Product Essays

Over the years, I’ve kept a running note on my phone of short quotes as a reminder of possible essay topics for some far-off future. Below is that list, which hopefully will become nice hyperlinks to real essays over time.

These will get written in no particular order, some may never come to be, and some could become a whole book if the motivation was there.

  • Optimism is the enemy of delivery
  • Explicit > Implicit
  • Stop starting start finishing
  • There needs to be strong evidence to do something rather than nothing
  • There is no such thing as a proxy user
  • A spreadsheet is a cry for help
  • The opposite of delegation is escalation
  • Swarming doesn’t scale
  • No one respects how hard it is to ship working, reliable software
  • It should be that simple
  • Individuals start projects, teams finish projects (bring work to teams, don’t bring people to work)
  • Focus on the task not the tools
  • Identifying problems is more important than designing solutions
  • The Relationship of Priority vs Throughput
  • Everything boils down to inputs, process, and outputs
  • Functionality vs value
  • Every situation has a temperature
  • Describe your user’s abilities, not your product’s capabilities
  • Decompose and Unbundle
  • Formalize and Normalize
  • Dealing with Feature Fixation
  • Beware the Matador
  • The Two Why’s of Product Management
  • Features can’t be prioritized, futures can
  • Dealing with a lot of stakeholders