One of the reasons product teams find themselves stuck in a feature factory is the oft mistaken belief that the way you attract and retain users is ti keep giving them more features.
This is especially pernicious as there is usually a strong and obvious correlation between features and user growth in the early life of a product.
Jan 3 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
Here a few of my favourite Tweet threads from the past year.
At #10 we have a thread on how much of management is effectively asking people whether they've shared their concerns with the person they're talking about directly. The answer is usually "no".
1. Figure out how to decline all but essential cookies 2. Close the support widget asking if I need help 3. Stop the auto-playing video 4. Close the “subscribe to our newsletter” pop-up 5. Try and remember why I came here in the first place
As people have rightly said, this also often comes with…
6. A browser message asking if you’ll accept push notifications 7. Another asking if you’re willing to share your location 8. A banner suggesting you download the iPhone app 9. An NPS survey asking you to rate the site.
Dec 22, 2021 • 18 tweets • 3 min read
In my experience when people talk about “bringing solutions rather than problems” it’s usually coming from a good place. However it’s very easy to miscast this sentiment so let me unpack it a little here. 🧵
In the more traditional, industrial style of leadership, leaders are meant to be experts at the jobs they manage, know the answers to most things, and be able to remove blockers due to the power and agency they hold.
Dec 21, 2021 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
This is good advice. I see a lot of early stage start-ups exploring a range of different acquisition channels looking for one that “works”. However this lack of focus is often why those channels don’t end up working.
You’re much better off focussing on a couple of channels you can really excel at, than spread betting across whole bunch of different channels poorly in the hope one will take off.
Dec 20, 2021 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
For many design/product/tech managers, the space between the run up to Christmas and starting back in the New Year provides a glorious week of potential focus time, uninterrupted by emails and meetings, where they can work on their bigger organisational/operational challenges.
I swear that many companies / leaders / teams evolve on a yearly cycle, based in part on the thinking / focus time provided over the Christmas break (plus the ideas folks come back with after their summer holidays, which they then struggle to find time until Christmas)
Dec 16, 2021 • 18 tweets • 3 min read
Really interesting read on what this authors sees as “weak project leadership”.
I think a lot of people who find themselves in this sort of environment will agree with the core sentiments here. I’ve seen this play out far to often for my liking.
Dec 13, 2021 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
I think OKRs are one of a number of ways company leaders can align the outcomes generated by independent high performing teams with company strategy 🧵
Admittedly choosing the heir to the throne may be a bit of an outlier as it's been a while since he traveled on a scheduled flight, but creating a segment the separates VIP travellers from regular 1st and business class travellers makes a certain amount of sense.
Dec 1, 2021 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
I see a lot of friction in my coaching work between design, product, marketing and engineering people. This usually revolves around one group advancing their agenda at the expense of another. For instance, doing something that increases sign-up but degrades the user experience.
When this happens, the group with the most senior person in it usually wins. This generally means that Engineering trumps Marketing which trumps Product which trumps Design, although I have seen it go other ways as well.
Nov 30, 2021 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
While this is true, I think it's hard for an industry that...
1. Favours speed over long term planning and investment 2. Sees people switch jobs every 18 months
Now on the section of “No Rules, Rules” about the Netflix unlimited vacation policy. It’s good that their senior leadership attempt to “model good behaviour” by taking lots of time off work…
However I’m my experience executives are often responsible for their own diaries and workloads so can do this easily. More junior staff often have their workloads set externally by managers, PMs or just the throughput of work.
Nov 24, 2021 • 11 tweets • 3 min read
Reading the “No Rules, Rules” book about the Amazon feedback culture is making my British self squirm.
While many of the examples are positioned as “Radical Candour” I’m getting very little sense that the people giving said feedback “cared deeply” about the target of said feedback. As such a lot of it comes across as “obnoxious aversion” or simply rudeness, to my British ears.
Nov 24, 2021 • 32 tweets • 5 min read
I see a variety of reasons why designers and developers switch jobs every couple of years 🧵
1. There’s an old saying that “people don’t leave jobs, they leave mangers” and this can often be true. Being looked after by a poorly trained, inexperienced or under performing manager can be deeply frustrating.
Nov 23, 2021 • 16 tweets • 3 min read
The primary role of company leadership is to create alignment 🧵
Most companies go through several phases of growth, each with their own predictable challenges. In my experience most startups slowly move from being clans or adhocracies towards more process oriented companies.
I’m really liking @gilescolborne’s formulation that design research (aka discovery) is about charging the opportunity battery, rather than delivering value. I think is explains a lot of behaviour designers find frustrating 🧵
Designers have been taught they need to understand the context of a problem before they can come up with the ideal solution. The whole “understanding the room to design the chai, understanding the house to design the room etc”
Nov 16, 2021 • 28 tweets • 5 min read
I see a growing disconnect in our industry between companies wanting to hire the most talented people, and the experience the most talented people I know have during the interview process. A short thread 🧵
I see a lot of company leaders complaining that they can't find people with the right skills and experience to fill their open roles. Roles will often go unfilled for months, and when they do finally fill those roles, the person will be a poor fit and leave within months.
Oct 29, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Please complete the following sentence.
"I know I'm listening to a 'thought leader' because..."
I'll get you started.
"I know I'm listening to a 'thought leader' because they've included that William Gibson quote in their talk"
Oct 29, 2021 • 27 tweets • 5 min read
One of my major frustrations over the years has been people's natural tendency (mine included) to spend more time coming up with reasons why something will fail than why we should go ahead. Essentially demonstrating a "no, but" rather than a "yes, and" mindset 🧵
This is most commonly seen in meetings where one person presents and idea, and then the rest of the participants then come up with reasons why the idea won't work.
Oct 28, 2021 • 26 tweets • 5 min read
It's amazing how much of management (and by extension, coaching) is asking people whether the thing they've just shared with you, they've also shared with the person they're talking about. Ideally in the same calm, even mannered and non-judgemental fashion.
What they've shared is almost always some perfectly rational concern, pitched in a way that makes them sound reasonable. Largely because people want to be seen as reasonable by their bosses (and coaches).
Oct 27, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
One if my friends says “Don’t worry what’ll happen if you fail to meet your goals. Worry what’ll happen if you hit them”
We often spend our time chasing goals without thinking what a icing said goal will actually mean.
I want to be a VP.
6 years later. I hate spending so much time recruiting, bouncing between meetings and dealing with team infighting and company politics.