What Buddhism Taught Me About Product Management

Lenny Rachitsky
Apr 23 · 8 min read
Taken at one of my all-time favorite Airbnb’s in Joshua Tree

These truths are not presented in Buddhist teachings as dogmas demanding blind faith. Buddhists feel that these truths are universal and self-evident to anyone who cares to investigate in a proper way.

1. There is suffering 😨

Anyone who has had even the briefest introduction to Buddhist teaching is familiar with its starting point: the inescapable truth that existence entails suffering.

Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different than they are. — Allan Lokos

2. All things are impermanent ❄️

Impermanence is inescapable. Everything vanishes.

— Buddha

He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy He who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise

Once we see that everything is impermanent and ungraspable and that we create a huge amount of suffering if we are attached to things staying the same, we realize that relaxing and letting go is a wiser way to live. Letting go does not mean not caring about things. It means caring about them in a flexible and wise way.

All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality squarely, exactly as it is. — Buddha

3. There is no lasting self ⛄️

To understand not-self, you have to meditate. If you only intellectualize, your head will explode.

According to the teaching of the Buddha, the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality. [It] is the source of all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between nations. In short, to this false view can be traced all the evil in the world.

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Lenny Rachitsky

Written by

Tinkering. Previously, Growth PM Lead @ Airbnb, Founder/CEO, Software Engineer.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +469K people. Follow to join our community.