We can be tempted to create complex models, processes, and solutions as Product Managers, but this is antithetical to the what it means to do Agile. As the Agile Manifesto points out – “Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.” Steve Jobs shared a similar idea when he said, “Innovation is […]

Predictably Irrational

As leaders, it is important to recognize in ourselves and others just how “predictably irrational” we are. How, although we think we make all of our decisions based on sound logic and reason, we regularly make irrational decisions. A good introduction to this is Dan Ariely’s talk on this topic: And if you time, I […]

Why is simplicity so hard?

Why do we produce such complicated products when most would with Ockham’s Razor that “entities should not be multiplied without necessity.” How do things end up so complex when we all want to have the simplest possible solution, design, or implementation that we can come up with? I believe there are a few reasons: What […]

Ignore your customers?

Shouldn’t we always listen to our customers if we want to create great products? Yes and no. Blindly following the maxim that good managers should keep close to their customers can sometimes be a fatal mistake. Clayton Christensen – The Innovator’s Dilemma Clayton Christensen goes on to outline the dilemma we face as product managers. […]

Table stakes in product management?

I sometimes hear the phrase “table stakes” used to describe a feature. Basically a shorthand for a feature we can’t possibly leave out because the competitors have it, and the customer expects it. As a product manager, this assumption of “table stakes” is dangerous because it assumes knowledge of our customer’s needs and leads to […]