Stranger Things About Product Management

Whilst I’m waiting for my laundry to finish drying (T minus 20mins), I’d thought I’d pay homage to my latest obsession, Stranger Things. Unless you’ve been living underneath a big huge gigantic rock, its a Netflix series set in the 80’s. There’s an alternative….wait I should stop there. You should watch it. The crux is there’s some strange things happening in this sleepy town. So here are the 3 strange things I have found in product management.
stranger things

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The butterfly effect of decisions

One of my favorite movies is The Butterfly Effect. Ashton Kutcher plays a character who has experienced a lot of trauma in his life. He discovers by accident that when he sees something from his past, he blacks out and can go back to his past. From there, he is able to make decisions that change the outcome of the future.

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Infusing teams with missionary zeal

We need to give our organisations and teams a mission. Not just any mission. A mission that that they want to pursue with a passion. With an enthusiasm that makes them want to wake up everyday to come to work to tackle a huge problem.

We have to pick the right missions to pursue. We have to be bold in our choices.  This is because people want to join causes they believe in. Your team needs to understand why this is an important problem to solve and the opportunity it presents if it is solved.

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Take care of the person and the rest will follow

One day I was coming back from Church with my grandma and my mom. We pulled up in our driveway. I got out of the driver’s seat and helped my grandma get out of the car. Our house has set of stairs with 8 steps leading to the house. My mother climbed up the set of stairs first to the house to open the door for us.

Walking for my grandma is difficult and she uses a walking cane now. I helped her up the first couple of steps. Then I doubled back to the car to grab the portable breathing cannister that helps with her breathing. I closed the door and then came back to help my grandma up.

My mom came back from the door and told me me something that I’ll never forget:

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Why I want the milkshake not the bagel with cream cheese

This morning I was in a rush to get the train to work and I also wanted to grab breakfast on the way. So I stopped by a local cafe next to the train station. I ordered a bagel with cream cheese. I thought that it came with cream cheese already and they could put it in a bag and give it to me. Instead I had to wait a few mins for it to be heated and then I discovered I had to spread it myself. I kept checking the clock, but still made the train and ate my bagel too while waiting.

Bagels Jobs To Be Done

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Day 90: Relax, rest, reset

Today was an unusual day. Its a Wednesday, hump day so its half way through the week. At about 1030am, I decided to get a covfefe coffee from Dana Street Roasters, my local cafe in Mountain View. When I got home, I decided to do my laundry. Then made dinner, cleaned the stove and vacuumed my room. The reason I say its unusual is that I haven’t done these things in a long time.

Home made dinner – a combination of random stuff

I realised on Monday night (Day 88), I hadn’t been home in the evening in a while. When I spoke to my room mate, French, he mentioned that I hadn’t cooked in a while. I haven’t been home in the evening in about 3 weeks. Whilst tonight, I could have gone out to join the Aussies in Tech meetup or met up with a friend, I decided I was going to have a quiet evening on Day 90. Its been a combination of co-workers from Australia being in town, meeting new people, visitors from out of town, and doing stuff.

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Cadence is king

I want to write about a topic that I’ve mentioned in my podcast and in various discussions with other product folks.

I recently did a presentation on the Confluence Cloud mobile app to my fellow product manager’s in the Confluence team. I was giving a presentation about a decision we were making to get feedback. I got to the meeting early about 5 minutes before everyone else. So to give them some context, I drew a timeline. It was a straight line to represent the whole year, with horizontal marks for each month from January to December.

Then I did a review of the past year, writing on each month the release we had shipped in 1- 2 words. It looked like this:

* January – launch
* Feb – search
* March – notifications tab
And so on for each month.

In total, we have shipped 12 releases during the year from major feature releases to point releases with bug fixes.

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Partnerships are about relationships with Jordan Sim, BigCommerce (S2E9)

S2E9 - Partnerships BigCommerce

I chat with Jordan Sim, Group Product Manager at BigCommerce. He focuses on enabling and implementing strategic business development partnerships with the BigCommerce product. Jordan oversees two areas – order fulfilment and shipping logistics.

He’s launched and managed product integrations with Intuit Quickbooks, Alibaba, and led the transition of MagentoGo & eBay Prostore clients to BigCommerce.

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