The Beginners Guide to Throwing Shapes

I really enjoyed this article by John Vars, CPO @TaskRabbit. Largely because, the starry eyed part of me still see's the tech start up scene as the most rock and roll business phenomenon there is, or has ever been. Likening product managers to rock stars, might be a bit of a stretch; but it's your actions that define you and this is especially true for product managers. So turn your stack up to 11 and wow the world with your crazy slick product chops. It's your gig, own it.

Chaotic Times Ahead?

Yeah, you better believe it.

As a product manager working in London, the tech scene has been the most important 'stock' to me, to follow. Over the last 6 or 7 years, I've seen something very real, vibrant and successful, battle its way to maturity. During that time, the very mention of the Silicon Roundabout has elicited sneers of derision from scores of folks I've encountered. But look at the businesses that have grown: Pact, Songkick, Lyst, YPlan, Transferwise, Shazaam, 7-Digital, Huddle,, Moo, Mind Candy, Deliveroo! Well, have a gander at a full list for yourself; Look at the culture that's grown around it - Old St, Shoreditch, Dalston, Haggerston etc, It's simply mind blowing. All this, despite an army of powerful detractors and nay sayers.

I'm not someone who airs his political views on the interweb. However, there is one cloying factor of Brexit, that 'could' undo much of the staggering progress made. A lot of the talent that props up the digital economy in London, don't feel so welcome any more. There, I said it....Even worse, other very enticing tech cities (I'm looking at you Berlin and Dublin) would kill to get some of that talent. Oops, I did it again.....

Obviously, my deepest hope is that we all 'keep calm and code on'. None of the amazingly talented folk we have helping to build these companies panic and leave. But whilst exorting folks to keep calm, I'd also like folks to consider that, a condition of modern life, is embracing chaos.

At the Mind The Product conference a couple of years back, they wheeled out a guy called Fred Destin, who blew my f*****g mind. Here is his talk on embracing chaos to succeed.

It's cold comfort, but I think he's right. If ever there was a time to learn to let the chaos all wash over you, it's now.

Ship F******g Product!

The most useful article about product management ever written? I think it's "How To Tame Engineers, Be A Rockstar, and Ship ****ing Product", with huge kudos to John Cutler @johncutlefish for its creation.


Because we've all been thinking it. We're probably all been guilty of many of the behaviours described. Because we need to change as many of those behaviours as we can (though, I'm not sure I can live life without mystery meetings). Because PMs need to remember that we exist to foster collaboration, usually with a bunch of folks far smarter than we are, and help people to all pull in the same direction, towards a goal they've all agreed on.

Anyhow, Have a buthchers - it's a great read.

And product managers out there; don't be 'that guy'.



I gotta be honest...

I'm not much one for blogging. If I do have any thoughts I feel the need to document, I'll put them here.