Remote work is still in its nascent stage so everyone’s pretty much figuring it out for themselves. My experience with it over the last year has shown me a lot of the pros and cons aka “the tradeoffs”.

My biggest pain point as a product manager with remote work has been the lack of time together in person during quarterly planning periods. This results in more drawn out planning phases with a lot of asynchronous feedback. One daylong planning meeting could accomplish what sometimes takes weeks of back and forth over documents and calls.

The biggest advantage of remote work…

I started a newsletter recently — feel free to follow my writing here 👇

Here are a few segments from the first three posts so far.


First post

Thinking & Noodling 💭🍜

I’m turning 30 in March.

As 2019 comes to a close, I’m thinking a lot about something one of my college professors said once:

Life doesn’t start until you’re 30

I don’t remember the context that led to it, but it’s stuck with me. I was 21 at the time.

Now that my thirties are about to begin, I’m starting to contemplate what my professor meant.

What exactly does “starting life”…

Design requires a lot of cross-functional collaboration. Until today, sharing work with stakeholders meant that everyone had to have an Abstract account. But that’s not the case anymore.

Public sharing makes collaboration easier, for everyone

Fewer barriers to entry means a more open and transparent design process for all. With our new public sharing feature, you can share Artboards and Collections with your entire team-whether they have an Abstract account or not. One less hurdle makes it easier for Collaborators-like product managers, developers, and other stakeholders-to view designs and provide the feedback you need to move projects forward, faster.

How much you choose to share is up…

I recently joined a distributed company and have been reflecting on how it compares with the more “traditional” on-site work environment. Here are some of my thoughts a couple months in.

Note: while Abstract does have an office/HQ in San Francisco, the vast majority of employees are distributed elsewhere across the US. I’m based in SF but have only worked from the office a few times since joining so I’m primarily “remote”.

We Recruit Anywhere 🌎 (in 🇺🇸)

Being distributed means we can hire people quite literally anywhere (whereas Bay Area companies can usually only attract people who want to live here). This means we’re competing…

A couple months ago I asked people to take a mental health survey as part of a deep dive for my new project. The responses were extremely interesting so I’d love to share a rundown with you. Thanks to everyone who responded 🙏.

I’ll be starting a new survey in the coming weeks, this time helping inform my initial positioning for the service as well as making some key directional decisions for the pricing model.

Demographics for the 22 respondents

  • 19 between 18–35 years old with the rest older than 36.
  • 16 male, 6 female
  • 17 white, 2 Asian, 1 black, 1 native Hawaiian, 1…

I’m continuing my research into the mental healthcare world with this 10 minute survey and I’d love to hear from you. If you feel inclined to help, feel free to share it as well. Your responses are anonymous by default but you have the option to share your info in case you’d like to continue participating in my ongoing exploration/research of better solutions. Have a great weekend everyone!

I have a love-hate relationship with writing.

I started writing at the end of college. I had an insane writing streak when I first started. I published daily for about 6 months. To be honest, I was optimizing for quantity over quality. I had a lot of bad posts. This is where those all live. (I reluctantly include that link since a bunch of those are garbage). After 6 months my writing started to slow down. I pretty much ran out of things to write about. It was like I had emptied out something I’ve been holding in for years.

It’s recently hit me how similar SOMA feels to a college campus, or at least the University of Florida campus. It’s fascinating once you break it down.


I was at Blue Bottle in SOMA the other day and ran into two founder friends. We caught up about their new respective offices, one of which was hosting a big housewarming party — the more the merrier!


I was at Starbucks at the library the other day and ran into two of my fraternity brothers. …

My first experience with therapy was in elementary school when I was unexpectedly put in a room with a school counselor who wanted to talk to me. I was in trouble; none of my friends had ever been sent to the counselor before.

When I got to her office, she introduced herself and asked me to take a seat.

It was the first time in my life I really sat down to talk to an adult stranger.

She wasn’t my teacher or classmate and she’d never met my family. …

The recent Snapchat IPO filing has brought a lot of attention to a particular side of startups: the product roadmap.

Note: Sam Gerstenzang wrote a great piece about product lessons here

Sam included this astonishing chart from the S-1, which immediately makes this filing one of the most interesting regulatory filings on record.

Snap’s product innovation timeline to accumulate 150MM DAU

It’s a staggering accomplishment to add (and when needed, kill) so many new features. As a product manager, I’m in a unique position to appreciate the sheer work that goes into executing something like this. It’s impressive by any standard.

After a few minutes of awe…

Ben Erez

I don’t publish on Medium any longer. You can find my latest writings in my newsletter:

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