📄 Anatomy of a good PRD document, why you can’t validate ideas & more / PM Snacks #43

Olivier Courtois
Published in
2 min readSep 17, 2021


1️⃣ Anatomy of a good PRD (square’s example)
Jul 2020 • 4 min read • #execution #shaping #delivery
I like the exhaustiveness of Square’s template but prefer Figma’s shorter version. You can also have a look at the template I crafted for comet and discover some by other companies. In any case, good product requirement documents should:
1/ Be centralised and easily accessible outside the product team
2/ Align people on the problem, the solution & launch criteria
3/ Stay short & show more than they tell (mockups, flows, …)
4/ Serve as a hub (the one place that links to everything related to the theme)

2️⃣ Why “validate your idea” is bad advice
Jun 2021 • 5 min read • #discovery #execution
I couldn’t agree more with Jason Fried (Basecamp) or Linda (the author): there is no way you can validate an “idea”. The only path forward is always to build the thing and put it out there. No way around it. A possible playbook:
- If building takes little time and few risks, just build, launch and see. Don’t waste time.
- Otherwise try to focus on each risk and test your assumptions in a timely manner:
— Is the problem relevant? (= nobody wants it enough & it’s not top of mind)
— Are the message & distribution channels relevant? (= hard to reach)
— Is the solution relevant? (=wrong solution)
— Do you have enough conviction to build? (= wait for 0 risk)

3️⃣ Why We Don’t Interview Product Managers Anymore
Apr 2021 • 14 min read • #hiring
A comprehensive look at what is a good product interview for product managers or designers. Spend less time asking questions (most people rehearse or even lie), and instead try to audition the candidates. Give them space to show their skills in a situation that is closer to the daily work. If you are curious, here is how I do it in (French). Brad Dunn does it with three 15min questions: creative, strategic and analytical.

4️⃣ TEDW — A simple model for asking better questions
Oct 2020 • 7 min read • #manageyourself #communication #problemsolving
Communication is a very important soft skill for product people. Even more important is to ask good open questions. So give TEDW a try: Tell me more…, Explain…, Describe…, Walk me through…

I’m Olivier Courtois, a product maker for 10y+, currently freelance, coach & Startup advisor, former VP Product comet & Product Director ManoMano.

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Olivier Courtois

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