small group of people. They’re also an inadequate tool for people who missed the meeting and need to get caught up.

Slides are a great tool for telling a story or presenting a vision to a large group of people (it’s hard to make 50…


One of the most impactful things that I did in 2018 was to write down a list of principles to become a better person at home and at work. These principles are inspired by my experience as a product manager, books that I’ve read (especially Ray Dalio’s book), and conversations with people who I respect. Although they’re straightforward, following them isn’t easy and requires daily discipline:

  1. Take ownership
  2. Start with why
  3. Prioritize and execute
  4. Find the truth
  5. Be radically transparent

1. Take ownership

1a. Be humble Start with how you can improve instead of blaming others or making excuses. 1b. Detach Take ownership…


I read 25 books this year and want to share my favorite passages from five books that resonated with me the most. These books have helped me improve my own life and/or told an unforgettable story with interesting characters.

5. Bad Blood

By: John Carreyrou (Amazon)

Bad Blood tells the inside story of how Theranos became a billion dollar unicorn only to collapse shortly after. About halfway through, John shifts to a first-person perspective as he describes his investigation, and I just couldn’t put it down afterward.

Theranos collapsed because its corporate culture was toxic. …


Every product team loves seeing the numbers go up and to the right. But how do you actually grow a product?

Last year, I was lucky enough to take the Reforge Growth Series, an 8 week course taught by Brian Balfour and Andrew Chen. I’m certainly no expert, but I wanted to share a few basic lessons that I think any team can use to grow their product.

Growth comes after product market fit

This may sound obvious, but you shouldn’t grow a product that doesn’t solve a real customer problem. If a startup is trying to hire you as their first growth PM, check to…


In 2016, I was in a room with several top creators from Vine, the once popular short video app that Twitter shut down a few months after. These creators were all in the process of signing deals with Instagram.

Last month, China’s ByteDance became the world’s most valuable startup ($75B vs. Uber’s $72B). Its short video app, Douyin (also known as Tik Tok), has over 500 million monthly active users.

Below is the story of Vine’s demise and what Douyin did differently.

🔥If you enjoy this post, sign up for my newsletter or get a free chapter from my best-selling product management book.

What led to Vine’s demise?

Peter Yang

Product Lead @ Credit Karma. Ex-Twitch, Twitter, Facebook. I wrote a best-selling book for new product managers — get a free chapter at www.principles.pm

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