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⚖️ Do you have principles? / PM Snacks #47

1️⃣ Intercom on Product: The principles behind how we build
Jul 2019 • 15 min read • #productsense
I don’t know what you think about “principles” or “values”, but most of the time I feel like they are “truisms” and very shallow. But here, Intercom does a great job at a clearly articulated piece on principles. IMO, a good “product principle” should help the team to make decisions and enforce important parts of the method while giving them freedom. Here are their top-level principles:
1/ Start with the problem (= spend time researching, framing & locating opportunities)
2/ Thing big, start small (= design w/ intent, draw a vision, but work on the smallest increment)
3/ Ship to learn (= nothing is true until experimented, optimise for learning)

2️⃣ uKu Product Principles
Sept 2021 • 7 min read • #productsense
I tried to write some at comet (without much success). I tried again at uKu. It’s actually the first thing I wrote to guide us, way back in June, when our exact scope was still unclear. Feel free to hit reply & tell me what you think about them. Here is the list (you should recognize some inspirations):
1/ Start with the problem (= spend time researching, framing & locating opportunities)
2/ Think in bets (= choose a success measure before-hand, be ready to fail)
3/ Thing big, start small (= design w/ intent, draw a vision, but work on the smallest increment)
4/ Focus on things that don’t change (= find users’ real needs, social trends & narratives)
5/ 10X better product & distribution (= be ambitious & radical)
6/ Build for delight. No more boring apps (= be opinionated & surprise users)
7/ Build for sharing (= every experience should be worth sharing)

3️⃣ High Work-In-Progress Issues
Jun 2021 • 8 min watch • #execution
John Cutler does such a good job at explaining a situation you may have lived already: The work-in-progress increases, while outcomes are decreasing, management loses confidence & wants to help you plan, key players are leaving! Does it ring a bell 😱? Watch this short video to have a better view of the “system” at play and some tips to improve the situation. Spoiler alert: in a counter intuitive way, you should drastically reduce the amount of work-in-progress, but expect resistance from teams and management.

4️⃣ Crypto Tokens: A Breakthrough in Open Network Design
Jun 2017 • 9 min read • #tech #web3
Last week I shared how Ethereum is truly decentralised and enabling many new use cases. It’s basically a distributed computer on the blockchain. That’s why it allows a new kind of Internet: decentralised, collaboratively owned, built by users. At the center of it, if we zoom out from the technical details, there is an important innovation: the crypto tokens and incentivization of humans collaboration (ERC20 tokens to be exact). You know what to do to learn more on this topic 📚

I’m Olivier Courtois, product maker for 10y+, currently building my startup (uKu), sometimes product coach & Startup advisor. Former VP Product comet & Product Director ManoMano.

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Olivier Courtois

Olivier Courtois

10y+ in Product, now freelance / coach / advisor • Newsletter at • ex- VP-Product comet & Product Director ManoMano

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