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Manage without Scrum, Instagram’s product principles & more / PM Snacks #46

1️⃣ How Big Tech Runs Tech Projects and the Curious Absence of Scrum
Jan 2021 • 17 min read • #execution #agility
Last week I shared why you should not use a pre-made methodology. Continuing with that, let’s try to understand what famous companies do instead. This article is a bit long but easily skimmable. I highly recommend you to read it, at least to find out Skype’s history:
When I joined Skype in 2012, the company had gone all-in on Scrum (…) And the move to Scrum was seen as a success at Skype. We went from shipping the flagship Windows app once-a-quarter at best, to monthly shipping (…) However, while Skype moved over to Scrum, a competitor was executing ruthlessly: Whatsapp (…) they built a more reliable messaging experience than Skype, and ultimately won the battle of messaging and communication apps

2️⃣ Four Product Principles that Drove Instagram’s Success
Aug 2020 • 7 min read • #productculture #productsense
A quick read on the principles that Instagram applied in the early days to create a desirable product and massive success (funny enough, they stopped following some of them since then…). I’m curious, do you have written product principles in your company? Please hit reply to let me know. I usually like to have them written down to align the product team. If you are interested I could share a few articles on why.

3️⃣ The shape, the color, and the emotion: Angry Birds’ character design
Jun 2021 • 7 min read • #design
Have you ever played Angry Birds? Have you noticed that the different characters have different basic shapes & colors? I’ve been researching game design for my work at uKu, and found this short article does a great job explaining the connection between shape, colors, personality and function. The simpler the better.

4️⃣ Getting Up to Speed on Ethereum
Aug 2017 • 24 min read • #tech #web3
Now that you know what a Blockchain is, you should definitely deep-dive into what makes Ethereum unique. They drew inspiration from Bitcoin and decided to create a distributed computer. The programs are called “Smart contracts”, they read and store data on the blockchain and enable applications to run without any downtime, censorship or fraud. New use cases are created every day but most importantly, it’s a way to coordinate a lot of people with shared financial incentives, without requiring trust among them. The code and transactions are always visible on the blockchain. In a nutshell, for the first time ever, the way the Internet was supposed to work is possible & credible 🤩

Fun — Write a product management book in…
Sept 2021 • 2 min read • #productculture #fun
I loved this clever prompt started by Shreyas on what is product management in a few words. Do check some of the answers. What would your’s be?

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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