Questions on Strategy, Culture, and Execution that you & your product team know are important, but haven’t answered lately:

(and you might want to answer them as you get ready for 2021)

1. At what stage is our product?
[Explore, Expand, Extract, Exit]

2. What are our priority customer segments?

3. Should we mainly compete on Cost, Differentiation, or Segment focus?

4. What are our unique advantages and how can we leverage them more?

1. Are we a High Agency team?

2. Do we treat each other fairly and communicate with kind candor? Do we value creativity?

3. How rigorous is our product decision process?

4. Is there an alpha personality on or outside our team that we are trying to please or appease?

1. Is Execution our main challenge or is it actually Strategy/Culture?

2. How often do we attribute our Execution problems to “a lack of resources”?

3. Do we have clarity on our near-term objectives?

4. Are we able to say No to things that should not be worked on?
Some related resources👇🏾
Is it really an Execution problem?

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More from @shreyas

19 Nov
People do 3 types of work within companies.

Creating artifacts to serve the company’s external stakeholders.

Creating the necessary structures & processes for Produce work.

Creating a proxy for their own competence & impact.

A short tutorial👇🏾

Produce work: products, eng infra, sales deals, services, support, status updates,...

Organize work: internal processes, resource planning, status updates, re-orgs, hiring,...

Self-promote work: perf reviews, status updates, 1:1s with manager,...

Important tweet👇🏾
The 3 key sources of conflict within a company:

- Self-promote work disguised as Produce work or Organize work (Politics)

- Disagreement on relative priorities of Produce work (Strategy problem)

- Too much Organize work too little Produce work or vice versa (Execution problem)
Read 6 tweets
16 Nov
Three types of Product Managers, per @sachinrekhi:
1) Builders
2) Tuners
3) Innovators

I really like this framework because it’s quite accurate without being too prescriptive.

The blog post:…

My high-level thoughts👇🏾
Each of the "3 Senses of a PM" maps to a type preference:
Analytical sense → Tuner
Product sense → Innovator
Execution sense → Builder

(*preference* being the key word there—in practice, each type will benefit from each of the 3 senses)

As a reminder:
When looking for your next PM job, ask the Hiring Manager the primary type for the role.

2 benefits
-If HM doesn’t know about these types, they’ll learn something new from you
-If HM can’t articulate the primary type, it’s at least a yellow flag (eg. HM lacks clarity of thought)
Read 13 tweets
15 Nov
Tao Te Ching is ~25 centuries old, written in 81 brief chapters.

Its word economy is exemplary—each reading reveals new layers.

Besides being a life manual, it imparts superb leadership wisdom.

A thread of 7 profound leadership lessons from Tao Te Ching:
Wise leaders lead from below
Wise leaders know it’s okay to not know everything
Read 12 tweets
14 Nov
Product Manager proposes X, a solution to a thorny product issue with major business impact.

CEO gently asks if we can do Y instead
(where Y is very different from X)

PM responds “sure, let's do Y”.

Should this make the CEO
a) happy, or
b) sad

Like a tweet👇🏾with your answer
a) This should make the CEO happy
b) This should make the CEO sad
Read 5 tweets
14 Nov
The CEO Test, a thread about compromising with conviction:

The scene: At the Product Review

You share your detailed plan with the CEO. You glance at the execs. Their body language says it all. Something is wrong. The CEO says that your plan needs to be more ambitious. “Think bigger”, is the feedback you get afterwards from your manager.
My friend, you may have just failed The CEO Test.

Another scenario👇🏾
Read 27 tweets
12 Nov
Sometimes there's a difference between the product & The Product.

"the lowercase-p product" is the thing you’ve been assigned to directly work on.

But that’s not necessarily "The uppercase-p Product".

The Product is The Main Thing that makes or breaks the user value prop.

product == Product

For example:
If you manage Google Calendar, the pixels on the screen (the product) are also what the user views as The Main Thing (The Product).
product ≠ Product

For example:
If you manage the Netflix app, you are managing the product, but that isn't The Product

The Product is all the content that Netflix has licensed.

the product you manage is merely a delivery mechanism for the real Product for the user.
Read 16 tweets

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