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🔋 Boost your productivity, make better decisions & embrace complexity to build a simpler product / PM Snacks #29

1️⃣ How I stay productive as a Product Manager
Apr 2017 • 4 min read • #execution #manageyourself
For years I’ve suggested co-workers to leave the office after listing the main expected outcomes of 1/ the next day every night, 2/ the next week every Friday. This way you invest a little bit of time to create clarity about the next period & kill any “mental charge”. In this article you’ll find a better framework for the same exercice. Since reading it, it became my default behavior. Highly recommended!

2️⃣ Making Good Decisions as a Product Manager
Jul 2017 • 11 min read • #execution #manageyourself
Many people think that a product manager’s job is to create consensus: I disagree. Your role is to give a voice to everyone, a space for them to be listened to & then the right context for a decision to happen with a clear ownership. As a result a good decision maker do 2 main things: 1/ uses the right amount of information, 2/ makes the decision as quickly as possible. Read on for a few strategies & mental models to improve these 2 critical skills.

3️⃣ Eigenquestions: The Art of Framing Problems
May 2020 • 7 min read • #execution #manageyourself
A good decision is made impossible by ill-defined problems. Through a Youtube example, the author introduces the concept of the “Eigenquestion”. Put simply: if when you start framing an issue, you feel that you need to answer ten related questions to make a decision… then you should try to find the most discriminating question of the set. Not clear yet? Be sure to read the teleportation device example.

4️⃣ Fighting complexity
Jan 2019 • 32 min watch • #design
Accept the situation: the world is complex & your product probably is too. Making it simple starts with embracing the full extent of the problem you want to solve. That’s why you should develop “complexity antibodies” according to Rémi:
1/ practice radical focus with the two-list prioritization method (top & avoid at all costs)
2/ organise simplification reviews with the HORSE method
3/ consider testing the absence of information in your design (for example, Blablacar removed user reviews on the search results)

5️⃣ My product is my garden
Dec 2020 • 20 min read • #productculture
An interesting take, outside the usual spectrum from the VC-backed products to the indie hackers movement. The author argues that he wants to treat his products like his garden: “I want to putter about, feel connected to the process, and have fun doing so. I want to make things that don’t scale. To see people tuck into them and enjoy them as people, not as stats.”. A kind of a slow-ish version of product making that tends to seduce me 🙂

❇️ Replay of my last talk on AI: from recommenders to creative assistants (FR)
Mar 2021 • 90 min watch • #AI #design #productculture
Last week I was invited in “L’after Produit”, a French show on Twitch, about product management. You’ll learn why Heetch removed the driver reviews, how I ended up “stealing” money to buy fireworks when I was a kid, but most importantly when to use artificial intelligence in products.

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

Olivier Courtois

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

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