Age of Product’s Food for Thought of November 15th, 2015 covers: Sequoia’s unicorn scouts, lessons learnt from passing on Twitter, Agile Clinic, failure helps creativity, Eric Ries on Lean Startup, how to hire a product manager, the story of Shazam.
Let’s Fix Agile
When I wrote the Agile Failure Patterns In Organizations post in October, I could not anticipate the feedback it would receive: Over 80 comments on the Hacker News thread and almost 15,000 readers on the blog and additional channels like DZone or Business2Community.
Age of Product’s Food for Thought of November 8th, 2015 covers: Y Combinator (Economist reporting and Sam Altman’s startup playbook), artificial intelligence and mass unemployment, unhealthy Scrum obsessions, Tim Ferriss’ How to say ‘No’, e-commerce trends and the black box of product management.
The Fine Line Between Risk Mitigation and Falling Back into Covering Your Butt
The team hasn’t met its commitments once. Not once.
The atmosphere was becoming thicker by the minute. The management was displeased with the progress of the project and was looking for answers, starring at a bunch of Jira charts, I prepared earlier. “How can we claim that we are working in Scrum mode if the team is not sticking with the rules?”
Throughout the majority of projects I have been working on I could observe an obsession with burn-down charts and other Scrum metrics, mainly team commitments. And as a consequence, a side product of backlog grooming, estimation, and sprint planning is elevated to the most important management indicator that “Agile” works: The team’s commitment is matching or outperforming its average velocity.
Age of Product’s Food for Thought of November 1st, 2015 covers: The future of work Uber-style, product design lessons with ConvertKit, persuasive product design, whether Uber is disruptive or not (spoiler alert: nope), the failure of Ebookmakr, company culture BS and why organizations don’t learn.
Executive Summary – Lessons Learned from Ebookmakr’s Failure:
- Love the problem more than your solution.
- Don’t push too far your dreams of China in your hand.
- Use prototyping tools such as Marvel when running user interviews. (More here: Four Lessons Learned From Making Customer Value Your Priority.)
- Be careful with the selection process for user interviews: You might end up picking those that will support your vision – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy trap.
- Beware of false positives in user interviews.
- Never start writing a single line of code before an appropriate number of customers signed up. (For clarification: Customers are paying users.)
- Never spend money on developing a prototype when you’re not working full-time on growing the user-base and increasing customer value.
- Be patient and give your product the time it needs.
- Always make branded t-shirts and wear them later regularly to preserve the recollection of the disaster. (See below.)