Edition 1

Welcome to The Lens, my newsletter on Product Management and related topics. I include some of the content I came across that you may find useful if you are interested in getting into Product Management or just interested in learning more. If you like what you read, please forward it to someone you think may get value. Thank you.

Over the years I have come across many posts that define Product Management, some of which I will talk about in the future. Last week I came across a post that gives a good overview of the day-to-day executional responsibilities of a Product Manager. This serves well as an introduction of the definition and an overview. Another interesting post adds some details and differentiates between problem, solution and execution phases. As you can see in that post, it is 2-4 split personalities doing one role. (To be honest, that is one of the things that attracted me personally). But the definition and role of a PM is very different and shaped by the culture, size, industry, and so on of the companies. Some frameworks such as Agile and SAFe are doing a better job of providing clarity.

Moving beyond the definitions, one of the most interesting posts that circulated among the social media was about how effectively InVideo uses customer support to guide their product management and decisions. Detailed tagging and reporting, and using them to fix the product is a no-brainer, but using the support articles as a guide to influence product features is a brilliant execution. Let me know what you think and if you have seen other examples.

I have spent a considerably good time learning, reading and contemplating this year. Occasionally I will talk about relevant books. The book I picked for this edition is Running Lean by Ash Maurya. I enjoyed reading and listening to this book. Ash goes over in great detail of the steps to find a product-market fit, to do customer interviews and to launch a revenue-generating product. If you have read Lean Startup, some of the concepts may seem familiar, and Ash provides realistic examples and case studies, that are highly relevant. While reading Running Lean, I realized some of the metrics that are tracked at the beginning (downloads, users, csat) are known as ‘vanity metrics’ which simply demonstrate a state of the system. These are important indicators of growth and retention. When these metrics are paired with actions, one can analyze funnels and further, cohorts. That’s when deep insights about product and experience are possible.

I leave you with these thoughts. Let me know if you have any feedback. And do share with whoever is in the early stages of their PM career or is interested in getting into Product Management.

Disclosure: Amazon links to books are affiliate links, with no additional cost to you.

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